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You've probably thought of buying books for the kids, and all manner of educational games, to help them to learn. One thing that might not have occurred to you is how educational a holiday is. Holidays to the Caribbean are particularly incredible and a fun-filled learning experience! Geography, geology, ecology and biology are everywhere for your children to see, hear and sometimes even touch. Here are some ideas:
Caribbean Geology and Geography (Fascinating!)
There are countless islands with many different shapes, sizes and characteristics. There are the relatively flat islands like Barbados, Anguilla and Anegada (a British Virgin Island) which were gradually formed over many generations mainly from coral reefs. These islands have amazing white sand beaches and light blue water. In contrast, other islands like Dominica and St. Vincent were formed primarily from volcanic activity. These island gems are mountainous, with lush forests and gushing rivers.
Ecology and Biology in Action
The Caribbean has beautiful, colorful plants and animals. Some live only in a particular island, like the St. Lucian parrot. You might be fortunate enough to get a chance to swim with the sea turtles. These graceful and gentle creatures are indeed a joy. Seeing baby turtles actually hatching and bravely marching down to the ocean is a real thrill. Sadly, because of the threats facing young turtles from predators, pollution, and difficulties finding food, only a few actually survive to adulthood.
A walk in a tropical forest can have many valuable lessons. Tropical forests ecosystems are home to an incredible range of flora and fauna, making them an irreplaceable source of food, medicines and materials used in housing and jeweler making. Snorkeling over a healthy coral reef is a special treat. Healthy coral reef ecosystems are teeming with many different kinds of soft and hard corals, fish, shellfish, and much more. Each living creature has its own special role to play in the ecosystem. Coral reefs support fishing industries, generate revenue through tourism and protect fragile coastlines.
Both tropical forest and coral reef ecosystems are extremely valuable to society. They’re rich and vibrant when they’re healthy. However, they’re extremely fragile, so threats such as over-harvesting and pollution can quickly destroy them. Once degraded, it’s very difficult for them to recover and become established again. It’s vital that conservation activities are maintained to protect and manage them.
Clearly, there’s more to the Caribbean than just pirates. Taking your kids to the Caribbean can definitely give your children the chance of a lifetime to learn lessons that they’ll never forget. No doubt, they’d rather learn under the sun than in a classroom!
Special thanks to Charlotte Evans for writing this fabulous guest post.