May 12, 2022

Learn Through Exploration with Virtual Field Trips for Kindergarten

Kai XR

Early childhood is an incredible time for brain development. At this age, kids learn by doing, playing, and exploring the world around them. Now, technology makes it easier than ever to support their natural curiosity by expanding the world we have access to. Virtual field trips for kindergarten students are an immersive activity that supports their learning and development while giving them inspiring new experiences.


The power of inquiry and curiosity fuels the learning and growth of young children. In this era of technology-fueled learning, their world should be broader than ever, with more learning experiences accessible at their fingertips. 


But many digital resources fail to capture the curiosity innate in early childhood, leading to superficial learning, if any learning at all. Too often, educational technology doesn’t help kids develop 21st century skills like critical thinking and problem-solving, instead relying on rote memorization. Virtual reality, or VR, is changing the way kids learn and engage with new information.


At Kai XR, we’re creating digital learning experiences that spark the curiosity of young children and use them to enrich their learning. We use virtual reality and 360° technology to take students on field trips around the world without ever leaving the classroom


We offer over 100 virtual field trips for preschool, kindergarten, and kids of all ages. Our VR field trips capture the creative, flexible thinking of kids, creating incredible tools to support and challenge early learners. 


Learning in Early Childhood

During early childhood, the brain forms new connections faster than any other time in life. In fact, a child’s brain grows to about 90% of its adult size by the time they’re in kindergarten. This is why young children have such an astounding capacity to learn from every new experience they have.


Kids learn in unique ways during early childhood. While older children and adults can learn by studying a book or listening to a speaker, young children learn through different ways, including:

  1. Play
  2. Experimentation
  3. Exploration
  4. Social interaction


In early childhood, kids tend to learn best when they are organically and authentically engaged in exploring the world around them. As adults, we tend to call their style of learning “play,” but play serves a massively important purpose in how young children learn.


Play is a way for young kids to explore the world around them. They experiment with new experiences, learning from each as their brain rapidly forms new connections. Kids in early childhood, including preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders, thrive when they have purposeful opportunities to construct meaning from play.


Giving them rich opportunities for play and learning has lifelong benefits. The social, emotional, and academic skills they develop in this time are a foundation for future learning throughout the rest of an individual’s life. 


Characteristics of the Early Childhood Learner

Language

  • Young kids develop language at an unmatchable rate. They learn from every interaction. Speaking with them about new experiences rapidly expands their vocabulary.

Social-Emotional Skills

  • During early childhood, kids acquire social and emotional skills from developing relationships with others. Imaginative play lets them explore their emerging personalities.

Attention

  • Early learners’ attention spans are constantly lengthening and developing. Allowing them to engage with experiences that interest them can support this.

Memory

  • During early childhood, the ability to store long-term memories is still developing. Young children are more likely to remember emotional events.


21st-Century Skills in Early Childhood

Early childhood is also the ideal time for young kids to develop 21st-century skills. These skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity


Young learners rapidly develop complementary skills like problem-solving and language, making early childhood a powerful time to begin teaching 21st-century skills. As our world rapidly evolves, early exposure to these skills is becoming irreplaceable.


Empowering young kids to explore language, critical thinking, and more is essential. In our increasingly digital world, innovative educational technologies can organically support their learning, growth, and development. 


Photo source: unsplash.com

Field Trips and the Power of Exploration

Field trips are powerful tools that allow young kids to authentically explore exciting new experiences. They support learning learning in early childhood in many ways, including:


  • Exposing students to new interests
  • Authentically increasing students’ vocabulary
  • Allowing students to generalize learning to new settings
  • Showing the real-world implications of their learning
  • Strengthening students’ observation and critical thinking skills


Field trips can be intentionally paired with classroom instruction to deepen content, making learning come alive for young students. During early childhood, kids learn by playing, exploring, and doing. Field trips are a powerful opportunity for your students to play, explore, and do new things in an impactful, structured way. They authentically support learning by immersing students in a unique new environment and challenging them to make discoveries.


These experiences allow students to explore relevant resources in their community, contextualizing their learning by connecting them to the world around them. They also allow kids to learn how they learn best: by playing and exploring their world. 


