Virtual Field Trips For Kids

Virtual Field Trips for Kids
Virtual Field Trips from Home

Virtual field trips for kids are perfect when they find themselves cooped up indoors for too long, and they start to get restless. If your little ones are limited to the house and school is no longer in session, there are still ways your kids can get an enriching learning experience while going on adventures at the same time.

Whether they want to explore music, art, history, or even see some animals, there are plenty of virtual field trips for kids and tours. These adventures you and your kids can check out for a seriously engaging experience that you won’t even need to get off the couch for.

Live Stream Some Critters

Many zoos are now offering livestream channels of their animals for anyone to take a look. Like going to the zoo in person, keep in mind that the animals may not always be in view of the camera! While zoo livestreams often go viral when a baby is about to be born, you can take a look at what any of the animals are doing whenever you want. Some zoos offering livestreams and other virtual tours include the San Diego Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo, and the National Zoo.

If you’re interested in heading underwater, you can also check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the National Aquarium to see how the otters, penguins, sharks, and octopuses are doing.

Spend the Day at the Museum

Whether you head on over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History to explore the dinosaur exhibit or use your mobile device to transport you to the Louvre in Paris to see some of the world’s most significant pieces of art, there is plenty to choose from when it comes to virtual museum tours. Several other museums are highlighting their collections online, including The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, NASA, The Vatican Museums and many more.

Schedule Some Time Travel

Google’s Arts & Culture page allows you to globetrot like never before, letting you explore the mirrored halls of the Palace of Versailles in France to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt – and all before lunch, too! Whether you access Google’s Arts & Culture through a browser or their mobile app, you can take tours of countless legendary feats of architecture, both modern and ancient and everything in between.

A Night at the Opera

If you want to work in some classical music, New York’s Metropolitan Opera is live-streaming some of their most notable performances from the last few years at 7:30 PM EST or online at 3:30PM the following day if anything nearing 8PM is too late for your kiddies to be awake. You can also get free access to the Berlin Philharmonic‘s entire catalog of concerts or check out the highlights of the London Symphony Orchestra.

4 Ways to Helping Your Teen With Social Distancing

Teens and Social Distancing
How to Help Teens & Tweens Handle Social Distancing

Helping your Teen with Social Distancing

Helping your teen or tween with social distancing is very important during these times. Social distancing has become the new normal. It’s important for all of us to stay home as much as possible, and to keep at least 6 feet away from others when we do go out, whether to do necessary grocery shopping or to get some much-needed fresh air and exercise. While it is important for the country and for our communities that we practice social distancing diligently, this can be tough on social middle grade and high school tweens and teens. As kids enter their teenage years, their worlds become more and more social, especially at school where they form different social relationships with their peers, which can be hard for them to handle in isolation.

Talk to Teens

It’s important that parents have open conversations about the virus and about social distancing. It may seem like a country-wide punishment of sorts, but staying home is the best way to make sure people stay safe. It is also important that parents dispel any misinformation about COVID-19 being an “old person’s disease”, which may make them feel like the rules don’t apply to them or that they don’t need to be included in precautionary measures. Make sure that your kids stay informed and up to date with the news without scaring them too much, though instilling just how serious the situation is can help them better understand our circumstances right now as well as their place in it.

Try to Maintain Structure

This is just as important for parents who are now either working from home or find themselves out of a job. Having some sort of daily structure can help the whole family stay sane, and it can especially help tweens and teens stay on top of any remote school work they have as well. If you are working from home or doing any other kind of work, try scheduling a family work time during the day to keep everyone on-task. You don’t have to keep the same hours as work or school, but find a rhythm that works for you and your family.

Spend Quality Time Together

Quality time is a one of the benefits of helping your teen with social distancing. With the whole family at home, spending time together can help you all grow closer, learn new things, and keep you all from getting too bored. There are plenty of things the family can do together, whether it is binge watching a new show, getting some exercise, reading together, or playing board games. There are plenty of ways parents can incorporate learning into family activities as well, such as teaching the kids to cook a family-favorite meal or teaming up to craft a dessert from scratch.

Relax on Screen Time Limits

In order to cope with the loneliness your kids may be experiencing in being away from their friends, it would actually help to be a little more lenient when it comes to time spent on their mobile device or using social media. We are lucky that we live in a time where connecting with others is as easy as it is, and it is certainly making sheltering in place much more bearable and overall less lonely. In addition to relaxing on your childrens’ screen time limits, also consider scheduling family video chats with aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends and others as well.

How To Find the Right Books for Your Kids

How To Find the Right Books for Your Kids

How To Find the Right Books for Your kids

How to find the right books for your kids can be challenging. Getting your child to read is important. Whether  they happen to already love reading or need a nudge in the right direction, a lot still hinges upon your ability to choose the right book for them to read. There are a few things that parents can consider when choosing an appropriate book for their child.

Why Are They Reading?

Is your child reading for fun? Are they looking to learn a new skill or about a new subject? Are they dealing with a difficult challenge right now? Do they have a book report due? These are all important things to consider when choosing an appropriate book. A fun fiction story can be great for bedtime or for a book report, but if your child is interested in a specific topic then finding a book on that subject, is a better choice.

Are They Interested?

Interest can be gauged by looking at their reason for reading, as well as a few other things. Finding a book on a relevant topic or in a genre of interest is a good place to start. You’ll also want to consider things like the cover design, the chapter titles, or any illustrations if present. If your child happens to be interested in a specific thing, like horses for example, you can find books on that topic. In addition to just nature books about horses, you can also consider fiction books that feature horses, farm related books, books about horse riding, and more.

Be creative and unique. Getting personalized children’s books can also help with their interests. In going with the example above, getting a personalized book about farm animals can truly spark their interest. A personalized book makes the child the main character, coupled with their interest in a specific topic, will make for a pleasurable reading experience.

Is It at Their Reading Level?

It’s also vital to make sure that the book you choose is in line with your child’s reading skills. Some kids’ books, especially in libraries, have a label that outlines what reading level or grade they are appropriate for. If that is not the case, your child can simply open up the book and glance at a few pages to get an idea of whether they are able to comprehend the book on their own.

One way to determine this is to use the “Five Finger Rule“, which is a basic outline of how many words a reader should be able to read (and can learn) on each page:
•    0-1 unknown words = book is too easy
•    2-3 unknown words = book is just right
•    4-5 unknown words = book is too difficult