One thing that students often look forward to in the summer is visiting amusement parks and carnivals. It’s hard to come close to the real thing, but these virtual field trips offer a taste of excitement that can be enjoyed safely from home.
One of Toronto’s biggest attractions has many virtual experiences available online. Looking at the map of the park is a great way to teach students about maps, planning, and making a schedule. For example, teachers or parents could circle the rides that are available virtually on the map and students could help make a schedule of which virtual attractions they are going to experience.
Students will have lots of fun with virtual point of view rides. There are playlists of family rides, thrill rides, and roller coaster rides so there is definitely something for everyone. Putting your hands up in the air and even adding some music will make the virtual experience even more engaging. This trip provides a great opportunity to learn about systems and machines after experiencing rides, and this can be tailored to the level and interests of each child.
Disney world is a dream destination for many kids, and since we don’t have a Disney park in Canada it may be hard to visit even when everything is open. Disney’s virtual experiences are the next best thing and provide opportunities to virtually walk around the park, experience virtual rides, and see your favourite characters online. Google street view allows you to virtually tour many resorts around the world — I have linked Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida but there are many Disney parks and resorts available such as Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California. The Youtube channel Virtual Disney World also has countless 360 videos of rides for all ages. The virtual rides do have some background noise, but in some ways it makes it a more realistic experience! As mentioned in another one of our blog posts, the Disney blog also has videos that demonstrate how to draw popular characters such as Mickey Mouse, which would be a great extension to a virtual Disney trip.
Students will receive a firsthand look into how this popular colourful treat is made. Food Network has created a 360 video (which means you can click to move around the room while watching) at an M&M factory in New Jersey. This could be a great virtual experience to connect to baking or cooking at home, or even learning about colours for younger students.
There are also many fun games to play with M&Ms that can create community and encourage learning while having fun at home. For example, students could use M&Ms to practice counting or sorting colours before they eat them. There are also many ice breaker games to play such as having each person pick a handful of M&Ms and then answer questions based on the colour (e.g. talk about your favourite hobby if you picked a red one, talk about your favourite book if you picked a blue one). These games can also be adapted to students’ academic goals in the classroom. For example, students could complete a math question or spell a word based on their colour of M&M, and then get to eat their M&Ms as a reward!
Trip to an Ice Cream Shop or Pizza Parlour
Some students may miss going out to restaurants or out for ice cream. These videos from South Florida PBS offer virtual experiences of places such as an ice cream shop and a pizza parlour. They are geared towards younger students (Pre-K and Kindergarten), but older students and parents may enjoy the videos as inspiration for creating their own restaurant at home! After watching the video, students could write out a menu of options, cook up a simple meal, and even serve their creation to a family member!