Our beautiful Marine Ecology picnic table covered in colourful books, games and photos of marine life never fails to attract the excited eyes of the younger guests at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles. Each Wednesday we spend the afternoon at the resort’s Kids Club when marine biologists in the making get to do some arts and crafts, play games and learn about the ocean.
When planning and developing educational material for the children we have to consider the wide age range and spoken language of the young guests, as well as their level of marine knowledge. We are prepared with activities for little kids and big kids, English speakers and non-English speakers, marine experts and novices.
After the hectic festive period and prior to Easter, which is another popular time for families in the resort, we have been very busy creating some new ideas for 2015 –
The success of our ‘build a coral reef’ World Oceans Day activity lead us into thinking how can we make this a reusable activity? Armed with, pens, pencils, crayons, printer, velcro and a laminator we got to work and hey presto developed a reusable coral reef. Each child will learn the importance of the reef to its inhabitants as we hide fish amongst the corals as well as learning the different species. Best of all it’s not just for the kids; watch Charlotte and myself build the reef!
And why learn about the marine life on land when we are only ten steps from the ocean? Our Kids Club afternoon also includes a complimentary snorkel and nothing is as rewarding to a WiseOceans Marine Educator as a gaggle of excitable kids with snorkels in the water. To enhance their experience we can play ‘Fish Bingo’, a game we developed on divers’ slates (special slates that divers use to write on underwater) with nine photos of common fish. As they spot them they tick them off. Writing underwater never seizes to amaze.
Our latest addition, and yet to be tried but much anticipated, is our plankton discovery activity – ‘Micro-world’ – using our new microscope and plankton net. After trawling the net through the water we will be able to view the plankton under the microscope and show the children just what plankton really is. Of course no science experiment is complete without a lab coat and safety goggles!
The fail safe game is Top Trumps. On our picnic table we have three different versions: sharks, creatures of the deep, and sealife in danger; although I think sharks is the favourite. This basic card game is officially supposed to be played using the numbers assigned to each category with the highest number winning, but since being here we’ve played a whole range of variations and sometimes it nice just to look at the photographs on each card.
Through our work with Kids Club we hope to instil a lasting impact on the way these young guests think about the ocean, increase the knowledge of the different species and…. Who knows in future years maybe some of these children will become members of Team WiseOceans!
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