While there aren't many people traveling right now, millions of kids are doing remote learning. So there's never been a better time teach your kids about the world. How does that work if you're not getting on a plane? Take remote learning to the next level and showcase the places that your children are learning about in school or choose a destination that you think they'd be interested in and turn it into an expanded geography lesson at home.
From cooking to crafts to language lessons, your family can spend time immersing themselves in the many cultures of the world, then plan a trip to that location when all this is over. Here are eight places that kids will love to learn about — plus some ideas for where you can go when the world opens back up.
What American kid doesn't study US history? Help make remote history lessons more fun by learning about America's capital. Watch some episodes of Liberty's Kids (the animated historical fiction television series), try making the famous chili dogs from Washington DC's legendary Ben's Chili Bowl, then recreate some of the District's gorgeous cherry blossoms from tissue paper. Then plan a vacation to our nation's capital with a stay at The Dupont Circle, a recently renovated hotel that gives families easy access to the best sights the city has to offer.
Read more about Washington DC: "Best New Attractions in Washington, DC Not to Miss"
If your kids are studying Peru and the Incas, teach them about the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu, show them how to make ceviche and take a dive deep into the animals of the Amazon rainforest with the kids' book Afternoon on the Amazon. Once you've got the family excited about Peru, plan an amazing trip with andBeyond that will take you hiking the Inca trail with an expert on Incan culture. (Tip for families with young kids: Take the shorter four-hour hike.) The place to stay to be conveniently located to Machu Picchu is Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. Want to dazzle the kids with even more Peruvian experiences? Take a food tour in Lima, then head to the wilds of the Amazon to see nature at its finest.
Read more about Peru: "5 Awesome Reasons to Take Your Kids to Peru and Machu Picchu"
Bring Spain to life by immersing kids in its history, art, food and more. Help the kids create drawings and painting projects inspired by Spanish artists like Goya. Do some Spanish cooking lessons (Food & Wine offers some incredible online cooking classes for kids). Want to work on their Spanish language skills? Go beyond Dora the Explorer and check out Telmo y Tula, a children's cartoon series where Telmo and Tula also teach kids to cook and do crafts. Then let the kids help plan the family trip to Spain, so that they can see the things that really piqued their interest, from paella making in Valencia to an architectural tour of Seville. Virtuoso agents can craft the perfect trip to match your child's interests, and the promise of a trip is a great incentive to learn.
Next, let's jet off to Ireland. Kids can learn to make soda bread, do some Irish step dancing, practice some Gaelic language lessons and — if you have Irish roots — even start to work on personal genealogy via Ancestry.com. Irish eyes will be smiling when you take the whole family on a trip to Dromoland Castle in County Clare, a 16th century castle with authentic suits of armor in the lobby and tons to keep everyone in the family entertained. Kids can try their hand at the 400-plus-year-old sport of falconry. Learn about the history of the 16th century castle. Or consult with the in-house genealogist, who can teach your family all about Irish roots and heritage.
Read more about Ireland: "10 Experiences Your Kids Will Love in Ireland"
If the kids are interested in Africa, they will love tuning into andBeyond's twice-daily live stream safaris, catching a few episodes of Wild Kratts on Amazon Prime and learning to speak some Swahili on Dueling. Then the family can experience the ultimate bucket-list treat of a vacation to andBeyond's Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in East Africa. It is super family friendly and kids can learn to track animals and make a Maasai bow and arrow through the company's innovative WILDchild program, which brings the wonders of Africa to life.
The Olympics got moved to 2021, but they put Japan on the radar of many families. Immerse your kids in everything Japanese by ordering sushi (and supporting local restaurants) or learning how to make your own sushi at home. Read Japanese children's books like Peach Boy and other Japanese Children's Favorite Stories, try some traditional shibori (Japanese tie dye). The pay off is a trip to Tokyo and a stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo, where kids are greeted with miniature bathrobes and a slew of bath toys. The views of Mt. Fuji and the huge swimming pool floating above the city will be a big hit.
Read more about Japan: "Japan Dream Trip Planner: A Family-Friendly Itinerary"
Introduce your kids to the wonders of the West Indies by looking at Pissaro paintings (and learning about his life) and track the path of Christopher Columbus — especially his stop on the island he named after his brother, St. Barthelemy. While you're working with the kids to make French bread, practice some French language skills on Duolingo or Muzzy. Have an amazing family vacation at the end at The Hotel Christopher (named after Columbus himself). The property's new villas — the Nina, Pinta and Maria — each have four bedrooms and full-sized pools and are perfect for families.
If the kids are learning about sealife, they'll love learning about the whaling culture of Nantucket. If the kids are too young to read Moby Dick themselves, you can check out Moby Dick Retold For Kids. Some other fun Nantucket-inspired activities: Do mock scrimshaw art projects, try some 18th-century recipes. All this historic research can culminate with a visit to Jared Coffin House, a former whaling captain's home. You can also visit Nantucket's legendary Whaling Museum, where kids will love checking out the skeleton of a 46-foot sperm whale.
Read more about Nantucket: "8 Cool Things to Do on Nantucket for Families"
by Laura Begley Bloom