GO – visit an airport

Visit an airport

There is something intriguing and fascinating about airports, isn’t there? I don’t mean in a geeky sort of way (noting plane numbers) but more in terms of being awestruck and amazed. Seeing something over 300 metric tonnes (the mass of a couple of over-weight Blue Whales) coming in to land seems to defy the laws of gravity. Watching the approach path of a busy airport, and seeing planes land and take off every 3 minutes or so, demonstrates human ingenuity at it’s best.

Airports and runaways are exciting places to visit; even if you aren’t going on a holiday. A visit will naturally stimulate some genuinely interesting questions from your youngsters, often questions that re hard for adults to answer. And what better way to learn together then to explore such questions as: is air flight dangerous? How does an aeroplane wing work? How much does a flight on a plane impact on my own personal carbon footprint?

A multi-sensory experience

Listen: The noise of an aeroplane is an exciting stimulus to explore. Depending on which way the planes are landing/taking off (this is dependent on the wind direction), one end of the runway will have the planes landing, the other taking off. The noise a plane produces varies significantly on what the engines are doing, and this is a great method of demonstrating this.

Look carefully at the colours and designs on the planes at the airport. Encourage children to try and decipher the tail designs and explain why certain objects or symbols are used.

Use Google Maps to get a sense of scale and place on an airport. Consider the pros and cons of living next to an airport.

Ideas for when you get home

  • MAKE an air-propelled toy by attaching a balloon onto it and then partly blowing up the balloon and releasing it.
  • DESIGN a logo for your own airline; what would be on it and why?
  • IMAGINE you were opening a new shop for the terminal building; what would you sell? Make a poster.

To help give other families ideas for places to go and learn about, we wrote a book called LEARNING OUTDOORS with the MEEK FAMILY.