Disney•education February 14, 2018
Talking to your kids about conservation while on vacation at Pandora- World of Avatar
Disclosure: Thank you to Walt Disney World for #hosting my family by providing tickets to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. All opinions in this post are original and my own.
Visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park with my children provides a very important open window to discussing the importance of conservation while on vacation. Teaching kids about how we as humans are connected to everything at all times is more important now than ever. Being young kids it is hard for them to understand the bigger picture on almost any subject. When it comes to not only the physically larger picture but the idea of the universe as a whole in time is infinite it is far too much for most adults to begin to mentally tackle, much less small children. But just like any other subject earlier it is discussed the easier it is to navigate. With the doors to conversation wide open here are some of the easy conversation starters that we found while at Pandora…
The ecosystem of Pandora is in perfect equilibrium
From the moment you cross over the bridge into the Valley of Mo’Ara you are transported to Pandora. You are surrounded by the flora and it will be a natural crossover from “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” discussing the details of the plant life to pointing out the delicate balance between the Panordan flora and the Na’vi. A lot of the same elements exist on Pandora and Earth that influence the growth and survival of nature, but the connection the Na’vi bring to their world clearly has an influence in it’s thriving and vibrant nature.
The connection between the humans and the Na’vi
The Na’vi are humanlike in consciousness and intelligence. They are loyal and fierce with each other and welcoming of those who show them respect and honor their sophisticated and spiritual connection to all creatures. Becoming fluent in the Na’vi language is (or any attempt to embrace their fascinating language) is the highest complement to a Na’vi from an outsider. There is an obvious lesson to be learned from all this way of life for all of us, young and old. Though having an opportunity to point out how important accepting others way of life and trying to understand what means something to them may seem pretty straight forward, the opportunity is not always there often, if at all to explain this major life lesson to your children.
The mutual respect between the creatures in Pandora and the Na’vi
The Na’vi connection to the deity they call Eywa is complicated, personal, universal amongst them, and yet simple enough to understand. There is a deep thread that runs through every element of life here. From the plants, to the creatures like the banshees they ride, and of course the Na’vi themselves. All are connected to each other through Eywa. The belief that all of their life energy is borrowed and must be returned someday is not common amongst us humans to believe, but the Na’vi have quite a bit “figured out” already so this window could lead to a wonderful conversation about exploring your own set of beliefs one way or the other. That is never an easy talk to get going, but one that you won’t regret.