As school winds down and the summer kicks off, you might be wondering how your kids are going to fill all that free time in a way that is safe and responsible, but still feels like summer.
Though many parts of the United States are beginning to reopen, a lot is still up in the air in terms of what services and activities will be available in the coming months. Luckily, our ability to connect through our devices has opened up a world of new and interesting options. Here are some virtual summer camps and online programs for you and yours in 2020.
Designed as a virtual summer camp that lasts year-round, Happy Camper is an interactive online experience where campers can choose from activities including sports, arts and crafts, music, cooking, and more. They offer free activities which are updated daily on their homepage, and a free seven-day trial of their 360° Happy Camper Live experience, which gives virtual access to their physical campgrounds, as well as even more activities and workshops.
Designed for all K-12 students, Varsity Tutors is offering free online programs for everything from digital photography to Harry Potter movies. Programs are broken into one-hour sessions over five days and you can schedule as many as you like, so your kids can decide to study Mandarin in the morning and then switch to film production in the afternoon.
Whether your kids are interested in animals, music, or physical activity, Wonderopolis has you covered with their free virtual summer camp options designed to boost literacy and teach STEM topics while keeping things interactive and fun for kids of any age.
Start With a Book
For the DIY types, Start With a Book offers free resources to enhance your child’s engagement with the books they love. Their detailed PDFs and tips for structuring activities gives you the ability and flexibility to tailor your kids’ summer into full-fledged interactive learning programs, centered around everything from dinosaurs to river systems to space travel.
With a database of virtual camps and online programs for people of all ages, Activity Hero is your go-to camp search engine no matter what your kids are interested in doing this summer. They feature camps on creative writing, Minecraft, 3D printing, filmmaking and photography, coding, learning musical instruments, and countless others, with frequently updated discounts and special offers.
That’s just a sample of the online programs available for you and your kids in 2020. When in doubt, remember that seeking out your local library to see what programs they’re offering is another great idea. Libraries are an often underused resource, and right now is the best time to make the most of all of their free programs and activities.
It has been a surreal and stressful few months, to say the least. From the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic to the pain and unrest in the streets of our towns and cities, it is a lot to bear. But thanks to the innovation (and generosity) of educational programs everywhere, in this small way, we'll be able to offer our kids at least some of that summer magic we all want for them.
Angel uses his skills as a storyteller to support and inspire job seekers and aspiring social-impact professionals.