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Looking for travel and multicultural education activities for students? Travel may not be possible, but there are many ways to discover the world from home.
There are ways to both keep wanderlust alive, teach our kids about world cultures, travel virtually with kids, and even to experience Disney while being at home. We can still “travel the world” with our kids, just in a different way.
I asked around to some of my fellow bloggers, and have found for you 15 travel and multicultural education activities for students at home. In fact, many of these can support geography, social studies, engineering, and world language activities!
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1. Develop Your Own Adventure
You may not be able to go on an adventure right now, but your kids can create their own! Deborah Patterson of My Great Adventure Stories blog has created a marvelous series of write your own adventure book series. Find out about her fantastic creations below.
My Book of Stories: Write your own Adventures is a story-writing activity book for 8-12 year olds.
It’s packed full of story starters such as “Fill in the ship’s logs”, “Write a story of survival” and “What happens next” inspired by some of the best stories ever written. Let mysterious lines from Treasure Island, illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and characters in Peter Pan inspire you to invent new companions for a daring expedition, write tales of pirate high jinks or create new magical worlds full of surprising creatures.
The book design includes space to write and draw and provides young authors with story-writing top tips and ideas. My Book of Stories: Write your own Adventures is packed full of colorful illustrations, fun facts and puzzles all designed to inspire children to create new adventure stories.
Part of a series published by The British Library.
Other books in the series include:
You can find the complete list of books in the series on Deborah's blog.
2. Learn Geography
Rachel from Children of Wanderlust blog recommends downloading a geography app to your smartphone or tablet as a way to introduce multicultural education activities for students at home. Check out which one is her favorite for her kids.
While stuck in the house on Coronavirus lock-down in Spain, we were browsing for new activities to keep our children entertained, preferably with some educational emphasis. We came across the ‘Kidlo Grade-1 Geography’ app, available for download on iOS and Android. For all app features, a paid-for version must be purchased and downloaded.
Right from the first switch on, our children were keen to explore the on-screen options. They immediately enjoyed a section involving coloring in country flags. It is surprising to see what sticks in their heads.
When progressing to another section involving matching capital cities to flags, my 5-year-old could remember quite a few of the flags from the earlier exercise. This then sparked their wanderlust and led onto conversations around countries we’d visited before and where we’d most like to go in the future.
They could also immediately dive into the puzzles section – jigsaws of famous global landmarks. Other sections in the app involve finding countries on a map and categorizing countries into continents. While some of this was too advanced for my 3 and 5-year-olds, there is plenty here to keep even small children entertained. Some other apps we looked at were too advanced from the start for children so young.
Being critical, some of the on-screen response was a bit slow at times, with a quick browse of the reviews of the Android version showing many issues yet to be resolved. The iOS version we used worked well enough though and proved to be a great (and pleasingly educational) distraction for our kids on a day stuck inside.
Check out more of Rachel's great ideas for homeschooling!
3. Get Active At Home!
Though adventure travel isn't possible right now, getting adventurous – wherever you are – is! Rebecca from Innate Moves blog has homeschooled her kids while traveling the globe for years. She has created her own online gymnastics course for kids, so they can get active while traveling. Find out about her course, and how you can be active and adventurous wherever you are.
My family has been traveling for a few years. Long term traveling with three kids, though fun, can get overwhelming! So we travel slow and stay in one spot for long periods before moving on. One of our challenges, moving so much, is there’s often a lack of programs that suit my kids’ needs of the time.
We’ve found online courses and lessons to be our best friend when homeschooling in different places. We’re so lucky to live in a time where we can find just about anything that interests us online! From art to foreign languages, we love online learning and it has really broadened my children’s knowledge in multiple subjects.
I’ve also contributed to the online learning community with experience in coaching gymnastics. Deciding to make an online gymnastics course was not easy but have had excellent feedback! Many areas don’t have gymnastics and those that do are often cost-prohibitive for many of us.
“I’m a Gymnast!” Is the first completely online preschool/kindergarten-aged gymnastics course. But my favorite thing about it is the kids can do it themselves!
My kids are getting older now, but I always loved the videos they could follow along with themselves and get exercise (without tearing the house down)! Right now I know a lot of people need this so I’m offering half off if you USE THE CODE: STAYSTRONG!
4. Discover Female Explorers
Kirsty from World For A Girl travel blog has created an amazing Girls Explore Too! Activity Pack to inspire young girls (and boys) to travel. It is a great way to keep their wanderlust alive and travel “from home.” Plus it is full of multicultural education activities as they explore the world. Check out what Kirsty has created below.
Sadly Covid-19 has shut down schools in many regions right in the middle of Women's History Month and largely overshadowed the annual International Women's Day events on 8th March 2020. Many parents are stuck indoors homeschooling now. Here is a great resource to encourage children to a world of courageous. fearless and bold women whilst allowing for some serious armchair wanderlust!
