Millions of families across the world are now spending a lot of time at home together, which means you have plenty of opportunities to travel the world—virtually—with your kids. If you’re looking for ideas to keep your kiddos occupied and educated while you work from home or do chores, here are some of our favourite travel-inspired activities for kids at home. Facilitate active and engaged learning through kid-friendly virtual tours, hands-on activities, and crafty projects while exploring the world from your living room. Let’s get the educational adventure started.
Send Your Kids on Virtual Field Trips
With their doors closed for public safety, many museums around the world are offering virtual tours of their collections. Your kids can dive into world-class educational resources about science, art, and history right from your living room.
Wander the vast collection of artwork and antiquities at the Louvre in Paris or explore costumes and sets online with the The National Ballet of Canada. Tune in to guided hall tours of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and take a close look at dinosaur fossils, animal dioramas, and glittering meteorites. Also, be sure to check out their collection of online educational resources for children.
You can even take a virtual field trip to the International Space Station! Have your kids’ questions about what life is like in space answered by streaming educational videos from the Kennedy Space Centre on social media. For even more virtual field trip ideas, check out our Things to Do From Home page.
Dance to Music from Other Countries
Have your kids dance away their cabin-fever wiggles by playing music from around the world. Toddlers are sure to love making up dance moves, and older kids can look up YouTube videos on how to salsa, line dance, or hula.
Build an international playlist on Spotify and see if your kids can guess which country the music is from. Or have them build the playlist and see if they can stump you. Now is a great time to expand your children’s musical horizons by watching free streamed performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera.
Read About Other Cultures and Places
If you want your kids to take a break from screen time, have them explore different parts of the world or different worlds entirely through books. Reading is a great way to learn about other cultures, improve literacy, and develop empathy for others. Listening to audio books is also an engaging activity for kids, especially if you’re working from home. Some public libraries are even streaming story time for little ones.
For young explorers ages 5‒12, the City Trails series by Lonely Planet Kids focuses on major cities like Singapore, New York, and Paris. The illustrated pages take readers to different sites in the city—both famous and obscure—and include interesting facts and tidbits to whet your child’s appetite for travel. The Adventurous Mailbox series engages kids with humour and mystery while exploring different cultures, history, and mythology from around the world.
Challenge your kids to recreate famous buildings or monuments out of materials you have at home, such as clay, building blocks, cardboard, or paper mâché. If you need some inspiration, take a virtual tour of architectural wonders like Stonehenge, Petra, or the Vatican. Your kids can also browse Trover’s vast collection of travel photos to see places like the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Colosseum, and the Great Wall of China.
Learn a New Language
Even if you can’t travel anywhere right now, you can get your family prepped for your next big vacation. Learning a foreign language can inspire all sorts of fun activities for kids at home. Challenge your kids to learn how to count to 10 in as many different languages as possible. Look up useful phrases, such as “hello,” “thank you,” and “where is the bathroom” and sprinkle them into everyday conversations. Download a free language-learning app like Duolingo or watch one of your kid’s favourite movies in a different language.
Travel through Food
One of the best parts of traveling is trying the food from other countries and cultures. But even if you can’t leave home right now, your family still needs to eat. So, why not bring your kids into the kitchen for some hands-on learning while trying recipes from around the world?
Send your taste buds on a world tour with German soft pretzels, beef empanadas from Spain, and easy Japanese sushi. Letting picky eaters choose the recipe can be a great way to motivate them to try new foods.
Nature Activities for Kids at Home
Even though you’re stuck inside, there are plenty of nature activities for kids at home. Set up a bird feeder in your front yard or get a window feeder if you live in an apartment. With a field guide or app, see if your kids can identify all the different types of birds that come to the feeder. You can also challenge your children to identify the flowers, trees, and plants around your house. For a hands-on biology lesson, order a little potting soil and grow some seeds indoors.
Some national parks are closing to visitors or limiting facilities to encourage social distancing, but you can still take virtual tours to the great outdoors thanks to gorgeous videos of Banff National Park, Yellowstone, and Patagonia. If you decide to go for a walk around your neighbourhood or visit your local park, make sure to take precautions and practice social distancing.
For more free online resources, virtual tours, and activities for kids at home, check out Expedia’s Things to Do From Home page. What are your kids’ favourite indoor educational activities?