Introduce Your Child To the World With These Home School "Field Trips"

Staycation

Staycation Education

If you're a parent like me, then you’ve probably been thrown unexpectedly into the deep end of home schooling. If you don’t want to reluctantly hand over a smartphone or tablet to your child after they finish all of their required assignments, these virtual art classes, chats, and tours can help transport your child to another part of the world, even if they can’t leave the house.

Take a 360 Degree Journey Around the Globe

Photo by Tom Wang
Photo by Tom Wang

Thanks to the team of talented Russians at Airpano, it’s possible to admire magnificent 360-degree bird’s-eye panoramas of world-famous and lesser-traveled destinations and landmarks. Through both 360 photography and videos, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported from your living room to the destination itself. Choose from the skylines of Buenos Aires, Manhattan and St. Petersburg. Or travel to natural wonders such as China’s Guilin Mountains, Russia’s Mount Elbrus and Venezuela’s Angel Falls. There’s a short text attached to each photo and video that details architectural, cultural and historical information.

If you visit any of the 360 panos from your phone, you can even pop your device into an affordable VR headset like this one for a more immersive experience.

Watch Wildlife and Nature Live Cams

Photo by John Fader

If you and your kids want to observe real-time footage of wildlife and nature then Explore.org is the place to go. This philanthropic nature resource claims the largest number of nature cameras around the globe. They are set up everywhere from beaches, rivers and seas to national parks, marine and wildlife reserves. See brown bears catching fish in Alaska, gorillas lazing in the jungle of Rwanda and elephants drinking at waterholes. Catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights and watch the pounding surf of Hawaii’s Pipeline. There’s dozens of prerecorded clips to browse through, too, in addition to the live cams.

Trek Around World Wonders

Stonehenge
Photo by Justin Black

Fancy heading out on a trekking adventure without the need to strap on a pair of boots and lug a backpack around? Google Maps Treks presents insights into fascinating world wonders that you might otherwise never visit. Look down into the crater of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, walk in the footsteps of Sherpas in Nepal’s Khumbu Valley and dive deep into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. If Peru is on your bucket list, then You Visit has an educational tour of Machu Picchu. You can also uncover the myths and legends of Stonehenge with English Heritage.

Chat With Real-Life Explorers

Photo by Sergey Maksienko

With interest in travel and adventure piqued, curious minds might want to learn more about the places and people that travel to them. They can do exactly that via the National Geographic Explorer Classroom. On weekdays at 2 pm EDT (until further notice), National Geographic adventurists, photographers, researchers and scientists are taking on the role of educators. You can register to be one of six lucky students to have webcam interaction with the explorers, or follow a link to watch the event live. Hosts range from Arctic explorer Jennifer Kingsley to freshwater ecologist Dalal Hanna and Australian biologist Jodi Rowley.

Experience Space Travel and Life on Mars

Curiosity Rover
Photo by Triff

Broaden your childrens’ horizons by sending them on a virtual trip to Mars via the Google-powered Access Mars. In late 2011, NASA launched the Curiosity Rover, and for the past eight years it has been sending back stunning images of the planet’s red-hued rocky landscape. The website lets you learn about the technical features of the rover, and browse satellite images of the desolate terrain. Budding astronauts and astronomers can access space-themed activities, games and workshops at the NASA Kids’ Club. The club includes things to do on-screen and at home, so they won’t always be confined to the computer.

Study Marine Biology

Fish under the sea
Photo by zaferkizilkaya

As an ocean-locked nation, the Maldives boasts a mesmerizing wealth of exotic sea life and pristine coral within its waters. The luxury Six Senses resort on the Laamu Atoll is the headquarters of a wildlife and conservation team called the Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI). The team is currently running a 10-week Junior Marine Biology program, which can be joined at any time. Through videos, kids can discover the islands and ecosystems of the Maldives and join virtual dives to spot aquatic creatures. Activities, logbooks and worksheets can then be completed at home and sent in to be marked.

Stimulate Artistic Flair

Photo by Friends Stock
Photo by Friends Stock

Get the creative juices flowing with interactive activities offered by two of the world’s finest art museums. Tate Kids is the child-friendly platform of England’s Tate galleries. Users can follow step-by-step handicraft guides, create their own street art masterpiece, play games and take quizzes. There’s also a section with brief instructions to Impressionism, Pop Art, Surrealism and other artistic movements. Across the Atlantic, Met Kids has an easy-to-use interactive tour of the galleries and major artifacts on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Get Active and Stay Fit

Yoga
Photo by PH888

If isolation is generating frustration and building up reserves of unspent energy, then get the gym kit out and start exercising. When lockdown was announced in the UK, fitness coach Joe Wicks, aka the Body Coach, committed to providing a daily workout aimed at kids. Broadcast live on weekdays at 9 am GMT, P.E. With Joe is a 30-minute fun fitness session designed to maintain the activity levels of kids while at home. If the time difference isn’t favorable to participate live then you can rewatch the sessions on his YouTube channel. It’s into the sixth week now and you’ll likely be tempted to join in yourself.

Photo by bbernard

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