Monday, June 1, 2020

Virtual Camps & Activities for Kids This Summer

Virtual Camps & Activities for Kids This Summer

Claire's last day of school was last Wednesday. So as far as she is concerned, it's summer. The problem is I had Claire signed up for several camps this summer and was even hoping to sign Aveline up for a few things as well. But one by one they were all cancelled. And who knows if our pool membership will be able to be used this summer either. The management hasn't made an official decision yet. So I have 2 children without a routine asking for activities. Oh no! I recently learned Michaels is doing zoom craft activities twice a week for free and I wondered if there are other, similar things for them. So I went on a hunt and found a lot of great resources! I compiled a list of mostly free activities or less expensive and camps/clubs to help all you mommies out there that are struggling like me whether your state is still under some level of quarantine or you are just being extra cautious. I hope these help fill the time!

  1. Wonder's Explorers Club- for kids 5+ you can join their free Adventures with Emma program which has new weekly videos to help your children learn about different parts of the world. There are also other videos and activities on the site that are fun for all ages! 
  2. Camp PBS Kids - for kids 2-8 you can receive a free daily newsletter full of fun activities personalized to your children's ages and interests and access to tons of activities and printables on the website for the entire summer! 
  3. Camp Wonderopolis- for kids 7+ Camp Wonderopolis has a variety of free STEM and literacy building camps that expolore many different topics through their lessons. 
  4. Connected Camps- for kids 8-13, these technology Minecraft focused camps have a secondary theme like paleontology, architecture, coding and more are a week long, 90 minutes in duration each day. Cost is $65+ per camp. 
  5. DIY camp- for kids 7+ you can try classes for free, but there is a $19/mo cost for access to full courses. For the cost you receive access to all courses for the month. There are a variety of DIY courses including science focused, cooking, and Lego. Children can earn badges as they improve their skills. 
  6. K12 Inc. Summer Camp- for kids 8th grade and up, teenagers can take free classes in coding, health science, IT, business and more and can actually earn high school credit.
  7. Reading Rockets- for kids 6+, kids can take part in their online free Start with a Book program that includes reading material (available for purchase or you can find at the library), vocabulary building exercises, and fun activities! It's all organized thematically with resources and additional websites you can use.
  8. Varsity Tutors Summer Camp- for kids 5-18, there are a variety of free week long, one hour live classes for children in many topics.  
  9. Brain Chase- for kids 7-14, it's an academic scavenger hunt for children with different focus categories in which they must meet their objectives to find the missing gold nugget. It cost $100 for a 6 week course. 
  10. Kanopy- for kids 3+, a free app for android, iphone, ipad, or kindle accessible with a library card. It includes a lot of free entertainment, educational videos, and animated books. 
  11. Marco Polo World School- for kids 4+, a video and game app with a focus on STEAM skills. Kids can choose their favorite topics to watch a video with a game following. New topics are added monthly. Free to try with a monthly fee of $9.99 afterwards. 
  12. Make: Online- for kids 12+, kids can participate in weekly themed camps. You receive a pdf with daily themed activities. The camp is free, but materials must be purchased. Kits are available on the website. 
  13. Code with Google- for kids 9+, projects designed around technology and code including making a presentation interactive, adding details about a character, making emojis, and composing music. It is designed to encourage girls to code, but boys can complete lessons as well. Lessons are free. 
  14. Creativelive- for kids 14+, there are many different classes suitable for teens through adults starting at $19 a class with topics ranging from photography to life skills, to crafts and more. 
  15. Blue Sky Kids- for kids 5-12, they offer a variety of interests where kids will be placed in very small groups (4 max for some of the topics) for hour long zoom sessions with experts to help them learn. Classes are for 2 weeks for 10 total sessions and cost between $35-80. 
  16. MLC Stem Learning Center- for kids ages 3+, they offer many different courses. A few of the classes are only 45 minutes and require an adult present. Some of the courses do need a STEM kit to be purchased in addition. Classes are a week in length and $100 each. 
  17. William Patterson Summer Youth Programs- for kids 4th grade through high school, they offer courses to help students reinforce academic and technological skills. Courses are offered in one week sessions and are 3 hours a day. Courses are $179 each, but you can use code ONLINEATWP for 15% off. 
  18. Activity Hero- for children less than 1 year through 12th grade, there are over 200 online interactive courses that vary in length from 1 hour or a full day and can last up to a week. Prices vary accordingly from $5 to $180. 
  19. Music Institute of Chicago- for kids kindergarten through adult, there are online sessions available for children of all ages and ability levels. They are typically an hour to 3 hours in length and based on the difficulty level and group size are between $125 for a 3 hour, 1 week session to over $400. 
  20. Joffrey Ballet Chicago- for kids 9-16, they are conducting 3 one week sessions during the summer online covering dance techniques and genres like ballet and jazz. Each class is 2 1/2 hours a day and cost is $135 a week with a $10 registration fee. 
  21. Michaels Kid's Club- for kids about 4-10, Michaels stores have taken their Kid's Club online and you can register for free 1 hour Zoom classes that happen at 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most crafts are made using supplies you already have and there are many substitutions you can make if you don't have the exact item available.

So which ones caught your eye? Claire has already done the Michaels Kid's Club a few times and really likes it. I also plan on signing her up for a few Varsity Tutors Summer Camp courses, Camp PBS Kids, and Camp Wonderopolis. I will probably do a few activities from Reading Rockets, too.

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