Girls Explore Too! is a free resource designed to inspire young girls (and boys) to travel more. This engaging 9-page activity pack, designed by a UK teacher, is aimed at 5-12 years olds. Packed full of educational activities, the Girls Explore Too! activity pack will introduce children to inspirational female explorers and adventurers whilst encouraging them to imagine and plan their own epic voyages.
Critical thinking activities, a fun word search and dozens of interesting facts will draw on children's general knowledge, language, art and geography skills. The short activity book is a great project for parents and primary-aged children to embark on together. The resource is totally free and available for instant download when you subscribe to World for a Girl Family Travel Blog.
5. Become a Disney Imagineer
If your child has dreams of becoming a Disney Imagineer, now is his or her chance! Disney Imagineering has partnered with Khan Academy to offer a FREE Disney Imagineering course in a box for kids. Now your child can learn what it takes to develop the next Disney theme park. It is a great way to discover all of the thoughtful details that go into designing a Disney theme park. Kids can utilize their creativity and imagination to develop STEAM skills as they learn from the best in the business. It is a great way to get your Disney-fix, even if you can't make it to the Disney parks.
6. Travel The World From Home
Libby, a fellow mom who loves to travel with her kids, created a complete two-week curriculum for her kids based on Travel and Leisure's article about museums offering virtual tours. She is taking her children to a different part of the world each day. It is a great way to include multicultural education activities for students at home. After visiting the virtual museum tour, she created packets or an activity tied to that country. See her creative curriculum below.
DAY ONE London, England
Start with the British Museum virtual tour. Research facts about London and England. You can make a mural of the city on poster board or cardboard as the creative corner activity. Or make a double-decker bus or big ben out of construction paper. You can find options online or on Pinterest.
DAY TWO Seoul, South Korea
Start with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art virtual tour. Research facts and maps about South Korea. As our creative corner portion, we will make Korean paper fans. Look them up on Pinterest or YouTube– super easy– watercolors and paper, done! We will also be following a recipe for a Korean Beef Bowl and having that as our lunch.
DAY THREE Washington DC
Start with the National Gallery of Art virtual tour. Check out the book Look Out, Washington DC! for this lesson. My thought for the creative project is to have them learn to use Google Slides a little and share their facts with each other in a mini-presentation. This will teach them some computer skills such as typing practice and learning to attach photos.
DAY FOUR Paris, France
Start with a tour of the Musee d'Orsay from the website above. You can research French facts, foods, flags, and places in France. I'll likely show my kids an episode of “Miraculous Ladybug” in French off Netflix or you could find a French cartoon on YouTube.
DAY FIVE Berlin, Germany
Start with the Pergamon Museum tour. You can research the various towns in Germany and some of the famous landmarks. Our creative corner for the day will be speaking German– teaching the boys how to share their names, ages, and where they're from. If speaking German isn't for you, follow this link to discover information about Karneval (a festival that should be happening right now.) It's super cute with quizzes and games and make and do activities.
If you are going to travel the world, don't forget your passport!
DAY SIX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Start with the Rijksmuseum and/or Van Gogh Museum tours. You can research facts about the Netherlands, including the Anne Frank House. We have a ridiculous amount of silk flowers in our craft cabinet so we'll be using the tulips to create vases and wreaths to hang up in the house for Spring as our creative project! Done!
DAY SEVEN Los Angeles, California
Start with the Getty Museum tour. You can research facts about the state of California, including national parks. Our creative portion is a Venn Diagram for the kids to compare two different area landscapes that can be found in that state. Teach them how to graph!
DAY EIGHT Florence, Italy
Uffizi virtual tour to start! Then, you can research facts about Italy, and find resources on Pinterest and online for kids' activities. Perhaps they can make an Italian flag, make an Italian lunch, learn about some of the landmarks and cities of Italy, and find Italy on a map.
DAY NINE Mexico City, Mexico
Start with the virtual tour of the National Museum of Anthropology. After learning some facts about Mexico, we are going to make Papel Picado. YouTube has tutorials on how to do it, but it's basically glorified paper snowflakes that hang over a string to make a banner. If you have tissue paper with your present-wrapping stuff, that's all you need.
DAY TEN New York City, NY
Start with a virtual tour of the Guggenheim Museum. Then, I thought we'd enjoy opening Google Maps and “visiting” NYC! My boys absolutely love Google Maps and have studied various places in NYC during their schooling already so we'll spend our time visiting where those places are and what they look like in real life. Then, I've purchased a 3D puzzle of NYC for them to work on together.
7. Travel Printables
Michelle from MoyerMemoirs blog has created travel puzzle worksheets to keep her kids' wanderlust alive from home. She has great travel activities to keep kids busy at home or on a trip. Here's what she recommends.
