There’s no denying it: the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been keeping us home, with much-anticipated travel plans cancelled. It also means quarantining ourselves with our adventurous and energetic offspring. I have always appreciated the time and efforts of my daughter’s teachers. This holds true more now, when I am taking on their burden at home!
Here at Bébé Voyage, we recognize the difficulty that comes when travel and new experiences are eliminated from our children’s lives. Our youngest may not understand why healthy people should stay “trapped” at home. We’ve compiled suggestions for home-based experiences that encourage a love of travel. Our team sends our hope and positivity to you. We also wish your family many virtual adventures as you reconnect during this stressful time.
Museums around the world have worked hard to become digital. Take time to choose a culture, then check out a national museum that focuses on one! Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre have excellent children’s websites. Students of the World has a less polished, but still user-friendly, platform for country-specific information gathering.
If you’re looking for a more self-guided exploration, Google has created an incredible digital collection for children and adults alike. Search for just about anything and prepare to be amazed! Walk around Pompeii, learn about the Mayan city of Tikal, or meet our ancestors in the Chauvet Cave!
National Parks and Zoos also offer online multimedia experiences. Check out virtual tours of Yellowstone and videos from the San Diego Zoo and Dublin Zoo! Discovery Education offers virtual field trips, and you can even tour an Ontario farm!
If you’ve scoured the Earth and still need ideas, you can even send your kids to Mars!
Taste and Smell Experiences
Food is an integral part of any culture and often a favorite part of travel. It only seems appropriate that, when stuck at home, we use our kitchens for education. What better way to travel from home than trying a new recipe? There are plenty of resources to find easy authentic recipes from around the world (check some out here, here, and here)! If you had to cancel a trip due to Coronavirus, search for a dish made locally and get cooking!
Some personal favorites in our home include tamales, rhubarb crumble, and katsudon. There are limitless possibilities in this realm. If you can’t get ingredients right now, plan a “feast” for your family in the near future with bookmarked recipes! I highly recommend the Paprika Recipe Manager app for families who like to keep a large recipe database.
Many of us aspire for our children to learn multiple languages, even if we are not multilingual ourselves. Take this time at home to change that! Language is an incredible way to connect with other cultures. FluentU offers a 14 day free trial. The price tag is steep, but it provides the most comprehensive option if you want to use your time at home to venture seriously into long-term language learning. Little Pim gives our kids a cuddly panda to walk them through language exposure. At $4.99/mo, the price tag is just right for families looking for an inexpensive in-home option! TalkBox Mom is a third option for language exposure, and offers an integrated family model of everyday foreign phrases.
You can also expand your music horizons from home with resources such as this Guide to World Music. Or you can discover unique and traditional instruments around the world. If your children are Disneyphiles, use the cultures of the movies to begin your music searches! Check out Frozen-inspired Nordic tracks like this and this. Tune in to an Arabic lullaby like one you could imagine Jasmine singing. Music is an endless outlet for new experiences!
Reading engages children with other cultures through stories. Fairy tales from around the world are housed in this online collection. Storybook Online offers videos of famous artists narrating children’s books (Check out Michelle Yeoh reading Lotus & Feather)! Finally, KidsTravelBooks provides a library that is searchable by country!
Feeling inspired to learn a new language? Take advantage of Rosetta Stone’s special offer for 45% off 12 months of Unlimited Languages! Click here for more information.
Touch and Movement Experiences
A lot of tears were shed when my daughter found out ballet classes were canceled. Thanks to Nani Nani Kids’ ballet classes, we can still dance and giggle at our weekly time until classes resume. GoNoodle offers a fantastic platform for burning off energy if you need a more self-guided platform for your kids while you try to work from home. When it is time to get some fresh air, check out the All Trails app (if available for you).
If your child has a special interest, take a moment to check the web and try an activity from another culture, such as Chinese calligraphy, coloring a sugar skull, practicing Navajo sand painting, or creating Australian rhythm sticks. For an expansive list of crafts from around the wold, don’t miss Education.com’s World Cultures Activities page! Crayola also offers beautiful coloring pages for cultural celebrations, or you can get inspired by the Iranian holiday of Nowruz (this entire website is also amazing). Find even more cultural crafts that let you travel from home here and here.
Another way to instill a love for travel is to revisit past trips! Take time to gather photos from your previous vacations into photo books with GoodPrints. You could also discuss past trips while playing with this scratch off travel map.
Finally, if you need to encourage independent play while you work, Keep Em Quiet creates beautiful kits. Additionally, check out Little Passports for monthly subscription boxes and Chuckle & Roar for age-appropriate learning and travel games! These are the perfect way to get your kids excited about travel when still stuck at home!
Here at Bébé Voyage, we understand what a challenging time this is. On top of the emotional fatigue brought on by anxiety and fear, it is physically exhausting to juggle work and childcare in social isolation. Parents around the world – we support you. Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay home. Our positive thoughts are with you all!
Check out our live article, updated daily to bring you the latest news on the COVID19 situation around the world.
For other great travel from home ideas check out this article as well and lets keep that spirt of travel alive for our kids!
If you are struggling on how to speak to your children about the coronavirus, we have a few tips and advice on how to begin the conversation here!
What happens when you can’t go home? In this interview we talk to a family who has not been able to return to China since the outbreak began.
We could all use some good vibes right about now! Check out the positive effects that the coronavirus has had around the world.