Just because you are at home does not mean you need to stop exploring! There are plenty of fun indoor activities that connect kids to the wider world. These activities can also inspire a love for learning and travel. Here are some ideas to get you rolling – and perhaps inspire a future family vacation, once we can all begin traveling again!
Explore The World
The beauty of our technologically connected world means that you can learn about, and even experience, wonders from around the globe without ever leaving your living room. Use Google Earth to meander the streets of Barcelona or marvel at the heights of Machu Picchu. Check out the Great Pyramid of Giza or the Taj Mahal – your imagination (and perhaps your internet connection!) is the limit. Take a virtual tour of any number of incredible museums using the Google Arts & Culture platform, and explore the works of renowned artists of different styles, countries, and eras. Want to use your on-screen exploration to help the world? Support San Diego Zoo global scientists in their conservation efforts using Wildwatch Kenya, a virtual platform that allows volunteers to count, identify and track giraffes and other animals in field conservation sites in northern Kenya. There are many ways to engage with the world from the comfort of your own home!
Have A Dance Party
Looking to get away from screens for a bit? Get moving with an epic family dance party! Boogie down to your favorite album of adult music that is also appropriate for kids, or better yet, work together to create your own family playlist. Adding tunes from around the world will introduce your kids to varied musical traditions and expose them to different sounds and rhythms. Some salsa, bhangra, or Afrobeat will liven up any playlist!
One of the most surefire ways to spark a love for travel is to make connections with people who live elsewhere. Open your children’s eyes to our greater global community by connecting them with other children whose daily lives will share so much in common with theirs. They may also discover some fun differences! If you have family or friends with children who live in another country, see if they would be interested in writing back and forth with your child. Or, find a pen pal program that will help make the connections for you. Depending on your child’s age and writing skills, you can be more or less involved in the actual writing process. You can also decide whether to exchange handwritten messages or facilitate electronic communications. Such a fun indoor activity that with luck, could be the beginning of some rich and long-lasting friendships!
Learn A New Language
Wouldn’t it be fun to learn a few key phrases in a new language along with your child? Or perhaps learn how to spell each of your names in American Sign Language? Use a free language-learning platform like Duolingo or a service geared specifically for families like TalkBox Mom. Then, dream about the time you’ll be able to chat with the locals on your next family vacation.
Cooking can be a wonderful family activity. Little hands love to help measure, scoop, and stir, and the growing popularity of cooking shows means that even big kids are being drawn into the kitchen. You need to eat anyway, so why not select a few easy recipes for kids to help unleash your child’s inner chef? Cooking together can also be a great way to introduce kids to the different flavors and textures of foods from around the globe. Pick a new dish to try this week, and choose a few fun facts about the country where the dish originated to share with your kids over dinner.
Settle In For A Movie Night
Who doesn’t love a good family movie night? Get the snacks ready and settle in for a cozy evening of shared screen time. Take a trip down memory lane by introducing your kids to classic movies from your own childhood, or use the opportunity to inspire wonder and curiosity about the world by selecting movies or TV shows that highlight different cultures or places you’d like to visit.
Create A Masterpiece
This is a perfect time to begin a big family project, like a challenging jigsaw puzzle or a gigantic Lego set. We love the Lego Architecture line, which offers several pieces modeled after famous structures around the world. It is worth noting that many of these challenging puzzles are made with older kids and adults in mind; keep an eye out for smaller pieces.
Plan Your Next Vacation
Take this time at home to pull out a map and dream about where the future might take you. Use the inspiration provided by your culturally diverse meal plans, movie nights, and family playlists to find the perfect destination for your next family vacation!
Feature photo: Liz McEachern Hall
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