To combat boredom during long drives –and coincidentally, for long quarantines in the house– I have created travel worksheets on my Kids Corner Page to keep those young ones busy as can be so that they are not getting into trouble. While they are cooped up, let them dream about far-off destinations and cool sites to see. They will travel to exotic lands right in the confines of their own minds while they use their imaginations to create their own stories of travel from the past and for the future.
On my Kids Corner, you will find a free supply of newly created material available for your downloading and printable pleasure. The travel-themed word searches will get those kiddos searching for letters from the travel words.
Don’t worry, there is also an answer key if you are going cross-eyed and cannot find that last word! Also available for download is a free Creative Writing worksheet that will prompt your children to create writing masterpieces that you will treasure forever.
All of the worksheets on the Kids Corner will be updated periodically so be sure to leave your subscription in order to receive all the new material from Moyer Memoirs.
8. Travel Journaling
Jenny of Traveling Party of Four recommends travel journaling, even if you aren't on a trip! It's a great travel activity for kids to do, even from home. Here is how she recommends keeping the travel dream alive with travel journaling.
With our holiday plans to Barcelona placed on indefinite hold, and the kid's Spring Break extended, we have extra time to daydream. I am confident the day will come when we board that plane, and we are off to discover a new world. But, for now, images, thoughts, and dreams will have to do. So, let's put our wanderlust into words.
I bought a Barcelona Travel Diary months ago, and they have been journaling their expectations, what they want to do, and what and where they want to eat. So, I came up with some journal prompts to help them keep their dream alive.
- What inspired your travel destination?
- What do you expect to find when you first arrive in the city?
- List three activities that you want to do.
- And three new foods you want to try.
- How will you entertain yourself on the long flight?
- What will you need to pack?
- Create a one-day itinerary, including meals and snacks.
Travel journaling starts when you are planning your adventure, even before you leave home. AND, you don't have to be traveling to Barcelona, visiting the Grand Canyon, or biking down a volcano in Maui to justify creating a travel journal. You can journal local activities, too. Go for a hike, find the perfect spot to watch the sunset, or go kayaking in the local springs.
9. Create A Vacation Visual Story
For a future vacation, you can create or review a vacation visual story to keep your kids' wanderlust alive and prepare them for a future trip. Caitlin from Typically Twitterpated blog has a child with autism and recommends vacation visual stories to help children on the autism spectrum.
We have four rambunctious children, and one has autism. Being on the autism spectrum is not unusual. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 children has autism.
When you have a child with special needs, changing vacation plans can be traumatic to their routine.
Our family is well-versed in helping our son adjust by showing him visual stories. We have a toolbox of tricks to help accommodate autism family travel on our blog, Typically Twitterpated. We've learned how to help our son's needs through trial and error.
Before any family travel road trip, I create a video or velcro social story. Autism social stories are essential for delayed flights and prolonged planning. A social story illustrates future situations and how to deal with them. They help the child with autism manage expectations for the upcoming trip.
10. Learn A Language
Now is a great time for your kids to learn a new language! Whether it is an introduction to a new language, an online course, or a way to support what they are learning in school, these ideas below are wonderful multicultural education activities for students to do from home.
Po Tim of Fortune Cookie Mom dedicates her blog to homeschooling tips and helping families and teachers teach Chinese to kids. Here's what she shares:
Fortune Cookie Mom was created to provide more online Chinese resources and printables for parents and teachers who are teaching children Chinese. One of the special things I did is to create up to nine language versions for people who are learning Mandarin or Cantonese, so more people can benefit from it. I have created a lot of Chinese printables, and include:
- Theme Packs
- Children Books
- Literature-Based Unit
- Pretend Play Printable
- Art & Crafts
Spanish and French
Outschool is an online learning platform offering live classes to children ages 3 to 18 years old. Courses are taught by live video chat by qualified teachers, in an interactive, fun, safe and social way. A variety of subjects are offered, including many world language classes like Spanish and French.
Courses are available at scheduled times over a specified period or can be flexible. You can choose! Courses range in price, but some Outschool courses are as low as $5, according to the website.
11. Learn About Other Cultures
Gale of Imaginative Homeschool blog has homeschooled her children for four years and offers this lesson on learning about Africa ideal for grade school children. See her multicultural education activities for students below.
Africa is a continent with over 50 countries with diverse cultures, art, languages, landscapes, and
ecosystems. Help your kids explore this amazing continent with a Unit Study by Imaginative Homeschool.
Your children will learn about daily life in various African countries, explore African homes and build a model roundhouse.
Children will read folktales from different areas of Africa.
Students will explore African history through various videos, and follow up by making Saharan rock art, making mud bricks, and other crafts.
This unit study is free but some books are suggested, many of which can be found at your local library, and various materials may be required for crafts. You can pick and choose which activities to do with your children. This African Unit Study should last 3 – 10 days depending on how many activities you do each day.
