Parents with little ones hear this question a lot. Whenever a car trip is involved, whether to the Dentist, the grocery store or (in the pre-corona virus days) to a holiday destination, you are certain to hear the loud and perhaps even continuous question “are we there yet?” coming from the back seat of the car. The good news is that, temporarily at least, we have a way for you to answer that question with an immediate “Yes!” Strictly speaking our focus isn’t on teeth today although you certainly might see plenty of them in your “travels.” Today we’re talking about places to “go” while in quarantine, places that might just keep your little (and big kids) occupied for an hour or two and places where yes, you might actually seem some teeth – dino teeth that is!
In the constant search for opportunities to keep our children occupied we have been reading about museums around the world that are “opening their doors” via online access. If an art gallery is more your style you can start with a visit to MoMa, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. With over 85,000 of their exhibits available online there is a lot to see at https://www.moma.org/collection/. Those who wish to go a little farther afield might want to make a stopover in Paris, visiting both the world famous Louvre, currently exhibiting a number of virtual tours online at https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne or the Musee D’Orsey, showing a variety of artwork dating from the late 1800’s through to the start of WW1. They are located at https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris?hl=en. If you are interested in a complete list of museums to visit we highly recommend you can search the hashtag #MuseumFromHome on Instagram, or visit Google Arts and Culture which provides approx. 500 links to museums from around the world, all located on just one site. Visit https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en&tab=pop
For the younger museum explorers, who might be more interested in those dino teeth we mentioned in the opening paragraph, you can start with a museum that is right here close to home, affectionately known as the “ROM,” or Royal Ontario Museum. Visit them at https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/royal-ontario-museum?hl=en. Another site the kids might find enthralling, and certainly one we were not previously aware of, is the Wyoming Dinosaur Centre located at https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-wyoming-dinosaur-center?hl=en. In another cool discovery, we even found a fascinating museum dedicated to insects from around the world at https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/insect-museum-of-west-china?hl=en. If your wee ones aren’t grossed out by bugs – take a peek at what they have online!
The beauty of a trip that is only taken online is avoiding all of those “are we there yet” questions AND you can go back again and again! Plus, as an added bonus, no line-ups! To add to the sense of adventure, might we also suggest that you still make a full travel day out of the experience you and your children have by doing a few little extras. Plan your “trip” by designating a museum a day and pack a snack to bring with you on the adventure. Perhaps you might even want to encourage the kids to bring along a sketchpad, some crayons or pencil crayons and have them recreate their favourite piece of art, a bug or dinosaur.
Finally, consider adding a map of the world to your “trip” itinerary and have the children locate and pin the location of the countries of the various museums you visit. I’d encourage parents to really take the time to pre-plan some of these adventures. We got lost just searching through the Google arts and culture site! For example, did you know there is a hat museum, or that you could explore the statues of Easter Island up close? There are fashion museums and even locations where you can take 360 degree tours. The world is literally at your fingertips! Just don’t forget to brush your teeth when you get “home!” On that note, we’ll end as we always do – ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!” Happy Exploring!