Travel Without Leaving Home: Top 5 Virtual Tours for Kids
Travel to some of the world’s most exotic locales, view some of Earth’s most impressive treasures including natural wonders, art museums and architectural miracles. And who knows….maybe these will inspire you to plan a trip in person one day!
The San Diego Zoo
Did you know that the San Diego Zoo is listed as one of the most visited Zoos in the U.S.? There’s a good reason for that. With more than 3,500 animals, many of them a part of a conservation program, their live streams are wonderful! Koalas, baby orangutans and penguins are some of the live cameras you can pop in on. Since these are live steams keep in mind the time of day it is. Most animals are more active in the morning hours, and during scheduled feeding times.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Enjoy a virtual visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium where you can view sea otters as they play, sharks as they swim slowly overhead, or view the shimmering jelly fish. Monterey is located in California, so keep the time zones in mind when accessing the live streams. The Aquarium offers 10 different web cams to choose from. And, to take your tour a little further, there are educational booklets games & activities as well as curriculum to use with your virtual tour.
Go on Safari!
This virtual tour puts you in the seat next to a safari guide as he takes you through the habitat of lions, hyenas, leopards, elephants and wildebeest. Rangers tell you what you’re seeing while ‘traveling’ in the all terrain Jeep. Hosted through Facebook’s platform, the tour takes place twice a day. Keep in mind for younger children, that these safaris depict animals in their natural habitat, doing what they do, including eating animals they’ve killed. You can also ask the guide questions while the tour proceeds…just as if you were there!
Located in Paris, France, the Louvre is one of the world’s greatest collections of art. View the iconic Mona Lisa’s smile, ancient Egyptian Sphinx, and take a tour of the Louvre’s moat…a remnant from when it was a Medieval Castle. The museum offers free educational videos about works of art, many geared specifically for children under 12 years of age. You can also virtually tour much of the museum without leaving home!
The Great Wall of China
Stretching 4,000 miles, the Great Wall of China is considered a must see for any traveler. Check it out ahead of time with this virtual tour. It is easily one of the greatest wonders of the world. You can enter the virtual tour from several entrances, including Beijing, Mutianyu, Jinshanling and others. They were all built between the 14th-17th centuries.
Take the Tour with a Friend
If your child is missing his or her friends, then why not arrange for a virtual tour together? Coordinate times to login to the virtual tour site, then tour the rooms ‘together’. If you are tech savvy, you can use Zoom’s screenshare feature so that a whole group of friends can take the tour. If you’ve found yourself inside for longer than you’d hoped, there are many ways to travel and escape….and on the plus side, there’s no passport needed, no lines to wait in, and best of all….it’s free.
For more ideas, games, puzzles and activities, check out the Spartan & the Green Egg Graphic novel series by Nabila Khashoggi. Enjoy the adventures of the Explorers club, learn about conservation efforts, endangered animals, and foster a tolerance for others. Learn more at fullcyclepublications.com or spartanandthegreenegg.com