I was supposed to fly to Italy with my kids today and then on to Morocco a few days later. Instead, I’m at home, trying to figure out how to dive back into homeschool. To say I’m feeling down and a little stressed, would be an understatement. I’m grateful for this amazing travel community that is so supportive.
My good friend Andie from One Daring Adventure was kind enough to give me some great ideas for learning globally from home, since we’re all stuck inside!
This virus is a global issue, why not teach your kids about the globe while they are home!? I’m sure I’m not the only one treading water right now trying to keep my kids occupied doing something at least semi-educational simply to pass the time and keep some structure in our lives.
Kids love structure. Have you noticed? I do not particularly love providing structure though! If you are the structured type or not, I’ve put together some activities to spark curiosity (and I hope some subsequent joy) in both kids and parents during this crazy time.
Here are 7 fantastic and engaging resources you can use to teach your kids about the world without prepping or pulling out your hair. (Believe me, there are no clay volcano science projects happening over here during the Corona Virus School Closures.)
Plus, during a time where it is easy to give way to fear or suspicion of other cultures and countries, what an amazing example we can set for our children by showing interest and curiosity in the world. There is no doubt this will help them to humanize others around the world and we need more of that, don’t we?
1. Become a Global Citizen
My friend Chelsea from Pack More Into Life has created an AMAZING Global Citizens Club for kids. So far she has one for Japan, Greece, England, and France. Every day she is creating even more programs to go with more countries. I love them! They include activities, food, videos, and more! She’s an elementary educator, so these are legit!
2. Storyline Online
My kids introduced me to this resource and WOW, I was so impressed. If you ever get burnt out of reading books aloud to your kids or you simply need to get up and get something else done, Storyline Online is a great stand-in. Here are some global story options from this cool website.
China- Lotus & Feather
Indigenous Peoples-Knots on a Counting Rope
Italy- Strega Nona
China- The Empty Pot
Africa- To Be A Drum
How I learned Geography– A story about a War-displaced family
3. Have daily Geography time
Americans notoriously struggle in our geography skills. Why not let your kids surprise others with their awareness of the names of countries around the world. This website has map quizzes for different continents as well as states.
4. Get a subscription to Around the World Stories
A family from North Carolina who traveled the world for 3.5 years created these wonderful stories as they traveled around. So you can even support a small family business with this one.
Each story is 30 minutes long and teaches kids about another culture (without them knowing!) by sharing about a child growing up in that country who has an adventure. Each story comes with a parent guide of topics, recipes, and activities.
A one-month subscription is $14.95 and gives you a weekly story to look forward to downloading. Or you can download six stories around one theme at once for $19.95. Less than $20 for 3 hours of engaging & educational audio stories? Sold.
5. Project: Perspective
Show your kids how the Italians, Chinese & Spanish are handling quarantine and lockdown.
Younger children: Show the above videos. Ask the kids what we can do to help cheer people up who might be lonely or to keep our spirits up.
Older lot: Have your kids read this article & watch the above videos. Have them write a few paragraphs answering the following questions:
- Compare the ways that the Italians are dealing with lockdown by reaching out to their communities through singing, exercise on balconies etc with what you see around you in your community.
- Which approach do you like better? Why?
- Can you find anything positive to do to keep spirits up in your community?
6. Coloring and Dreaming Art Therapy: Print Map, Color in.
This is a stressful time, obviously! There is a reason adult coloring books exist for calming and adding beauty and order to the world. I personally suggest you join your kids in this activity and color some maps and do some travel dreaming of your own.
What 5 countries do you want to visit?
Younger. Draw a picture of something there that you want to see.
Older. Write some of the things you’d like to do there.
7. Global Themed Coloring Sheets
Sometimes you just get on a roll and if just coloring in 5 countries wasn’t enough, have I got a Pinterest board for you! My friend Andie compiled tons of beautiful coloring sheets. And bonus, a lot of the country names are written in French!
8. Watch Kara & Nate on YouTube
Oh man, these two couldn’t be cuter and also so wholesome. Kara & Nate are a young married couple from Nashville who have been traveling the world for 4 years. They recently visited their 100th country! They are currently releasing videos from their February journey to their 7th continent, Antarctica.
Their videos range from 10-20 minutes long so you can let your kids watch quite a few of them before feeling guilty ;). I love to watch these videos with my kids and it has become somewhat of a regular nightly routine to curl up on the bed and watch their latest release.
Their videos are so well done and engaging even for the younger lot. My 8-year-old is the biggest fan in the family and they are totally family-friendly. You will have dozens to choose from, but here a few of my favorites:
9. Find Even More Resources!
I hope these have given you some ideas to get you going and traveling from the comfort of your couch. I have some amazing friends who have created amazing resources for places all over the world and also resources for just being at home. Be sure to check them out: