Looking for a socially distant summer camp? Here are 32 to try
32 online learning options for a summer camp at home
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Most states will be easing COVID restrictions this summer, but if there's anything we learned last year, there are some really incredible online opportunities for all kinds of learners. Maybe your family is taking to the road this summer and typical camps aren't a good fit. Maybe your kid is a homeschooler and prefers to learn at their own pace. Or maybe you feel more comfortable tip toeing into "back to normal." Whatever the case, these virtual learning opportunities offer a whole lot of enrichment activities to help keep your kiddo busy all summer long.
1. Happy Camper Live
Ages: 5 to 18
Cost: $4.99 a month
One of the most comprehensive virtual camp experiences out there, Happy Camper Live is a multi-media portal to a true camp experience. Kids will learn from real coaches, experts, and camp counselors through live daily broadcasts and prerecorded activities. There is also a 40-plus episode virtual camp web series to immerse kids' imagination in the world of summer camp. Kids can also get "camp famous" by uploading videos to the Happy Camper Live community to be shown to other campers around the "world's biggest campfire."
2. Camp Supernow
Ages: 5 to 11
Cost: $18 a month
Camp Supernow offers week-long Zoom camps for children ages 5 to 11. Sessions meet for one hour each and emphasize movement, art, creativity, communication, and connection—especially with their "cabin mates." This camp focuses on creativity and interactive emotional engagement. The curriculum is age-specific and personalized to hone the abilities and the attention span of your little—or big—camper.
Ages: 3 to 18
Cost: Varies depending on course
The marketplace of live, online classes for kids taught via video chat, Outschool is offering a full range of online summer camps for kids. Sample camps include: Space Camp, Rocket League Club, Beginning Baton Twirling, Monsters, Robots and Aliens, and so many more. There are over 15,000 live Outschool classes to choose from, all conducted in small groups over Zoom and taught by independent teachers.
4. Written Out Loud
Ages: 8 to 17
Cost: $250 per week
Last year the storytelling school Written Out Loud converted its program to a virtual workshop and it was such an overwhelming success this summer they have expanded their online offerings. This year's program offers such dynamic options as Black Panther: Stories of Afrofuturism to Magic Tree House & Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Turning Young Readers into Writers to appeal to all ages and all interests.
Modeled after a Yale storytelling seminar, but modified for the 8- to 17-year-old set, Written Out Loud is a two-week immersive program that will have kids thinking about their storytelling at a deeper level. Each seminar runs for a two weeks for three hours a day, and students are paired with like-minded kids of the same age.
5. Black Rocket
Ages: 8 to 14
Cost: $143 per week
Black Rocket, a cutting-edge technology camp for children 8 to 14, has retooled their STEM and eSports camp programs with complete virtual instruction. Black Rocket programs are all taught live by virtual instructors for three to six hours a day, giving parents some crucial down time.
There are over 30 tech courses in coding, app design, video game creation, virtual reality, and more to choose from. Plus, students can also virtually socialize with kids across the globe during live eSports competitions at 4 p.m. EST every day for free—even without course enrollment.
6. Baketivity, Bake-A-Camp
Ages: 6 to 11
Cost: $199 for all four boxes
With Baketivity they can eat their way around the world without leaving the kitchen. July and August feature two different four-week camp baking activities that take kids on different culinary stops around the world and features iconic baked goods from each country visited. Kids will learn advanced baking skills with each week, while diving headfirst into fascinating cultures.
7. Camp KiwiCo
Ages: 3 to 11
Cost: $14.95 to $29.95 per box
Camp KiwiCo is a self-guided “summer camp in a crate” that's bursting with STEAM-powered fun. Every day of Camp KiwiCo is structured around a specific theme, with additional free content that includes videos, DIY activities, as well as downloadable printables to complement and supplement the hands-on project in the crate. Each camp week is meant to cover five days (approximately four hours of activities each day), but kids can mix and match to choose their own adventure and go at their own pace.
8. