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Virtual Vacation to China

Two boys of color stand in front of two red robots in China. Both boys are smiling at the camera and giving a thumbs up.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

Let’s make travel accessible to everyone around the world, virtually, from home! Today, let’s take a virtual vacation to China! This is a place where we will celebrate culture, language, history, and acceptance of people around the world. Here, families can travel to China comfortably! Find virtual fun, tours of famous destinations and museums, cooking lessons, and more in our Travel From Home section. Kids will get hands-on experiences and learn about a variety of cities, countries, and regions through these at-home travel guides. Additionally, these resources can be used as an educational tool. 

Each one also includes a list of books and movies for all ages to bring the whole experience to life in your living room. This is a wonderful opportunity to inspire young travelers, introduce kids to a place you will travel to in the future, and/or simply teach your family about other places around the world. Enjoy, explore, and create memories together!

Virtual Vacation to China

From exquisite food to iconic landmarks, a history of inventions, and cultural impact, China is sure to be a hit with your kids – whether on the ground or from your couch! Check out the China edition of our new Travel From Home series and discover family-friendly resources for your virtual vacation through the world’s most exciting destinations! Ready? Let’s go on a virtual vacation to China!

Arriving on our Virtual Vacation to China

Two boys hold hands while walking in China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

Let’s get creative and find ways to travel to China from home! Kids will love building a plane to embark on their virtual vacation to China. Let them create an airplane out of pillows on the floor and fly to our first cultural landmark, the Great Wall of China! On the plane, help kids learn about China at a glance from National Geographic to get them ready to explore throughout the day. After landing, we will further explore China through virtual tours, art projects, and cooking!

Learn About Culture & History on Your Virtual Vacation to China

The Great Wall of China

An expansive view of the Great Wall of China, one of the stops on our virtual vacation to China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure seen from the moon! Kids will love touring the Great Wall of China with the Free School, where they can learn about its history and present significance. If you have older children, definitely check out National Geographic’s documentary on the Great Wall of China. Once you and your kids have toured the wall, make your own Great Wall of China using cereal treats and marshmallows with Teach Beside Me’s tutorial! 

The Terracotta Warriors

An expansive view of the pit that holds the Terracotta Warriors. Dozens can be see dotting the picture. Learning about the Terracotta Wariors is an important part of our virtual vacation to China.
Photo Courtesy: Megan Tucker

Terracotta Warriors are emblematic of Chinese culture! Kids will love learning about the iconic terracotta warriors through an educational Youtube video that illustrates their history. Older children can learn more about the terracotta Soldiers through research from the Smithsonian Magazine, which includes a brief video at the end. Or by reading more about the Terracotta Army with Travel Guide China! Additionally, families can also watch this BBC documentary together to learn more information about the fascinating warrior: Terracotta Army: The greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.

Chinese Inventions

China has played a crucial role in our modern world’s formation. Did you know that the crossbow, fireworks, gunpowder, and even paper were all invented in China? Kids will likely be instantly captivated by these tales of scientific discovery; especially when paired with some entertaining dialogue! Learn more about China’s critical inventions with this video from The Chen Dynasty, which details everyday items you probably never knew were Chinese-invented. (Some may surprise you!) Families intrigued by military history may also be interested in learning about China’s military inventions through this short, action-packed clip. 

The Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac (sheng xiao) is a widely known calendar featuring twelve rotating zodiac signs. Discovering which year you were born in is only half the fun! Signs include Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, and Horse, among others. Do some research on your family, and you can even make it a fun guessing game. 2020 is the year of the Rat, which also holds some cultural significance kids can learn about. Children can also receive more context surrounding the Chinese zodiac from an entertaining TEDEd talk. Older kids, however, can read more about the history of the Chinese zodiac, followed by watching the TEDTalk video by ShaoLan. Or, by reading this article from China Highlights, which explains how astrology is implemented during everyday life in China! Kids will love learninga bout their Chinese Zodiac on their virtual vacation to China.

Discover a Museum or Two

A view of the exterior of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

China has a rich database of cultural resources families can now explore online! Mix and match virtual museum tours based on your children’s interest, and there’s no predicting how much new information you can learn in a day. Explore the region through pictures with Virtual China, for example, or just focus on a tour of the Great Wall of China. Or, go back to ancient times with The Palace Museum or the Hubei Provincial Museum, which showcase priceless artifacts dating back millions of years.

Those who wish to get in touch with nature from the inside may like a look at the Insect Museum of West China or the Ho Family Garden, a tranquil oasis in Yangzhou. The Opium War Museum may be suitable for older children, as it details China’s involved history with opium narcotics. Art lovers of all ages will definitely enjoy perusing permanent collections from China Modern Contemporary Art Document, Today Art Museum, and UCCA Center for Contemporary Art

Get Creative on Your Virtual Vacation to China

A pair of white hands folds pink paper while constructing an origami crane. Getting creative is a fun way to take a virtual vacation to China.