Gale also has a great list of free online Spanish language resources on her blog.
12. Teach Culture Through Familiar Stories
Tiffany from Tiffany Does It All blog recommends a familiar story as one of her favorite multicultural education activities for students. See one of her favorites below. Tiffany also recommends several other great children's books in this post.
Do you want to take your mind on a trip to West Africa? H. Chuku Lee's version of Beauty and the Beast does just that.
This retelling of the timeless Beauty and the Beast tale is flavored with the culture of the Dogon of Mali. The Dogon of Mali is known for their architecture and artwork. The illustrator, Pat Cummings, pays homage to them in the architectural designs throughout the book.
West African culture is on display throughout this book. West African culture can be seen and felt through the characters' colorful kente cloth outfits and braided hairstyles. Traditional West African artwork, such as masks are also on display throughout the book.
All of the illustrations are breathtaking and set this book apart from other stories like it. This adaptation of the tale is quite similar to the broader known version of this story. This makes it an excellent choice for children who already love this tale.
13. Become a World Explorer
Rachel of Undercover Hippy Bus blog has world-schooled and traveled with her family for several years. She has created a fabulous World Explorer Study Pack you can purchase and download from her blog. It is full of multicultural education activities for students can use to research and learn about other countries. Here is what she says:
A one-page mini-study on a country of their choice is a wonderful way for little explorers to learn about the countries that they love. Choose a country and use the extension activities to have fun as a family while you research, look up the facts and figures, learn about the people and their festivals, cook up a dish from that country or dance to the music of that land.
There are so many ways to connect with the joys and experiences of travel without necessarily having to pack your luggage and chase that plane ticket. The World Explorer’s Study Pack is a perfect way for travel-loving families to feed their travel bug and learn about countries that might be out of the scope of travel for now.
A digital file to keep and print as many times as you need, store the completed worksheets in a folder to create a beautiful collection of world studies. Add to your learning journal as you go, mix and match the activities to suit your child's interest. A learning pack to compliment the resources you already have at your fingertips. All you need is a reference book, an atlas, or a documentary on television – or a combination of a number of different resources.
Simple, budget-friendly educational activities including communication, numbers, science, self-awareness and creative skills within this unit. Comes with an easy to use tick-list for families who like to follow aspects of a curriculum to easily follow the learning.
14. Take A Virtual Adventure With TV
Not all TV shows are just for entertainment. Some are great for teaching your kids about places around the world and introducing kids to other cultures. Tiffany from Mommy And Me Travels blog has put together eight of the best travel TV shows for kids! See what she recommends:
With schools closed and travel coming to a standstill, are you daydreaming about escaping to a faraway destination? You are not alone. That is why Mommy And Me Travels has searched out the 8 Best Travel TV Shows For Kids.
Take a virtual adventure around the world with some of your soon-to-be favorite characters while keeping a lookout for your next family adventure. These cute characters will teach your kids about cultures and languages around the globe. Make sure to schedule a little laughter and fun time in your homeschooling day by watching lovable characters like Luna, Jett, Carman, Mouk, and so many more.
15. Grab Your Kids' Suitcase And Passport To Experience The World From Home
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Little Passports World Edition subscription for kids. It is a wonderful way for kids to learn about the world, as these monthly packages are full of multicultural education activities for students.
With the Little Passports World Edition subscription, kids receive a monthly package with a variety of materials to teach them about geography, cultures, and countries.
Their first month includes:
- the signature blue Little Passports World Edition suitcase
- a passport
- wall-sized world map
- a collectible country coin
- three animal squishies
- a welcome letter from pen pals Sam and Sofia
- stickers, photo, and activity sheet
- access to online country-themed content
Each month thereafter, kids receive:
- a special souvenir from each country they are learning about
- additional letters from their pen-pals
- new country coins
- activity sheets and photos for the month's country
- stickers for their suitcase, passport, and map
The Little Passports World Edition is ideal for kids ages six to 10 years old. For kids ages three to five years old, the Little Passports Early Explorers is a perfect option for the younger adventurers to begin to explore the world.
In addition to their subscriptions, Little Passports is offering a variety of free online resources for families who are homeschooling right now. It's just another reason why Little Passports is one of my favorite multicultural education activities for students and families.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About Travel and Multicultural Educational Activities For Students At Home
Whether you can't travel or just want to prepare kids for a trip, or maybe you are just wanting to add multicultural education activities for students to your homeschool curriculum, there are so many ways to give your kids the world. While traveling is on hold, we can still visit other countries, experience Disney, discover other cultures, and learn new skills along the way, even from home.
Need more ideas for what to do? Check out:
15 Ideas For A Famly Staycation from Miro From Cairo blog!
Indoor Activities For Babies, Todders, and Kids While On Lockdown from Parenthood 4 Ever blog!