Virtual Field Trips with Early Childhood Learners

Field trips provide authentic and explorative learning opportunities for kids. They expose them to new interests, and allow them to apply their learning to new environments. However, field trips are not always realistic tools to use in supporting students.


Cost often constrains field trips, transportation, and availability of nearby community resources. Virtual field trips provide a solution by bringing experiential learning directly to students.


Traditional field trips are limited to the resources in the nearby community. While many communities may have rich historical sites or even state-of-the-art museums, these attractions are often not created to accommodate the learning styles and interests of young students.


Conversely, virtual field trips can transport your students across the world with the press of a button. This modern approach can ensure every field trip is accessible and kid-safe, as these field trips happen in the classroom. 


Additionally, these digital experiences simultaneously leverage the learning benefits of field trips and technology. Technology enhances student engagement and excitement for learning. It also innately helps students develop key 21st-century skills, like critical thinking and collaboration. 


The benefits of integrating technology into the curriculum are particularly impactful when kids learn with virtual reality. Virtual reality field trips support both academic and social-emotional learning in early childhood. Virtual field trips often use technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality to allow students to explore places around the world, widen their viewpoints and enrich their learning. 


The immersive nature of these experiences helps kids develop and practice skills like empathy. During virtual field trips, students can meet new people and explore new places in ways that wouldn’t be possible without VR. This helps them with perspective-taking, increasing their ability to think compassionately and understand the viewpoints of others.


In turn, the emotional connections they can form in VR support memory and help them learn. These digital experiences can also support multiple learning styles simultaneously by representing content that makes sense to every learner. This shows the efficacy of virtual field trips for 1st graders, kindergartners, and kids of all ages.


High-quality early childhood education is essential. However, access to early childhood education is too often inequitable. At Kai XR, we’re committed to using cutting-edge technology to bridge this accessibility gap, bringing immersive learning through virtual field trips to more students than ever.


Screenshot of Kai XR virtual field trips
Photo source: kaixr.com

Accessible, Kid-Friendly, and Purposeful Virtual Field Trips

While most virtual field trips can only be accessed from expensive VR headsets, ours work on any device. With a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or VR headset, your students can access a huge collection of immersive learning activities. These digital experiences are web-based, making them a turnkey solution to supplement any lesson.


Traditional class trips with early learners can be challenging. We built these tools to be stress-free virtual field trips for kindergartners and other early childhood students to enjoy. Especially with young students, safety is a constant concern with class trips. Instead of cycling through another head count every thirty seconds, engage your students in experiential learning without ever leaving the classroom.


Additionally, VR field trips are more accommodating to the developmental needs of students, allowing them to get the most out of these experiences. During a traditional field trip, kindergarten students may quickly get tired or sidetracked, missing important learning opportunities. Our virtual field trips let your class revisit a location as many times as needed, without it becoming a burden to fit into the curriculum. 


We know how hard it is to find kindergartener-approved virtual field trips, so we created our platform with young learners in mind. At Kai XR, we strive to seamlessly complement learning in early childhood by:

  1. Supporting multiple learning styles
  2. Creating opportunities for exploration
  3. Encourage meaningful play
  4. Demonstrating real-world connections


Our virtual field trips for second graders, first graders, and students of all ages are making high-tech, immersive learning more accessible than ever. These VR experiences can support any lesson by engaging students in authentic exploration and elevating their learning.


Using VR Field Trips in the Classroom

When virtual field trips are integrated with other content in the curriculum, they become powerful learning and teaching tools. This is why our virtual field trips can supplement any curriculum or unit by enriching them with hands-on learning activities.


Each comes equipped with a paired viewing guide to make it even easier for teachers to get the most out of them. VR field trips can be used as high-impact resources at many points in a lesson to inspire curiosity, support learning, or even review for a test. 


