Armchair travel is when you learn about other countries without travelling to them. There are fun ways of doing this.
Here is a list of online travel resources showing how kids can discover the world from home. The majority of these resources are free but some have subscription services that offer enhanced guides.
Let’s start with the company that has over 250 years of experience in providing quality and accurate information to the world. Britannica has lots of free resources but also has an enhanced selection via their subscription service.
National Geographic Kids has a comprehensive site dedicated to a number of topics including animals, astronomy, women heroes and environmental issues. It also has useful homework resources and quizzes. Click here to access the specific countries resource.
Lonely Planet, one of my favourite travel guides, has a selection of short videos suitable for children. If you sign up to their newsletter, you can get emails about family travel and activity sheets for children.
NASA, the US space agency, has a specific fun site for children related to space exploration where you can do activities such as making a straw rocket and test your driving skills on Mars. NASA also has a site dedicated to Earth topics where you’ll find some amazing pictures and videos of our diverse planet.
BBC has a list of video resources for a variety of subjects including geography, languages and history. The resources are categorised according to age on the main learning page.
OTHER ONLINE RESOURCES FOR KIDS
Kids World Travel Guide is a South Africa-based website set up by Regina Graeff, author and educational consultant. The information on the website is researched by parents and children. Not only does the website include information on countries but also has quizzes, fun facts and travel tips.
UK-based Internet Geography has a huge bank of resources for the study of all types of geography. This is great for teenagers.
Scoilnet is an Irish website that comes highly recommended by teachers. You can search by the different school categories (Primary = Age 4/5 up to Age 12) and then narrow down by subject.
The Seven Continents Song on YouTube is a memorable way of learning about the continents.
Also, on YouTube, the Travel Kids channel is a series about children travelling around the world and the experiences they encounter.
The Good Housekeeping website has a great list of US-based virtual tours.
Here is a list of virtual tours of famous landmarks around the world:
If you want to buy books that will help your children discover the world in an educational and fun way, then I highly recommend the Usborne series. Usborne do excellent language learning resources. In fact, I’ve used the Spanish and Italian book and CD sets.
Lonely Planet has a fantastic range of books for kids including city guides, boredom busters, travel maps and language learning guides.
As Mark Twain said, travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Book Doctor Ruth Concannon has put together an excellent list of children’s books that can help facilitate discussions about racism and discrimination. That list is available on her blog.
I hope you and your children enjoy discovering the world from home with this list of juvenile armchair travel resources. If there is any website, book etc that helped your children learn about the world, please leave a comment below.