“Exploring” with Kids in the Orange Zone

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by Ashley Caneva

Well, parents, we find ourselves once again in the orange zone – with continued closures of museums, dine-in restaurants, cinemas and more. My boys were so excited to live so much closer to indoor playgrounds, an aquarium, and parks when we moved here just over a year ago – but Covid-19 has really cramped our style. Even though we can’t travel like we did in 2019 (we saw 5 countries!), we can do some virtual exploring with the help of the internet! Here are a few ideas for fostering your childrens’ curiosity while in the orange. 

Take a virtual class! Outschool.com is a wonderful resource for reasonably-priced classes for kids on an incredible range of topics. They literally have classes on everything from the solar system to Disney princess ballet to the science of farts. (Guess which my boys would choose.) These online classes are a great way for kids to explore their interests with other kids outside of a traditional classroom!

Have a Glow-in-the-Dark Party!

If your kids are anything like mine, they have a lot of excess energy to burn off these days. This week, we are planning to take advantage of the early sunsets and have a glow-in-the-dark party. A few luminous necklaces, glow sticks, flashing string lights, and some dance music is all you need to break up the monotony and have a great time as a family! 

Go for a virtual walk in another city, nation, or even continent with Google Earth!

Pick a place you would like to go – or even somewhere you have already gone – and “walk” around the city! Be sure to check out famous landmarks and museums. Many of them allow you to walk around inside!

Have a “global dinner” at home!

This is something I often talk about on our kids’ cultural education website because it can be such a fun and immersive way to travel virtually with kids. Pick a childrens’ film that takes place in another culture and theme the whole night around it. For example, watch Disney’s “Coco” (which takes place in Mexico), order some Mexican food from local restaurants La Pregunta or Pablito Messicano, listen to Mexican music, and explore Chichén Itzá on Google Earth!

While we have not been able to sample all that Trieste has to offer, we have a growing bucket list for when things reopen and we are learning to make the best of our time out and at home. Despite having limited movement during this pandemic, we are so blessed to be in such a beautiful city and to have modern technology that keeps the world at our fingertips! I hope you enjoy exploring with your children and get some ideas for your first post-Covid international vacation while you’re at it. 

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Ashley Caneva
Ashley Caneva was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, but developed a love for other cultures when she was very young and began traveling when she was 12. She studied Literature and History in college and was contemplating getting a Master’s degree in Shipwreck Archeology when she met her husband while on a trip to Peru. After working in early childhood classrooms, coordinating clinical trials, and running her own transcription business, she decided to combine her passions and created Little Explorers Big World, an online resource dedicated to cultivating a love and appreciation for world cultures in young children. Ashley is mother to two vivacious boys, a recent breast cancer survivor, an amateur genealogist, and is thrilled to live in a place where she can sink her teeth into her passion for history.

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