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10 Amazing and Educational Virtual Excursions for Kids

Learning

| May 19, 2020

Keep kids engaged while home-schooling with the world’s best virtual excursions, whether it's a Machu Picchu online tour or a field trip to the British Museum.

Take kids on a virtual excursion from home with online tours from around the world.

Virtual excursions are an immersive experience that can transport your child to the most talked-about history museums, art galleries, zoos – and even space stations – in the universe. The best online tours for kids offer more than simply a live feed of video streaming, they make the experience engaging and mentally nourishing by complementing the virtual tour with compelling information, exciting interfaces and activities for kids to learn from.

While the ‘new normal’ may mean a whole new world of living, working and schooling inside the home (supervising English lessons in the morning, geography lessons in the afternoon and trying to take zoom meetings with colleagues in between), there is also an entire amazing and inspiring world that can come to you in your home – if you know where to look. Get the kids out of the house while they’re sitting on the couch with these incredible virtual field trips for kids.

Google Arts & Culture

This is a one-stop digital excursion shop. Google has partnered with over 2000 of the world’s museums and galleries to bring to dining tables everywhere the most incredible artworks, artefacts and virtual tours. While Google Arts & Culture does have a family section with educational learning opportunities and kid-friendly activities, there’s some out-and-out fun too, like the Art Selfie. Just snap a pic of yourself and discover your art-work doppelganger.

Best for: all kids

The British Museum

An innovative and exciting interface lets kids explore this iconic museum that chronicles two million years of history and culture. Choose an historical time, a continent and cultural theme and dive into the past through artefacts from that period. Kids can add to their experience by listening to British Museum curators share their deep knowledge.

Best for: older and middle primary

The Louvre, Google Arts & Culture, The Met and San Diego Zoo all have virtual tours online.

San Diego Zoo

There are live feeds of animals going about their day (but not all animals want to be big-screen stars and may be asleep or hiding), fact sheets, activities and videos of animals narrated by zookeepers in this entertaining zoo site. There is also a special, and extremely thorough, teacher resource and activity guide for years K-5 for the rhinoceros.

Best for: all kids

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Great Barrier Reef

It’s hard to resist iconic broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough – he loves his work and it’s infectious. Attenborough will grab anyone, big kids and small, with an immersive interactive journey that allows you to virtually explore the reef on an expedition vessel, The Alucia. Kilometres of exploration are measured, videos are watched as though the action is out your vessel window and Attenborough deftly explains the wonder of it all.

Best for: all primary

NASA Kids’ Club

This is not so much a virtual field trip as a virtual smorgasbord of all things amazingly outer space. NASA Kids’ Club features STEM activities for school kids, a picture of the day from outer space, guided tour videos from the space station and NASA astronauts chatting about the big universe questions, like what earth really looks like from a spaceship.

Best for: all kids

Take a virtual online tour of the Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu and Alaska.

The Deep Sea

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This site lets kids dive deep into the ocean and, as they descend, shows them what sea creatures live at different depths. At 150 metres below the surface there’s the bull shark, at 1475 metres, big red jellyfish, and cusk eels are doing their thing at 8365 metres. It’s also peppered with interesting facts about sea creatures and basic information about human deep-sea adventures.

Best for: young and middle primary

Boeing’s Virtual Field Trips

Choose between digital excursions to Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas – where kids can discover the latest in aerospace innovation by going behind the scenes of the mission to launch the Starliner/CST-100 spacecraft – and an ecoAction Virtual Field Trip to meet STEM experts working on sustainability projects across Washington State in the US.

Best for: older primary

Machu Picchu

With expert narration and 360 degree images of this ancient site, around 2400-metres high in the Andes mountains in Peru, kids will be captivated by the experiential website and its stories of the construction, engineering and culture of this man made wonder.

Best for: middle and upper primary

SEE ALSO: Let the Geek Guide You: How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Storyline Online

This is the ultimate field trip to the library. Where else can you sit down in your own home and have famous actors such as Rose Byrne read The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Chris O’Dowd tell the story of Arnie the Doughnut and Chris Pine flip the pages of Clark the Shark? The star power is endless, there’s Betty White, Viola Davis, Kristen Bell, Oprah Winfrey and many more famous faces reading fabulous kids’ books that are interspersed with cartoon animations during the storytelling.

Best for: young primary and pre-schoolers

Alaska

Take the kids somewhere completely different with this virtual tour of Alaska, located on the extreme north-west of the North American continent. Purely visual and focusing on the majesty of Alaska’s natural habitat, it’s also meditative and relaxing – a calm end to a day being home-schooled.

Best for: all primary

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