Field trips give children the chance to learn and explore new things outside of the traditional classroom. However, the pandemic has significantly limited access to field trip experiences. Not only does this impact teachers, it impacts many parents, who look forward to taking their children on educational summer excursions. Luckily, there are many virtual field trip experiences available online! Many museums and arts organizations have exciting games, virtual galleries and videos on their websites. This list will outline some of the art trips and resources that are available for free, right from your tablet or computer!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has an incredible website created specifically for young learners. Kids can engage with an illustrated map, where they can click on icons to view and learn about works of art. The website also features a “time machine” tool, which kids can use to find artworks and artifacts based on time period, geographical location and/or theme. To top it all off, MetKids has hundreds of engaging videos for kids to browse through.
Extension: Take a look at the exterior of the museum using Google Earth or Google Maps (Street View).
Drawing with Disney Artists
The Disney Parks Blog features many posts related to drawing and animation. By clicking on this link your child will be able to learn how to draw Mickey Mouse from a Disney cast member. There are several video tutorials, as the cast member explains how Mickey has evolved over time. By scrolling to the bottom of the page you will find a wide range of tutorials for other Disney Characters.
Extension: Make this virtual field trip even more engaging by spotting the different versions of Mickey in old and new Disney films and books.
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Like The Met, the Cleveland Museum of Art has created an interactive website for children, with many hands-on activities. The “Collection Connections” section allows children to complete projects inspired by pieces from the museum’s collections. For example, they can take a look at one of Kandinsky’s paintings before creating their own music-inspired drawing. Additionally, new creative challenges are posted on the website each week. Kids can even submit their artwork to be displayed on the website’s virtual gallery!
Extension: Choose one artist or art piece to research in more detail. A report is not necessary, but your child might want to write down or draw some of their findings. You could also help them to seek out books or videos related to the topic they are interested in.
Mural Painting Time-Lapse Videos
This virtual field trip idea is slightly less structured than the others, but I guarantee your child will enjoy it! This YouTube Video (and many others) gives viewers the chance to see the creation of a mural unfold before their eyes. This is an art form that is rarely discussed at school, and many children are excited about its scale and impact! Plus, the link I have provided showcases a mural located right here in Ontario (in Sudbury)!
Extension: Take a time-lapse video of your child creating a chalk drawing or another form of artwork. Depending upon age and ability level, your child could even edit the video by adding captions or effects.
Google Arts and Culture
Google Arts and Culture is the ultimate tool for arts information, research and exploration. This website can be used to look at art pieces close-up and to view famous sites (galleries, museums, theatres, etc.) via 360 degree videos and Google’s Street View. The Family Fun section provides activities and images specifically geared towards children. You can also explore a page dedicated to The International Museum of Children’s Art which features artwork created by kids from over 180 countries! I would recommend focusing on these sections of Google Arts and Culture, as the works of art they highlight are age-appropriate.
Extension: Many extensions are already built into this platform. There are videos to watch, websites to explore and even articles to read.
I hope you enjoy exploring these resources with your children! Keep in mind that some art pieces are more appropriate for older learners. For the virtual field trips with a search function (MetKids and Google Arts and Culture), supervision is suggested.