The power of technology means there are now so many exciting places across the world that you can explore from your own home. Using these is a great way of entertaining and educating the children, and it’s enjoyable for adults as well.
So, the next time you want to travel and learn something new, try one of our five favourite virtual adventures.
Want to learn more about animals in the wild? We love this live webcam from the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya. The cam provides a view of the watering hole and river so you can watch the animals come to drink and swim in real-time.
Each live stream is linked to a field guide where children can learn more about each animal they spot. We also found this one really relaxing to have on as background sounds, especially while working from home!
Learning about great works of art helps children develop their creative curiosity and critical thinking skills. It’s also an excellent opportunity to find out more about the artists, their culture, and the period of history in which they lived.
The National Gallery in London has three virtual 360 tours to explore, featuring hundreds of paintings. We especially enjoyed the tour of the Sainsbury Wing, which can be done either in 360 or virtual reality if you have a headset; you can wander from room to room and explore at your leisure. Each picture is labelled with full details for a real learning experience. The quality is also excellent when you zoom in to view the paintings and read the notes.
The British Museum has teamed up with Google to produce this fantastic learning resource featuring the whole museum collection. A brilliant one to use for project work or just for general wandering around. Children can search objects by category or by using the interactive timeline – this also connects all the related objects so you can completely immerse yourself in learning. Click on each object and you’ll be rewarded with a full information sheet and audio learning guide.
Exploring museums is fantastic for sparking children’s imagination around history and introducing them to whole new worlds.
Under the Sea
Are your children fascinated by sea creates? The Monterey Bay Aquarium in Canada has ten different webcams, including sharks, jellyfish and sea otters or try the Open Sea cam and see what swims by. The cams are a mixture of live, and recorded footage from when the aquarium is empty and the sea creatures undisturbed. There is also super chilled music on some of the cams for maximum relaxation!
Each webcam features links to learning guides about the creatures and where you will find them. Also, check out the ‘Learning at Home’ section of their website, and you’ll find online courses and guided activities designed for home-schooling.
A brilliant resource for older children and adults, Google Open Heritage, is an incredible bank of preserved heritage sites, using digital 3D modelling. The aim of the site is to be a virtual insurance policy for world history and especially for threatened sites.
Each section contains detailed notes about every location, and there is also the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn more about digital conservation. You can also download the collection for yourself. This is a great one for children who are interested in both history and technology.