There's no denying that being stuck indoors for this amount of time can start to feel difficult, so we're having to come up with more creative ways to entertain ourselves during the long lockdown days. Where you'd use to spend your weekends as a family going on trips, new places and having adventures together, with the present situation this can start to feel like a distant memory.
However, there are still plenty of ways to make the most out of this time you have together and find other ways to experience those exciting visits you're used to, whilst maybe even discovering something new to do. We've created a step-by-step guide on how your family can still have a fun educational "day out" from indoors and how a virtual day out can still feel just as special.
Virtual family days out can certainly be something to look forward to throughout the week and they can include something for everyone so you little ones definitely won't be getting bored. Take a read below of some great ideas for virtual family days out that we recommend.
Step 1: Plan With Your Kids Where They Want To Go
Kids have the best imaginations, so start by planning with your little ones where they want to go to generate a list of great ideas. Granted you might get some out there suggestions that are slightly more difficult to achieve, but the best ideas start with obscure ones, and with the magic of modern day technology, you might be surprised what you can discover. There's so many fun ideas and fantastic places to explore waiting to be found, so get together and get your thinking caps on to see what you can come up with. The wonders of modern technology are allowing us to be much more adventurous with what we can do with limited resources and means at the moment, and there are so many brilliant options that you and your family will be sure to enjoy. Museums are starting to offer virtual guides and virtual tours so you can marvel at the amazing exhibits all from the comfort of your home. With immersive experiences on offer via webcams, it really will feel like you and your family are there. You can even discover the many wonders of the world virtually and have a true cultural experience from inside the house. Galleries and museums across the world are offering the chance to view their extensive collections online, an amazing fun and educational experience to be had. This is definitely not one to miss out on!
Step 2: Choose When To Go And Mark It On The Calendar
The best part of these family days is the excitement and the looking forward to doing something different together. This is why choosing when to go and marking it on the calendar is a great way to make virtual days out even more exciting. It's more important than ever during these times to make sure that your weekends really do feel like the weekend, and are separate from your working week. Getting together as a family and creating a scheduled routine and calendar is a fantastic way to drum up excitement in your little ones and break up the week, making the most of lockdown to really connect and create memories together as a family.
Step 3: Travel To The Location
With your kids' imagination combined with the endless possibilities that are currently on offer online, there is really no limit to the potential ideas of what you can do to have a virtual day out. A virtual tour during lockdown is a perfect way to experience a whole new culture or learn about a new and interesting topic, often for free. You and your kids can travel to many other cities and countries, or with some technology even venture beyond this planet! And with some imagination, travelling forwards or backwards in time is also an option with the endless possibilities, and a perfect way to learn some history. For example, if your kids are interested in learning more about space, you can find some great virtual tours available on the official NASA website, something your kids will be sure they'd want to check out. To make it feel like you really are travelling to these locations, you could even set up the 'day out' in a specific room in your house and garden, and get ready as a family to make your way to the new places you're about to experience.
Step 4: Set A Theme And Pick Your Outfits
Whether it's space themed, cowboy themed, art themed or dinosaur themed, setting up decorations, wearing costumes and creating an immersive experience is a fantastic way to make the most out of your virtual family days. This will be sure to make the day feel even more special, and there's plenty of ways you can get your creativity flowing and make an amazing themed experience that everyone will be sure to want to visit. If you haven't got any fitting costumes either, finding some old and rarely used clothes from the back of the wardrobe is a great way to upcycle what you already own, and have fun together cutting and sewing together some new and unique creations. Your virtual day out doesn't have to be limited to just one day, as you can plan out your themed decorations throughout the week to really build up some excitement. Why not extend the day and transform your evening into a themed film night as well? If you've visited some of the museum's dinosaur exhibit for example, why not pick a dinosaur themed film to really make the most of your time together.
Step 5: Invite Others
This day out doesn't solely have to be a family affair. Why not invite other friends and family members who aren't currently isolating with you to join in the fun and explore these new places with you? With apps like FaceTime and Zoom, you can invite family and friends to the event to make the day even more special. These apps offer many video chat call options so you can connect with your loved ones and really feel like they are in the room with you. With them being easy to download too, even some of our less tech savvy family members can get involved easily too. You can all visit the same locations virtually at the same time, and share your experience and have fun seeing if you can spot all relics and artefacts as a group. This is a great way to socialise and bond with each other whilst making some amazing and unforgettable memories.
Step 6: Plan The Perfect Lunch
Sticking with the theme of your day, why not have fun together creating some tasty snacks ready for lunchtime on your trip? You and your kids can have a great time getting your chef hands messy in the kitchen, and making some delicious treats to be enjoyed by the whole family on the day. Shaped biscuits and cookies which can be iced with an array of colours and sprinkles are a fantastic option that everyone will certainly love. Check out some of these other sweet treat recipes to have a go at making with your little ones.
Step 7: Enjoy The Day
Of course it's important to remember the difficulties that many of us are facing during the coronavirus pandemic, but finding ways to make the most of our time and see the silver lining like going on one of these virtual days out is definitely needed now more than ever to lift ourselves during these uncertain times. It is a rare occurrence to be able to spend this much time with our families at home without the stresses and pressures of work and other commitments getting in the way, so when you plan an event like this, it's important to enjoy and make the most of it; take lots of photos and make lots of memories. There's so much these virtual days out are offering too to really make your day incredibly memorable and special, with there being something for everyone available out there. With learning videos, online interviews, tours and even some virtual reality (VR) options if you're lucky enough to own a headset, this day can truly be unforgettable.
Just remember that even during the most difficult and testing times, there's still a wealth of fun to be had by you and your family.