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We just found out we’re going to Worlds of Fun on Saturday for opening weekend!
Last summer was our first visit as a family thanks to a sponsored opportunity for my other blog. I’d gone once before as a child, so I didn’t remember much. It was so much fun we knew we’d be going again. This week I was contacted again, for the other blog, to visit again.
In preparation for this visit I decided to put together a collection of educational resources about amusement parks to go over with the kids. No reason we can’t make fun summer activities a bit educational.
Amusement Park Books
Books are a great way to get your feet wet when learning about amusement parks and the science behind them. Kids can learn about the history of the parks and rides, as well as the science behind the rides, and even some of the popular food items there.
We like to get a little bit of background on some different science concepts before heading out to the amusement park to experience these concepts in action. This is a fantastic way to show kids how science can be fun!
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General Amusement Park Information
*Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks by Jordan D. Brown: Last year my girls completed the summer reading program hosted by Barnes & Noble and earned a free book. My youngest daughter selected Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks as her prize. It’s still a bit advanced for her, but she loves this book and does her best to read it over and over again on her own. This book offers a fantastic overview of different scientific concepts related to different rides, as well as the science and history of some amusement park food.
*Amusement Park Physics: A Teacher’s Guide by Nathan A. Unterman: Give your kids a fantastic overview of the science behind amusement park rides with this guide made especially for the teacher.
*The Incredible Scream Machine: A History of the Roller Coaster by Robert Cartmell: Roller coasters are one of the most iconic rides of any amusement park. Learning the history of this ride will be a fantastic opportunity for any budding engineer.
*Sky High: George Ferris’s Big Wheel by Monica Kulling: George Ferris was born on February 14th. As the inventor of the ferris wheel, our family finds it fitting to take a ride on the ferris wheel on Valentine’s Day whenever possible. Learn more about the inventor of the ferris wheel, and give your young reader some reading practice with this book.
Online Educational Resources about Amusement Parks
- Interactives: Amusement Park Physics: This interactive guide to amusement park rides contains fun and interesting content, a glossary of science terms, and interactive activities. Building your own roller coaster and finding out why it passes or fails both a safety inspection and a fun rating is a fantastic activity.
- Amusement Park Physics with a NASA Twist: A Middle School Guide for Amusement Park Physics Day: 152 page pdf put out by NASA. Fun and comprehensive information including a variety of activities to support the text content.
Why is Being Scared So Fun?
Amusement Park Themed Science Kits
*Scientific Explorer Amusement Park Science Kit: Everything you need for hands on science experiments to help demonstrate the scientific concepts at play in an amusement park. Recommended for kids 8+, they’ll find seven different science related activities showing how amusement park rides work.
*Scientriffic: Roller Coaster Science by Chris Oxlade: This kit comes with a 32 page book, model pieces, and over 20 science experiments to help get kids excited about roller coasters. More importantly, get excited about science!
STEM Building Sets
Building sets will give kids hands on STEM education. There are a wide variety of building sets available in amusement park themes. Some of these sets include additional educational material to enhance learning even more.
*Kids First Amusement Park Engineer Kit: Preschoolers will love building their own amusement park and getting some hands on experience with engineering. This kit even includes a storybook for added fun and education.
*Roominate Amusement Park Building Kit with Circuits Accessory Pack: While this set states it’s designed for girls, I think it’s perfect for any child ages 6+. This bundle includes both building materials for STEM education, plus a circuit accessory pack for more circuitry and STEM education.
*3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set: This K’Nex set has 744 pieces and instructions to build a ferris wheel, boom ride, and a swing ride. It’s perfect for experience in engineering and physics, as well as many developmental benefits such as hand eye coordination. The merchant suggests this is for kids age 7+.
*Double Doom Roller Coaster Building Set: Included in this K’Nex set is 891 pieces to build a fantastic roller coaster, again giving kids some amazing experience with STEM concepts related to amusement parks. This set is advertised as ideal for kids age 9+.
*Amusement Park Experience Set: If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, this set includes 2264 pieces, which is enough to build 13 amusement park rides. This set comes with a teacher’s manual for added educational benefits. Recommended age is 10+.
*Son of Serpent Coaster: For kids looking for an even bigger educational challenge this set includes 5500 pieces for kids to build the ultimate roller coaster. Kids 16+ will enjoy this set.
Teacher Resource PDFs by K’Nex
Don’t forget to download the Teacher Resource pdfs provided by K’Nex. There are a wide variety of teacher resources for different STEM concepts.
Here are the documents specific to amusement parks:
- Amusement Park Experience
- Roller Coaster Physics
- STEM Exploration Roller Coaster Experiment 1 Coaster
- STEM Exploration Roller Coaster Experiment 2 Ramp
- STEM Exploration Roller Coaster Experiment 3 Half Pipe
- STEM Exploration Swing Ride Experiment 1 Swing Ride
- STEM Exploration Swing Ride Experiment 2 Ferris Wheel
- STEM Exploration Swing Ride Experiment 3 Boom Ride
What are your favorite amusement park rides? Do you have any other resources for amusement park education? I’d love to hear your responses in the comments below.