Ready to get creative? Young children will love coloring the Great Wall of China or a dragon from History for Kids! Parents can read the captions to learn more about what they are coloring. More complicated arts and crafts like origami swans and cranes are perfect for older kids too! If you have extra creative kiddos at home, perhaps have them try their hand at learning to draw a dragon from Art for Kids Hub. Families with access to a Chinese brush and rice paper can also learn to paint a panda with Moon Bear World. Creating together is a wonderful way to make memories while on your virtual vacation to China.

Be Active on Your Virtual Vacation to China

Playing a game can be a great way to learn about Chinese culture! Hawk catching the young chicks is a traditional Chinese game you can play with mixed ages as a family outside! Activity Village outlines the rules and explains that no props are needed!

Follow Chinese Instagram Accounts

Parents and teens may also love doing a virtual tour of China through Instagram! Some of our favorite Chinese accounts reveal a perfect way to spend your virtual travel to China. Explore via a walking tour with Beijing By Foot (@beijingwalkingtours), showcasing sights like the Summer Palace. If you’d prefer a broader look at China, China Destinations (@chinadestinations) and Love China (@love_china) highlight the country’s most beautiful vistas. Or, become acquainted with Shanghai and Guangzhou through Leng Vision ‘s (@leng_vision) or Li Ziqi ‘s (@cnliziqi) beautiful photography. Other documentary accounts like Humans of China (@officialhumasofchina) and Hym Chu  (@hym.1) offer a more nuanced look at China’s citizens and its cultural traditions. 

Musical Melodies

Three women preform in full costume at the Peking Opera House in Beijing China. Music is a great way to immerse yourself while on a virtual vacation to China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

Music is a great way to learn about and connect to another culture! Almost nap time? Travel to China via song when you listen to some Cantonese nursery rhymes, including favorites popular with local residents! Or, little ones can try these adorable songs from Baby Bus, perfect for younger children. Older kids can also check out these top Chinese hits! Music is a fantastic way to discover new sounds while on your virtual vacation to China.

Recipes to Try on Your Virtual Vacation to China

Several bowls piled high with traditional Chinese cuisine, including fride rice. Making Chinese-inspired dishes is a delicious way to take a virtual vacation to China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

After a long day of sightseeing, it’s time to get cooking! For dinner, we recommend making some Chinese specialties the whole family can enjoy. Try egg fried rice, for example, or get experimental with a batch of scallion pancakes. Picky eaters will surely love sesame chicken and lo mein made special just for them! Then, over dinner, discuss why rice is so popular in China and important to Chinese agriculture with some information from your travels. Did you know how fried rice originated? When a guest would arrive, their host would want to serve something special, they would take their leftover rice and fry it with vegetables. Now your family can create this special and very tasty dish at home with simple ingredients too! 

Snuggle Up with a Good Book

Two panda bears play on bamboo logs in China.
Photo Courtesy: Edith Arteaga

Nothing quite like snuggling up and reading after a day of exploration and learning! Continue your Chinese exploration by reading some of its literary classics. Or, read a book featuring Chinese characters or culture, many of which you probably already have at home! The Cricket Warrior: A Chinese Tale is an exciting story about a child whose new companion turns into an insect. Or, teach children important lessons about greed through The Shady Tree or The Cat from Hunger Mountain, a poignant story about loss. Bronze and Sunflower tells a heartwarming story about friendship, and Night Sky Dragons has similar family-focused themes. Kids who are still interested in Chinese zodiacs will love The Race for the Chinese Zodiac

Otherwise, you can check out The Cat from Hunger Mountain, The Shady Tree, The Runaway Wok, and The Water Dragon: A Chinese Legend to read-aloud for younger children! 

Catch a Movie

Monkey King: Hero Is Back movie poster featuring a giant orangutan and a ballerina.
Monkey King: Hero Is Back

Watch an entertaining movie to truly see Chinese culture come to life! If you are looking for a great movie set in China, there are plenty of kid-friendly the whole family will enjoy. Cartoons like Mulan (1998), Kung Fu Panda (2008), Duck Duck Goose (2018), and Bao (2018) are funny and quirky while simultaneously being educational, which is perfect for younger children who need an introduction to China. The Karate Kid (2010) or Monkey King: Hero Is Back (2015) are both great for families who love action adventures! For an insider-look at China’s dwindling panda population, check out the documentary Born in China (2016), which may also be appropriate for more mature audiences.

Parents looking for more documentaries or a film for date night can watch To Live (1994) or Yellow Earth (1985). Martial arts-inspired films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) and Hero (2002) are also a good adrenaline rush. Or, learn more about China’s final ruling dynasty in The Last Emperor (1987)

Happy Virtual Vacation to China!

A young girl stands on the Great Wall of China with legs stretched and gives the camera a thumbs up.
Photo Courtesy: Rebecca Wang Herbig

Whether you are preparing to travel to China in the future or looking for ways to travel to China from home, this virtual vacation to China will help you and your kids get a taste! From history to iconic landmarks to culinary classics, China is sure to be a hit with your kids – be it on the ground or from your couch! We hope you have enjoyed your virtual vacation in China!

Curated by Sherri Rajpoot. Want to see more from Sherri?  Find her on Instagram @greatwallmylove

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