If you're scrambling to create a homeschool agenda for your kids during this unprecedented time, be sure to carve out some time for travel. No, taking them on an actual trip right now isn’t possible, but between science lessons and algebra equations you can add in some activities that’ll get their curious brains thinking about people and places around the world.
Go on a virtual field trip
Stand atop the Great Wall of China, stroll through the vast galleries inside The Louvre or discover the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest. Sites like Discovery Education, Kids Activities and We Are Teachers have rounded up lists of online tours of global museums, national parks and other noteworthy sites. Ask each family member to select a field trip, watch it together and then share something new you learned.
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Sign up for a pen pal from another country
Gone are the days of mailing a letter to a pen pal and having to wait weeks for a response, but in its place is a website that lets you search for and connect with people all over the world. Pen Pal World offers a free daily membership in which you can connect with up to three of its more than 2,300,000 members; VIP membership starts at $.10 per day and allows you to reach out to up to 50 members daily.
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Explore the world beyond our solar system
NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration site lets you visit planets beyond our solar system and imagine what their surface might look like thanks to a 360-degree interactive visualization. SLOOH has live streams of the views of ten telescopes around the world in dark sky places like the Canary Islands and Chile as well as streaming and recorded astronomy lessons on YouTube.
Engage in immersive activities indicative of a specific place
The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana is posting instructional videos on Instagram about archery, campfire cooking, fly casting and more. Velas Resorts launched family-friendly online programming that brings a taste of the Mexican properties’ vibe to you; kids can complete an activity book, make a dreamcatcher or take a class in cooking or making Mexican toys. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is sharing culture from the Land of Smiles like Thai-inspired cooking and fitness tips.
Give kids a lesson in personal finance and trip planning by letting them “book” a vacation
Provide them with a budget and some helpful online tools to book a trip like Google Flights, Hotels.com, Airbnb and Kayak. Remember to consider logistics like ground transportation, visa fees and daily food budget. Who knows: your family might be able to use the legwork for a real vacation in the future.
Cook a global dish or meal together then learn about its significance
Cooking Class Global Feast! is a cookbook with forty-four recipes from around the world that celebrate different cultures while Global Table Adventure is a popular food blog with more than 650 recipes from 195 countries. Eat 2 Explore is a subscription service that teaches families culture through food, with Explorer Boxes containing recipe cards, a shopping list, educational sheets, spice or sauce mixes and tools.
Experience music or art from a certain place and then create your own
Download playlists from around the world or take a virtual museum tour; afterwards, paint, draw or sculpt a piece inspired by the artistic movement or use instruments or apps to write a song inspired by the musician’s style.
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