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Making learning enjoyable is the #1 way to raise curious, successful children. That's why curating an engaging and interactive environment for your child is such an important thing.
Can learning be fun? Absolutely! Children are naturally curious, eager to explore, and almost always willing to try new things - as a parent, you just have to know how to tap into all that limitless potential.
One of the best ways to do this is to introduce your children to experiences that are engaging, interactive, and offer them the chance to partake in a style of proactive, hands-on learning. If you can get your child to think of mastering skills and abilities as a game, then chances are that you'll have no trouble at all in terms of their education.
The biggest incentive for parents to make learning fun is the benefits that it'll provide for their children. Kids who are excited about learning are more likely to voluntarily seek out new opportunities. They look for solutions to problems by themselves. They show motivation to grow. They're more inspired, more dedicated, and more responsible, and their natural love for learning drives them to take risks and build confidence.
By making education a lively, enjoyable experience, you can teach your child long-lasting qualities that will help them succeed far into the future. But how can you do that in a way that also allows them the room they need to discover things for themselves?
With all that being said, here are 10 excitement-packed ideas for unique educational experiences in Ontario that can help get your child truly excited about learning and guide them down that path towards success.
First up on the list is one of the most well-known hot spots for curious children. The Ontario Science Centre is famous for a reason - it not only offers unique, interactive exhibits like its space hall or its KidsSpace playground, but it also boasts an IMAX theatre and an endless variety of exciting live exhibitions that can pump up children of all ages.
Regardless of whether or not your child is scientifically inclined, this Toronto attraction is a haven for youth who are eager to get their hands on the chance to experiment and investigate on their very own. There's even a space dubbed the "HotZone" where audience members have the opportunity to watch live stage presentations and pose questions on any topic they're curious about.
Fascinate your child with the deep-sea experience of getting up close and personal with exotic fish and animals. At Ripley's Aquarium, guests are offered a range of captivating, educational exhibits that teach them about the extraordinary wildlife of the ocean, complete with interactive features like the chance to pet stingrays and explore pop-up submarines. The place is very kid-friendly, too - there's even a special aquatic playground with shark slides and a climbing wall.
If you and your family aren't feeling up to an in-person trip, the aquarium also offersa wide range of virtual tours and experiences so that your children can learn about the underwater world from the comfort of their own home.
Located in the city of Cambridge, Ontario, this one-of-a-kind attraction offers an experience like no other in the form of a 10,000 acre observatory filled with thousands of free-flying butterfly species.
Inside the tropical garden, which is decorated with lush greenery and manmade waterfalls, children can watch butterflies emerge from their cocoons, walk through galleries of live insects, and observe exotic plants, birds, and animals in their natural habitats.
As a hands-on exhibit, the conservatory is dedicated to an interactive style of learning that is sure to captivate your children with its vibrant displays and beautiful scenery. Don't miss the upcoming monarch tagging event in September, which allows visitors to observe and participate in the releases of migratory monarch butterflies!
The ROM is a classic destination for field trips and educational summer camps, and for good reason. Toronto's best-known museum hasrecently launched an initiative that invites its guests to explore the entire main floor for free during the summer, giving parents the perfect opportunity to indulge in a high-quality, educational experience for their children without having to worry about admission costs.
Check out the crowd-sourced #MyPandemicStory exhibit built up entirely with the creations of Ontarian youth, or sign your child up for the museum's Summer Club program packed full of awesome activities for kids - the possibilities are endless.
LEGO sets are a must for children who are hoping to pursue careers in engineering and technology in the future. At Toronto's Legoland Discovery Centre, which has the privilege of being the only place to offer the "ultimate LEGO experience" in Canada, your child will get the chance to build creations of their very own, including testing model cars on a racetrack and taking part in a special workshop with a certified LEGO master.
Besides a wealth of fun, hands-on learning experiences, there's also a 4D cinema, a LEGO factory where children can take tours, and Toronto Miniland, a complete model of the city built from over half a million LEGO bricks. With all these attractions under its belt, it's safe to say that Legoland is an environment filled with family-friendly creativity and innovation.
The second museum on this list, the London Children's Museum puts forward a uniquely designed educational experience targeted specifically towards stimulating kids' minds.
Unlike the ROM, which offers more general exhibits for audiences of all ages, the London Children's Museum - true to its name - is dedicated in its mission to ignite the curiosity of youth and present them with an immersive experience that values the importance of play in learning.
Exhibits include a dinosaur gallery where kids can dress up as paleontologists and dig up bones, a system of explorable caves modelled with rock and crystal, and a space station complete with a planetarium and a shuttle for lift-off.
Another very well-known Ontarian attraction, the Toronto Zoo is the perfect place for children and families who wish to learn more about all the intriguing and diverse animals that populate our Earth. With displays and exhibits of wildlife from all seven continents, the zoo is a wealth of information presented in a way that's interactive, safe, and - most of all - tons of fun for kids.
Ever-popular animals like the giant pandas and the African penguins make up the zoo's impressive collection of over 500 different species, and exciting additions like the 2-acre Splash Island and the Gorilla Climb ropes course ensure that your children will be thoroughly entertained.
While it may not seem like the most kid-friendly spot at first glance, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario - located in the capital city of Ottawa - actually offers a program called "Family Fun Fridays", where parents are invited to bring their children along and learn about the ins and outs of Provincial Parliament in an easy-to-understand and engaging package.
Available for kids age 6 - 12, the free two-hour program introduces your child to the Legislative Chamber through a variety of enjoyable, hands-on activities, like dress-up, arts and crafts, and a scavenger hunt that offers visitors the chance to explore the iconic building from top to bottom.
For a place to get your aspiring artist children excited about creating, look no further than the Art Gallery of Ontario. With new and beautiful exhibitions that update every few weeks, there'll consistently be something new to inspire your kids and stimulate their natural creativity and imagination.
Admission is always free for everyone under 25 years of age, and the AGO also offers a huge selection of child-friendly programs and workshops for them to get the chance to do things like learn the basics of comics, try out digital graphic design, and even create their own family album.
Learning is always important - but not always convenient. On days where you and your family just can't find the time to take your child for a trip outside, why not let them try out a completely virtual online event that offers the same immersive, interactive experience that in-person programs do while saving on your precious time and effort?
At Inspirely | STEAM Education, we offera variety of fun, engaging events and programs designed specially to help children ages 6 - 14 learn in the most inviting way they can. These programs span the five subjects involved in our core belief of STEAM education: science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
From virtual field trips to places like Australia and Switzerland to classes that ask questions like "what if there was no electricity?", Inspirely has something to cultivate every child's curiosity, helping them develop a natural love for learning that teaches them crucial skills and strengthens their character.