It isn’t quite summer in Western New York until you’ve taken a trip to the Erie County Fair. While I can’t say with any certainty that I’ve attended the fair every year since my birth, it has definitely become a staple in my life. Aside from all the food and the rides, there are plenty of opportunities for education. Here are a few educational things that stood out to me on my trip today. Feel free to add more in the comments!
Where Does Food Come From?
A huge part of nutrition, I believe, is education on where food comes from. Whether it’s seeing the dairy cows in the animal barn or viewing prize-winning vegetables, the fair is a crash course in food education. 4-H does a great job putting up factual signs in their exhibits, so make sure to have your family stop and read them. A particular highlight is the full-sized cow replica in the Ag-sperience building, where you can learn how to “milk” a cow!
Seeing all the ribbons on everything from azaleas to quilts makes me want to become more skilled in certain fields, and it may have the same effect on your child. Whether its the 8-foot tall crocheted giraffe in the former casino building or the amazing carved fish in the woodworking building, your child might be inspired to try something new. Encourage your child to talk to the volunteers who are around the buildings. Many of them seem to have first-hand knowledge of the exhibits they work at and if not, are able to point you in the right direction.
The fair provides plenty of opportunities to exercise your creative side. This year, they even had a section of the fine arts exhibit dedicated to photos that were taken at last year’s fair! Whether it’s the inspiration to try a new craft (like crocheting) or to take a picture of a baby cow or to draw a Ferris wheel, the fair offers a unique opportunity to get the creative juices flowing.
Whether it’s figuring out prices at food stands or counting out how many tickets needed for a ride, there are lots of ways that math can be easily incorporated into a day at the fair. The rabbit barn provides a great opportunity for young learners to practice their counting in a fun way. Asking a child to count how many white rabbits or black rabbits they see is great, but why not take it a step further and have him or her create a graph when they return home?