Top 10 Virtual excursions for children during Lockdown.

A dinosaur peeping out of the window during Lockdown.

The glorious weather during the first Lockdown really helped when we had to stay at home. Now with cold, gloomy days looming ahead, the kids may not be so keen to play outside and we all may feel more restless.

Luckily, some child-friendly attractions are using creative ways to reach us at home while they are closed. With the power of the internet, we can virtually travel further and discover all kinds of new places.

1. Discover Children’s Story Centre

We have spent hours at Discover in the outdoor playground and themed story worlds. Luckily they are bringing some of their magic into our homes. We played alongside the sensory storytime of Goldilocks and the 3 bears with home-made play-doh. The boys loved it and made a lot of mess! My son suggested supplying Daddy with a constant stream of tea to keep him upstairs until we’d cleaned it all up!

2. The Little Angel Theatre

This magical puppet theatre has shared lots of free, enchanting puppet shows and workshops on YouTube since the first Lockdown. You can also book online shows and activities on their website.

3. The V&A museum

This inventive museum of Art and Design offers lots of virtual family fun online, including designing your own wig, which we found quite mesmerizing, and “Let’s Make Wednesdays”.

4. The Unicorn Theatre

This thought-provoking theatre offers online storytelling and plays on YouTube for younger and older children.

Philip Pullman’s Grimm Tales online

Adapted by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials), they present a deliciously gruesome selection of six theatrical readings from Grimm Tales, re-told for the whole family by an extraordinary cast.

Filmed at the Unicorn and aimed at ages 8–12 (School Years 4–7), these short, vivid new readings are streaming on the YouTube channel, for free, from 10am on 5 October 2020 until 21 February 2021.

Huddle

The Unicorn teamed up with Filskit Theatre to reimagine their 2019 festive hit show Huddle as a brand new Christmas digital theatre experience.

Huddle is a moving tale of a daddy penguin and his new chick learning how to thrive in spite of the odds. This online version, narrated by Madeline Appiah, uses instrumental music and beautiful hand-drawn animation to bring this atmospheric, snow-filled story to life.

5. Edinburgh zoo

Home to the only black and white Panda in the UK, Edinburgh zoo has set up web-cams so that you can spy on the animals from the comfort of your own home. They have some great resources online and you can sign up for a free Zoodle (Zoo Digital Learning Environment) account.

6. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan has set up so many activities for children at home that they set up a new CMOM at home website. You can sign up for Magical Monday, Move and Groove Tuesday, Our World Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, Feel Good Friday, Storytime Saturday, and Surprise Sunday.

7. The National Space Centre, Leicester

The Internet can even take us as far as The Moon. The National Space Centre in the UK and NASA have a whole host of videos and resources online.

NASA also has lots of news and resources.

8. The Roald Dahl museum

The Roald Dahl Museum has decided to bring photos and facts from the museum online. There are some great creative project ideas, such as making your own chocolate wrapper ball (which requires chocolate consumption!) and a Wonka factory machine. A trip to this site could inspire hours of reading and movie viewing of the many stories by Roald Dahl. My son is a big fan of the Tom and Jerry version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If there was ever a time to enter a world of “Pure Imagination”, this is it!

9. The Natural History Museum

This Museum usually has huge crowds waiting to get in. It even organizes Dino Snores: sleepovers for kids and adults so that they can experience a real Night in the Museum. Now you can visit virtually.

They also have a try-this-at-home section on their website to keep your Dino hunters and nature lovers happy.

10. The Museum of London

The Museum of London features fun home-learning opportunities on its website, including the Great Fire of London which is a popular school topic. They even offer a Minecraft experience which is sure to keep lots of home learners entertained and educated!