Keep your travel-loving family entertained with these fun activities for kids at home. They’ll learn some new skills and to appreciate different cultures in the process — no passport required.
1. For little bakers
Get set: Choose a country that you’ve always wanted to visit and research what their favorite sweet treat is. It could be macarons from Paris, custardy pasteis de nata from Portugal, or brigadeiros from Brazil.
Go: Pick up the ingredients from your local supermarket and get baking. Kids will enjoy helping, and parents will get inspired for future trips. When you’re done, a family tea party is a great way to enjoy the goodies.
Best for ages: 6-12
2. For budding scientists
Get set: When you can’t bring yourself to play “the floor is lava” one more time, get the kids to make real lava! First, help them research where volcanoes occur in the world and how lava is formed. Watching videos about active volcanoes is a fun way to engage the kids. Piton de la Fournaise on Réunion island, Mount Kilauea in Hawaii, and Mount Etna in Sicily are just a few examples.
Go: Follow these instructions and watch your very own volcano eruption. A good tip — place it all on a tray so clean-up is a breeze.
Best for ages: 6-10
3. For eco-warriors
Get set: Let the kids learn about sustainability and food miles, or the journey from producer to consumer — in a visual way. Grab some food items from the pantry including fresh fruit and vegetables. The kids can either research the origin themselves or you can write a list of countries where the foods come from. Consider chocolate from Mexico, tea from Sri Lanka, or rice from Vietnam.
Go: Spread a world map out on the floor. The kids can place the foods on the country of origin for a fascinating (and unique!) travel activity.
Best for ages: 4-8
4. For crafty kids
Get set: Choose a foreign country and research their traditional dress and jewelry (paying close attention to shapes and color).
Go: Gather craft paper or white paper and crayons and draw the patterns and motifs you’ve learned about. Get rolling (literally) and spin the paper into “beads”, then string up your newly created bracelets and necklaces. Here’s a great step-by-step guide. This activity is sure to keep little hands busy for a while.
Best for ages: 4-10
5. For bookworms
Get set: Create a magical story about faraway lands. You only need only a pen, paper, and imagination. Choose a country and research what natives do there, anything from what they eat to how they dress. Need some inspiration? Write a magical Harry Potter-style story or create a historical tale about gladiators from ancient Rome!
Go: Take one piece of paper and let the first person write a sentence. Then fold the paper so the sentence is hidden. Pass it to the next person, who also writes a sentence, and folds the paper. This goes on until you have a whole adventure written out over as many pages as you want.
Best for ages: 9-12
6. For little linguists
Get set: Learn about the diverse languages of the world. Many countries have more than one official language. Did you know, South Africa has 11 official languages — spoken all through the cities and the townships?
Go: Pick one or two countries and learn how to say important phrases in that language.
Best for ages: 8-12
7. For underwater explorers
Get set: Pretend you’re an underwater explorer and learn more about marine life from all over the world. Help the kids research places such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or the Red Sea in Israel as part of this activity for kids at home.
Go: Put your newfound inspiration into crafting by creating your own jellyfish.
Best for ages: 6-10