Airbnb’s live online experiences allow children to meet seals in South Africa, cook empanadas or even learn to swim from their living room. Rose Dykins reports

Airbnb has expanded its online experience offering with Field Trips – live kid-friendly virtual sessions with hosts from all over the world.

According to a recent study from Airbnb, 86 per cent of the parents surveyed are worried their children will miss out on important developmental opportunities if extracurriculars and after school activities are cancelled during the pandemic. Furthermore, 71 per cent are concerned that their child’s mental health will be impacted.

To address these issues, the accommodation rental provider has built on the success of its Online Experiences platform and now offers Field Trips, with 75 extracurricular online experiences tailored for kids, hosted from more than 20 countries.

Options include a science lesson with Bill Nye (the Science Guy) (£78), uncovering Pompeii with an archaeologist in Italy (£14) or learning “How to Be a Social Problem Solver” (£78) with 15 year-old activist Marley Dias, who started the 1000 Black Girl Books campaign.

“It’s a difficult time to be a student,” says Dias. “Without the structure of the traditional school experience in place, it’s important we find creative ways to incorporate immersive and engaging activities into our increasingly virtual lives.

“Airbnb’s new collection of Online Experiences is a treasure trove of extracurriculars for kids like me who are looking to connect with the world around us from home.”

Some Field Trips options take viewers to explore destinations with expert hosts. such as a leopard safari with a zoologist in Sri Lanka (£11) with or a street art tour of Buenos Aires with an art curator, followed by a sketching session (£8).

Others are centred around the arts – such as the “Origami and Essence of Japan” experience (£8)  – while some are centred around exploring world histories, such as “Traditions of Mexico’s Day of the Dead” (£16).

Field Trips also offers science and maths-themed experiences including “Learn about Space with an Astronomer” in Norway (£10) or “Meet the Seals with a Marine Guide” in South Africa.

For parents looking to get their kids moving, there’s a PE and Play section too. Options include “K-Pop concert and Dance Class for a Beginner” (£18) or, interestingly, “Learn to Swim with a Bench Bowl and Bucket” (£8), where American Paralympic swimmer Jamal Hill even teaches the basics of swimming without a pool (£8).

For foodies, Field Trips has a “Snack around the Globe” section, where classes include: “Learn how to make Argentinian Empanadas (£12) and “Christmas Recipes for Kids” (£6), hosted from Barcelona.

Airbnb says its Field Trip experiences range in price from US$7 to US$100. All proceeds from Bill Nye’s experience will go to The Planetary Society, while the money from Olivia Wilde’s and Marley Dias’s sessions will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.

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