There are limitless ways to use virtual field trips throughout lessons, including:


Introducing a Lesson

  • To invoke prior knowledge
  • To spark inquiry and curiosity
  • To prompt discussion and generate questions

Developing a Lesson

  • To demonstrate a concept
  • To allow students to practice a new skill
  • To impart critical thinking and 21st-century skills

Concluding a Lesson

  • To review before an assessment
  • To support students while completing a project
  • To answer questions that arose during a lesson

List of Kindergarten Virtual Field Trips

Whether you’re tackling a unit on dinosaurs or the deep sea, your kindergarteners will see learning come to life through VR. Engage your students’ curiosity with virtual field trips like:


  1. Our Solar System
  2. Penguins
  3. Baby Pandas
  4. President Obama’s White House


Explore our 100+ virtual field trips to get inspired for your next lesson.

Our Solar System Virtual Field Trip

Learning about space is a compelling and educational topic that kids love. Kai XR’s Our Solar System virtual field trip allows your students to explore space, get an up-close look at different planets and help them understand how huge the universe is.


Use this virtual field trip for preschoolers or other early learners to kick off a space unit by encouraging your students to make observations and ask questions as they explore. Help them record the questions they have as a class. Then, revisit these questions throughout the unit as they learn the answers to them.


This field trip could also support a descriptive writing activity by giving your students an experience to write about. Exploring space will help them practice using relevant vocabulary, and will help them visualize the solar system while writing about it. This provides differentiated support for all students, and particularly for second-language learners.

Penguins Virtual Field Trip

Studying animals like penguins and polar bears during the winter is a staple of many Learn Through Exploration with Virtual Field Trips for Kindergarten. Kai XR’s Penguins is an excellent winter virtual field trip that gives your students the opportunity to explore one habitat of penguins, the Southern African coast, and investigate why penguins are endangered.


After learning about their habitats and some unique characteristics of penguins, this field trip is an excellent way to deepen your students’ learning and allow them to practice using their new knowledge. Your students will feel like explorers as they take to the water alongside these penguins.


Encourage your students to draw the penguins they see during this field trip, including labeling important body parts like their flippers and beaks. Then, have your students use their observations to write a narrative about the penguins they saw. They can combine their observations with what they already know to write about topics like how penguins catch food or care for their eggs.


Baby Pandas Virtual Field Trip

Kai XR’s Baby Pandas virtual field trip will engage your students in life science as they come face-to-face with these beautiful, endangered animals. This field trip is a fun and exciting way for your students to make important observations about the differences between parents and their offspring in the animal kingdom.


During a life sciences unit, this field trip can supplement an inquiry-based lesson focused on observing these differences. Encourage your students to work with a partner to identify both differences and similarities between adult and baby pandas.


Further enrich this virtual field trip by concluding it with a group discussion about their differences. Encourage higher-order critical thinking by encouraging your students to discuss why they think adult and baby pandas have both these similarities and differences.


President Obama’s White House Virtual Field Trip

Lessons on civics and government impart lifelong lessons to early learners, but they can be challenging concepts for young kids to grasp. To give your students the experiential, hands-on learning they thrive with, explore Kai XR’s virtual field trip to President Obama’s White House.


Encourage your students to observe the job of the President. Have them work with a partner to write down the kinds of things he does at work each day, and how he does his job. Help them connect their observations to what they learned about the President’s role in government.


Talk to your students about why they think the President’s house is also where he works. Your students will enjoy completing a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the President’s home with their home. Additionally, scheduling this experience around Election Day makes it a fall virtual field trip with real-world connections for students.

Dynamic Virtual Learning at Your Students’ Fingertips

Early childhood education provides children the emotional, social, and cognitive skills to become lifelong learners. At Kai XR, we want to make it easy for you and your students to master these skills.


Our virtual field trips can be integrated into lessons in many ways, including:

  • Invoking prior knowledge
  • Supporting lesson development
  • Allowing students to practice new skills
  • Helping kids review previously-learned content


Our interactive virtual field trips for kindergarten and students of all ages support inquiry learning by fostering your students’ curiosity and encouraging authentic exploration. These innovative learning activities also:

  1. Help kids develop communication skills
  2. Support critical thinking development
  3. Allow kids to practice 21st-century skills
  4. Support multiple learning styles
  5. Are developmentally appropriate


As with any new and emerging technology, early adoption is critical. Getting started by signing up for Kai XR today is a great way to get your students involved and engaged, while opening up new doors—and entirely new worlds.

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