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Field trips for kids are essential to academic development, providing unique insights and a more interactive way of learning. Virtual field trips for kids have become popular as our lives move towards the digital world. 

The Benefits of Virtual Field Trips for Kids

world map on hands

Virtual field trips for kids became popular during the pandemic, but they were already gaining attention before COVID-19. In fact, research in 2018 highlighted a 55% increase in virtual field trip participation compared to the previous year. The figures have continued to grow since.

Many educators still use virtual field trips in their teachings, even though traditional field trips for kids are back. Some of the reasons for this include;

  • They are more affordable and a lot easier to organize.
  • Participants can ‘visit’ destinations from all over the world.
  • Virtual field trips encourage interaction, participation, and engagement.
  • They are a fantastic chase for students with accessibility issues.
  • Students can collaborate for even deeper learning.

As traditional field trips become less commonplace, virtual alternatives allow students to grow their knowledge base conveniently. For educators, the key to success largely depends on choosing the right experience.

10 of the Best Virtual Field Trips for Kids

In this guide, our experts will highlight 10 of the best options and teach you how to access them.

#1. Virtual White House Tours

Visiting The White House is one of the most common bucket list items, and many schools arrange trips to Washington D.C. each year. Now, you can see it like never before. Virtually.

The White House virtual tours presented by Google offer six online exhibits. They show students around the White House, including places like the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and East Wing Entrance. Worksheets are readily available online making it easy to build a field trip. It can also link to teachings of history, politics, and various other subjects.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Google Arts & Culture

#2. Met Museum

Met Museum Virtual Field Trip

Museums are among the most popular field trips for kids across the K-12 sector. Many offer virtual tours, or live webcams allowing students around the world to see exhibitions. The Met Museum is ideal.

Thanks to its dedicated #MetKids platform, students are taken on an incredible journey to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a Where’s Waldo-type setup. Students can explore the balcony, Velez Blanco Castle, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, and even the gift shop. They’ll also see an extensive range of artworks and artifacts for a truly memorable experience.

We like the time machine feature that lets students explore different periods from 8,000 BC to the present day.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Met Museum 

#3. Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is one of the most fascinating natural landmarks on earth. Virtual tours of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are an ideal way for youngsters to visit it.

Taking a field trip to Arizona is expensive. It could also be a logistical nightmare, especially trying to keep kids safe when visiting the canyon. Virtual tours make geography accessible and enjoyable for kids, teaching them how the canyon was formed.

The 360° tours also enable students to see it from perspectives that would not be possible in real life. Better still guided and self-guided tours are available.

Educators may then want to set a task where students make their own Grand Canyon from construction paper. This can be a particularly cool group task.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Exploring the Grand Canyon

#4. Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

One of the great things about virtual field trips for kids is that you can visit destinations off-limits for real-world adventures. Virtual polar bear tours are the perfect example.

Students can watch videos of polar bears in their natural habitats and see how mother polar bears take care of their cubs. Moreover, there are opportunities to learn fun facts about the beautiful animals as well as the different places where they can be found. Elementary kids will also gain the chance to learn about their endangered species status as per the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group.

When combined with various spreadsheets and interactive activities, learning about polar bears becomes far more engaging.

Where to access the virtual field trip: The Educators’ Spin On It

#5. Amazon Career Tours

Even at the elementary school level, educators should be helping students prepare for their future. Therefore, the Amazon Career Tours are a fantastic choice for virtual field trips.

Amazon is one of the biggest companies on the planet and continues to grow at speed. Its free Career Tours include insights into data centers and fulfillment centers. However, the tours also extend to a Space Innovation Tour that explores the NASA Orion spacecraft, as well as a tour behind the scenes of Amazon Music. So, the experience is vastly different from the factory tours that you may have experienced as a child.

Educators are also provided with Teacher Toolkits to help build their field trips and unlock better outcomes for their students.  

Where to access the virtual field trip: Amazon Tours

#6. Nickelodeon Slime In Space

While traditional field trips are often complicated and time-consuming, virtual field trips for kids provide concise learning. Nickelodeon’s Slime In Space program is a great example.

The free 15-minute virtual field trip takes students 250 miles into the sky before providing a demonstration of the effects of microgravity on slime. Created in partnership with the International Space Station National Laboratory, the virtual field trips are out of this world. Following the demonstration, kids are encouraged to see how slime reacts in a real-world environment, making it an ideal sensory learning activity too.

For youngsters, the association with Nickelodeon and its iconic slime provides an instant appeal. It is a great introduction into space and physical sciences.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Nickelodeon SIS 

#7.Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace Guards

Virtual field trips for kids offer the chance to explore global destinations at the click of a button. Right now, Buckingham Palace in London stands out as a fantastic choice.

The recent deaths of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip mean that this will be known as a time of immense historical significance. Virtual tours take students around the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room, and the Blue Drawing Room. This video tour can be combined with insights into other landmarks in Westminster, like Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Youngsters can enjoy activities like drawing Union Jacks or iconic London buses. However, you must check the availability of the official virtual tours of Buckingham Palace beforehand.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Royal UK

#8. Recycling Center Trips

Field trips for kids aim to shape children into better people. A deeper understanding of protecting the planet is one of the best ways for youngsters to do this.

A virtual field trip to a recycling center is the perfect way to facilitate this goal. Video-heavy tours include looks at recycling centers and modern landfills. Perhaps more importantly, the tours cover age-specific content for grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

So, educators can find content that will actively keep their students engaged. It’s an informative and entertaining way to gain a clearer look at recycling.

As well as using worksheets and other interactive tools, educators can follow this field trip with in-class recycling efforts. Perfect.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Recycling Simplified

#9. Rainforest Virtual Field Trip

The best virtual field trips for kids bring important subjects to life. The rainforest is something kids have studied for years without visiting it.

Dedicated virtual field trips to the rainforest include videos, audiobooks, and songs. Thanks to the dedicated virtual curriculum, teachers do not need to organize lesson plans or questions.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Kids R Kids

#10. Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore virtual field trip

Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. It encourages people to learn about some of America’s most important people.

Virtual tours include exhibits, virtual tours, and a truly phenomenal immersive experience. Panoramic tours and 3D explorers add another layer of excitement while the organizers also provide lesson plans to make life easier for teachers.

This experience could include asking students who they would put on their Mount Rushmores.

Learning about Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Jefferson without physically visiting the Black Hills in South Dakota never looked better.

Where to access the virtual field trip: Cyark

The Final Word

While traditional field trips still have an important role to play for youngsters, virtual field trips for kids are now a great accompaniment. Whether used to overcome logistical and financial issues or learn about places that can’t be explored in the physical world, kids will love it.

Honorable Mentions:

San Diego Zoo

Nature Conservancy

Museum of Natural History