Kid's Vacation Education – 5 Fun Learning Activities For Children on Jekyll Island, GeorgiaNovember 10, 2017 / byPuget Sound Life / Categories : Puget Sound General
Jekyll Island, Georgia is a prime example of an outdoor learning laboratory, one geared towards the maritime environment.
The following Jekyll Island educational opportunities not only present prime opportunities for learning, but they're fun!
Tidelands Nature Center –
Drop in at Tidelands and experience a wide variety of nature activities revolving around marine ecology. It's kids and nature, one on one!
- Kids can touch and handle fauna, flora and just plain icky stuff at several hands-on study stations.
- Or learn about the lives of sharks swimming off the Jekyll Island coast.
- They can study maritime forests from close up, hiking through natural woodlands.
- And learn about salt marsh, and how living things (including humans) benefit from it's protection.
- Kids can even learn to kayak, and take a guided kayak trip through Jekyll Island's salt marsh ecosystem.
The Georgia Sea Turtle Center –
This unique center located, in Jekyll Island's Historic District, is dedicated to the study, protection and preservation of both sea and land based turtles. Kids can
- Learn everything there is to know about sea turtles, from loggerheads to greens to leatherbacks and more, and about land-based turtles, too.
- take a walk on the wild side – a turtle walk, that is, along Jekyll Island's 10 miles of beach, looking for sea turtles and their nests.
- attend a sea turtle camp and become a junior conservationist.
- visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center's hospital, and see how the staff rehabilitates sick or injured turtles.
- become a virtual sea turtle, and experience the life journey of a turtle, from hatchling to (hopefully) old-timer.
- adopt a sea turtle you can call your own.
- attend a turtle release, where the Center's staff releases rehabilitated turtles back to the sea.
Maritime Forests –
Kids can learn about the importance of a maritime forest, and it's relationship with other Jekyll Island ecologys.
- Take guided walks through the maritime forest environment, and learn how it relates with the ocean, beach, dune, and marshland ecosystems.
- Do not want to walk? Take a Segway tour, riding a gyroscopic Segway, and learn about the forest in style!
Salt Water Marsh Experience –
Kids get wet and wild with a kayak adventure into Jekyll Island's river and salt water marsh environment.
- Rent a kayak at Tidelands Nature Center. Their guides will teach you everything you need to know for safe kayak operation.
- First leg – paddle across Rixen Pond. Watch out for leaking Mullet – they've been known to jump into boats!
- Second leg – portage from Rixen Pond to the boat ramp and put into Jekyll River, and gain first-hand experience with wind and tide. Paddling with a rising tide, with the wind at your back – that's a breeze. But paddling into an ebbing tide, with the wind in your face – you'll work like a dog!
- Third leg – into the salt marsh, via several creeks that constantly narrow as you ply up-stream. Learn about several types of marsh grass. The barrier islands off the Georgia coast are known as the Golden Isles because the marsh grasses turn burned gold in winter. Look for crabs, redfish, herons, and other marsh wildlife. And find out how the salt marsh environment not only feeds the fish that feed us, but filters pollutants from the uplands.
Jekyll Island is rich in history, and inquisitive kids can soak in a rich brew of historic fact – along with a bit of speculation.
- Check out the Millionaire's Village. From the late 1800's to the early 1900's, Jekyll Island was a playground for millionaires like JP Morgan, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller. The Jekyll Island Club was their play house, and the renovated mansions you can visit within the Historic District were their "cottages".
- Visit the Jekyll Island museum for further history lessons, including Jekyll's role in creating the Federal Reserve.
- Learn about the Wanderer , one of the last slave ships to bring slaves to America. It landed on Jekyll in 1858.
- And, get this – even Bigfoot likes a beach vacation. A Sasquatch was reportedly spotted on Jekyll Island in 1963
No matter how they're taught, kids can benefit from fun-filled educational activities, even on vacation. Whatever the classroom is a barrier island like Jekyll, a mountain cove like Cade's Cove in the Smokey Mountains, a National Park such as Yellowstone, or even an urban environment like Washington, DC, there are plenty of educational opportunities for your kids to get a one-up on learning.
(c) 2010, Rick Freeland
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