We at BigSIS understand that not all learning comes from a lecture, reading, or worksheets. Children need to break up their days and enjoy activities that are fun but at the same time educational. Below is a list of a few ideas that will get your students' bodies moving, imaginations active, and all-around have some fun. These resources would likely be appreciated by parents as well! Should you have any you want to share, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure to add them!
Virtual Field Trips
50 of the best virtual museum tours around the world [art, history, science & technology] are just a click away from the comfort of your own home! This expansive list of museums gives you the unique opportunity to tour museums not just in the US but across the globe, from Mexico, Paris, Spain, Italy, England, China, and many more.
Virtual field trips allow children to visit places around the world without ever leaving their homes. Through virtual field trips, they can visit other states and countries across the globe, and even other planets. Visit more than 20 different locations, all from your home!
No permission slips required with Discovery Education. These virtual events let educators take students to amazing places and give them remarkable experiences, without ever leaving the classroom. Each no-cost Virtual Field Trip comes with a companion guide packed with standards-aligned, hands-on learning activities!
Museums might be closed right now, but that does not have to stop you from taking a virtual tour of the exhibits. The American Museum of Natural History has Ology, a science website geared for kids. They also have virtual tours that let you explore a large variety of their exhibits, all from the comfort of your home.
Do your children, or yourself, enjoy the Opera? The Metropolitan Opera is currently offering 'Nightly Met Opera Streams' where you can enjoy some of the most famous operas right from your couch!
Everyone enjoys going to the zoo, the aquarium, museums, even theme parks, however, that isn't a possibility right now. "Walk" through some of the world's most prestigious cultural institutions, like The Met and The American Museum of Natural History, then go for a "ride" on Disney's new Frozen rollercoaster with the kids. And regardless of your age, everyone will enjoy some live footage of pandas playing at the zoo!
Playgrounds at Home: Virtual Field Trips to Beaches, Parks, and More!
In the midst of a global pandemic, people crave vacations more than ever, but when it's not even safe to shop in a crowded store or go a party at a friend's house, getting away to a far-off locale is out of the question. Society has seen a massive shift toward doing everything online: Families are celebrating birthdays and holidays through online meetups, and more and more people are working and shopping from their homes. However, you don't have to completely give up exploring new places. Just as many other aspects of life have moved online, you can also travel online, taking virtual tours or watching webcams of destinations all over the world. Whether you want to visit a national park or see sharks at an aquarium, digital alternatives exist to help you do it.
- BrightFarms Indoor Farming Virtual Field Trip: Learn all about indoor farming and how food goes from seeds to grocery stores.
- Canadian Farm and Food Tours: Take multiple farm tours and learn about chickens, apple orchards, dairy farms, and more.
- Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips: Watch videos tailored to different age groups that provide a look behind the scenes of egg farms across the country.
- Tour a Sawmill: See how trees become lumber in this sawmill tour.
Zoos and Aquariums
- San Diego Zoo Animal Cams: Explore the San Diego Zoo's vast collection of animal cams to see creatures from apes to tigers.
- Seattle Aquarium Video Field Trip: Walk through the Seattle Aquarium with this field trip video.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Jelly Cam: Sit back and relax as you watch jellyfish swimming at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
- Georgia Aquarium Ocean Voyager: See inside one of the world's largest aquatic exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium.
Animals in the Wild
- African Bush Webcams: Go on a safari without leaving the house with these live cams of African wildlife.
- All About Birds: Bird Cams: See a variety of types of birds all over the world, from ospreys in Georgia to condors in California to albatross in New Zealand.
- National Museum of Natural History: Take tours of current and past exhibits, some of which are narrated.
- The Met: Get a 360-degree view of galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Musée d'Orsay: Take a walk through exhibits of famous artwork at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
- The Louvre: Explore a world-famous museum through online tours of the exhibits at the Louvre.
American History and Culture
- National Baseball Hall of Fame: Take yourself out to the ballgame while staying socially distant by exploring the online exhibits here.
