Adventures From Home:
Free Virtual Field Trips For Kids
With the Delta variant on the rise and more students staying home, the 2021 school year is set to be another unusual one. One fortunate thing that has come out of the last year, however, is an increase in virtual experiences.
Museums, art galleries, aquariums and zoos around the world have been adding online experiences perfect for kids. This article will outline some of the best virtual field trips for kids, and give you some tips on how to make the at-home field trip experience a blast.
1. Get Creative at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Looking to give your child a taste of art and culture from home? Try the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “MetKids” online feature.
The best virtual field trips are interactive and stimulate your child’s imagination. With MetKids, your child can scroll through over 5,000 years of art exhibits through a kid-friendly online portal. Each exhibit your child stops at has “discover”, “imagine” and “create” tabs that prompt your child to interact with the piece. The “create” section gives your child ideas on making their own art inspired by the piece.
2. Interact with Animals at Bronx Zoo
Get up close and personal with dozens of animal species virtually at Bronx Zoo. The zoo offers live streams of animals in the encounters. This activity will give you a chance to teach your child about different animal behaviors.
You can also turn the activity into an art project or writing prompt. Ask your child to draw or paint the animal they’re seeing on screen. You can also ask them to write a short poem or story inspired by one of the animals they saw. These activities will stimulate your child’s brain and get them thinking about animals they never would have seen otherwise.
3. Go To The White House
While a trip to Washington, D.C. might be off the table right now, your child can still take a tour of The White House.
Use this 360 virtual tour to let your child explore the home of the president. There is also a free question guide for kids to fill out as they take the tour that gets them thinking more about the role of government
How to Make the Most Of Your Virtual Field Trip:
Virtual field trips are very important for at-home learners, as they expand the worldview of your child. Here are some tips for making the experience fun, educational and memorable.
1. Eliminate Distractions
When planning a virtual field trip, you want your child to be able to focus solely on the activity. This means eliminating distractions in the room like televisions, tablets or toys. Set your child up in front of the computer with only the material they need to focus on the field trip.
2. Capitalize on the Theme
Whether you go to an art museum, a zoo or a government building, you should always try to maximize the theme by bringing it into other parts of your child’s day. For instance, if you go to the zoo, try continuing the fun by making cookies or snacks in the shape of an animal your child saw. Spend the day practicing animal sounds, and put on a movie later that will feature the animals from the zoo. Immersing them in the theme of the field trip for the day will maximize the fun and educational experience.
3. Provide the Right Supplies
Be sure your child has what they need to fully enjoy the field trip. It’s a good idea to provide a notebook and pencil so your child can write down their thoughts. To further promote creativity, give them colored paper, crayons or paint so they can express themselves artistically.
Make Learning From Home Fun
We know it can be stressful trying to give your child a well-rounded learning experience from home. The virtual field trips on this list should help add some variety and excitement to your child’s day.
Looking for more ideas on art and STEM activities for your child? Check out our list of resources here.
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