While many states have or are beginning to open back up to allow for more public activities, it’s still hard to say whether summer camps for kids will be able to offer in-person care and activities as usual. The American Camp Association (ACA) and CDC are releasing guidelines for camps to implement to operate at the lowest risk possible, but needless to say, many may find it too difficult to maintain social distancing and healthy environments to safely reopen this summer. Whether you’re looking for an alternative virtual option to replace your kids’ usual summer camp or in desperate need for something to keep them occupied while you work from home, we found 10 virtual camps and classes this summer that will even help them learn a thing or two about science, tech, and math.
Outschool offers online classes and camps for kids of all ages in small groups over video chat. While there are a huge range of subjects available, highlights include plenty of coding/tech and space-themed courses. You can explore classes such as Intro to Space Summer Camp, Explore Space with NASA’s Hubble Telescope, Astronomy Course in Minecraft, even ones taught by a former NASA engineer. Outschool is providing the first $50 in courses for free.
Starting June 22, Camp KiwiCo will have free content, including videos, printables, and DIY activities, with the option to purchase themed crates ($24.99 individually or $99.95 for the season’s five pack). They offer four different sessions for age groups ranging from 3 to 9+ years old, with activities from making music and camping to exploring the world, deep sea, and space to even designing your own robot, hydraulic machine, and mechanical toy.
Varsity Tutors provides daily, interactive, and free K-12 classes in math, science, reading, writing, and more. You can explore classes by subject, grade level, days, and times, and some of the more enticing offerings include Where Math Meets Art, Dungeons and Dragons: Creative Writing and Game Strategy, and Astronaut Leland Melvin’s Chasing Space: Science and Life Lessons.
Kids over the age of 8 can learn coding and robotics in this week-long camp that sends you real robotics kits. Camp:ASPIRE offers four themes from beginner to intermediate levels and provides two hours of daily live instruction, plus two hours of guided learning from the kits, for a total of four hours a day from Monday through Friday. Although courses cost between $400-$500 each, you can apply for a scholarship.
Build your kids’ DIY skills by completing these projects from home. Camp DIY offers over 80 projects—in a range of themes like arts and crafts, science and engineering, cooking, and outdoor skills—that can be completed using standard household materials. The free trial lasts 14 days, so you have time to test it out before deciding if you want to subscribe.
If you can’t get your kid to stop playing video games, have them put their screen time to good use. Connected Camps uses a free Minecraft server to host many types of classes involving engineering, survival lessons, animation, and astrology. Starting now through August 14, you can sign up for a week long co-ed or girls-only camp for kids between 8 and 13 years old.
For young children between age 2 and 7, Khan Academy provides a totally free—no subscription required—app available on the Apple, Google, and Amazon stores to teach kids through animated videos, interactive activities, games, and books. It’s a good platform for your kids to guide themselves through a personalized, adaptable lesson plan for core subjects like literacy, writing, and math to supplement their remote schooling.
Another learning app for kids ages 3-7, MarcoPolo offers a free trial to explore over 500 video lessons and 3,000 games that focus on STEAM and literacy.
If your local library is still closed, Rivet is a great alternative to help your kids hit their reading goals. With over 3,000 free children’s books, this app will track their progress through eight reading levels, provide personal book recommendations, and help them learn tricky words.
Sign up for a free account with Prodigy for students between first and eighth grades to learn math at their own pace. There’s also a premium membership option to unlock more features like game rewards for extra encouragement.
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