- National Constitution Center: Explore the National Constitution Center's exhibits on the Civil War, the rise and fall of Alexander Hamilton, and more.
- Mount Rushmore: See the presidents on this monument up close from many different angles and vantage points.
- White House: Take a White House tour narrated by former President Barack Obama.
- Tour a Fire Department and its Equipment: See what a day in the life of a firefighter is like by touring a fire station.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force: Visit the national air force museum to learn about this important part of America's military.
- Statue of Liberty: See the Statue of Liberty without having to take a ferry.
- The Liberty Bell: Walk around the Liberty Bell and explore its history with a virtual tour of the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia.
- Mount Vernon: Tour George Washington's historic home.
- Empire State Building: Look at the Empire State Building or take in the view from its observation deck online.
Out of This World
- Access Mars: Scratch the surface of space travel by exploring the surface of Mars with the Curiosity rover.
- Johnson Space Center Virtual Field Trip: Learn about space travel in the past, present, and future by visiting the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Around the World
- Buckingham Palace: Take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace from the comfort of your couch.
- Visit the Anne Frank House Online: Walk through the house where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.
- Walk the Great Wall of China: Take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China.
- Son Doong Cave: Explore the largest cave in the world, found in Vietnam. It's so massive that there's actually a jungle inside!
- Discover Ancient Egypt: Tour the Egyptian temples and pyramids through virtual re-creations.
- The Roman Colosseum: Use Google Maps to take a self-guided tour around the Colosseum.
- The Vatican: Walk through the Vatican while reading about its history.
- Yellowstone Virtual Tours: Stroll through Yellowstone National Park and check out its many famous features.
- Great Lakes Virtual Field Trip: Tour the Great Lakes to learn about the importance of wetlands to the environment.
- Carlsbad Caverns: Go down into the Carlsbad Caverns and you might meet some bats.
- Death Valley Tour in 360 Degrees: Explore the most famous spots in this national park without the dangers of its scorching heat.
- Florida Beach-Finder: Choose the features that make up your ideal beach, then pick a beach to explore it virtually.
- Virtual Yosemite: View the stunning scenery of Yosemite National Park from many points around the park, including spots you might not be able to climb to yourself.
- Virtual Trip to the Bahamas: Take in some of the most famous sights of the Bahamas, from secluded beaches to swimming pigs to an underwater shipwreck.
- Glacier National Park Webcams: Stay warm while touring Glacier National Park.
Crafts, Puzzles, and Online Games
In need of crafts to do with your kids? You will find themed crafts such as Harry Potter and springtime to just general pipe cleaner crafts. This is the place you will want to go to get ideas for a rainy day, or right now to keep your kids entertained with an afternoon project.
Cooking with children can utilize math, science, and life skills, not to mention the final products bring satisfaction of a job well done. Teach your kids to cook with these free cookbooks, youtube cooking channels, and cooking websites.
Hellokids offers a wide range of activities to keep kids entertained for hours. From puzzles, printable coloring pages, crafts and activities to online games and reading and learning. Let them choose what activity they want to work on that afternoon!
Puzzles are a great way for everyone, not just children, to take a break! Although they are usually pulled out during a rainy day, puzzles can be the perfect activity for your child to develop key fine motor skills, sharpen their memory, and get better at problem-solving all while visiting new places through a picture.
Brain breaks are fundamental for children's education but also for the teachers and parents. GoNoodle has a plethora of dance-along videos, some from popular songs others created by them. All will get your blood pumping and brain ready for the next activity. (There are separate sign up portals for families and educators)
Yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation designed especially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world. Cosmic Kids makes fun, interactive videos that are perfect for the 10-15 minute breaks everyone, especially children, needs.
With kids at home, it’s important to build time into schedules for focused brain breaks. Maybe they need a movement break to get the wiggles out? Or a quiet moment to just stay still? Here are 50 brain breaks for kids that increase productivity at home or in the classroom.