Wishing you could go explore this summer but are stuck at home instead? We’ve got the next best thing for you and your kids to do if you can’t venture out – virtual tours! Enjoy them together, or give your kids an educational and fun adventure on their own exploring some of our countries greatest museums, zoos, National Parks and more! We’ve also included some critical thinking questions to get your child’s brain working hard and beating the summertime blues.
Visit museums from around the country and “walk” through their halls. Many provide videos along with a virtual tour and the American Museum of Natural History also has downloadable worksheets for each section of the museum!
American Museum of Natural History – New York City, New York
National Gallery of Art – Washington D.C.
Ellis Island – New York City, New York
Explore zoos from around the world from the comfort of your chair. Visit your favorite city’s zoo, or click below for a list of links to zoos with live webcams to see what the animals are doing – from across the country!
San Diego Zoo – San Diego, California
Did you know that there are 419 National Parks in the United States? It’s true! Virtually visit some of the more popular, like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks, or click here to find some of the less traveled parks.
Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
Other Fun Stuff
Have you ever seen how M&M’s are made? Click for this Food Network tour of one of their factories!
What to Ask To Spark Critical Thinking
Sticking with open-ended questions (meaning you can’t answer “yes” or “no”) will encourage thought before answering. Getting kids to really think about their answers can be a little tricky at first, but the payoff of learning to think about answers, and then form questions is a big learning tool for kids.
- What did you like best? Why?
- What was your least favorite part? Why is that?
- Why do you think about the (main focus, animal, landform, etc)? How do you think it got that way? What do you think it eats?
- What problems do you think they might have in the zoo? Museum? National Park? How could they be solved?
- How is this – park, museum, factory – different than another one you’ve seen?
Need More Ideas?
Click over to our blog page for lots of topics and posts!