The intellectual development of children should be nourished. Children learn mainly from four methods: auditory, kinesthetic, tactile and visual. In other words, learning comes from hearing, activity, touching and seeing. Field trips are an excellent method for nourishing a child’s intellectual development. The Hawkeye State is rich in cultural, educational, historical and natural attractions to broaden a child’s educational experience. These five attractions should cultivate a love for learning in a child.
- Fish Hatcheries: There are eight fish hatcheries supported by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The fish hatcheries are dedicated to the conservation and development of Iowa’s fish for future generations. Currently, Iowa waters are the habitat for 148 species of fish. Educational guided tours are available at all eight fish hatcheries. Further information is available on the website.
- Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden: Children learn about plants, develop gardening skills, observe the effect of humidity in tropical climates on plants and more at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. In addition to the outdoor beds, a conservatory, and indoor gardens are waiting for visitors to explore. Admission prices, directions and operational hours are available online.
- Iowa Children's Museum: Coralville, Iowa is home to the Iowa Children’s Museum. The museum inspires children through the power of creative play and is a 28,000 square foot active learning environment. Education components include an airport, art studio, bank, grocery store, mock hospital, model trains, music room, pizza restaurant, wind tunnel and more. Ticket information and operational hours are listed online.
- National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium: The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, located in Dubuque, Iowa, offers group tours. An aquarium, boatyard, historical exhibits and wetlands combine for an educational experience bonanza. Children view historical collections while learning about preservation. Artifacts from the original Titanic are on display. Children enjoy the 3-D theater with 4-D special effects including dynamic seat movement and mist. Admission rates, hours, and directions are available on the website.
- The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History: Discover the natural and cultural world through exhibits and collections at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. The museum, founded in 1858, is located on the beautiful campus of the University of Iowa in Macbride Hall. Over 1,000 birds are on display in the William and Eleanor Hageboeck Hall of Birds. Children address global environmental issues in the Biosphere Discovery Hub. Visitors may view the skeleton of a 47-foot whale in Mammal Hall. Archives, photographs, collections and more are displayed at the oldest museum west of the Mississippi River. For directions and schedule visit the online site.
*Photo courtesy of 08 17 14 8352 by Earl R Shumaker at Flickr’s Creative Commons.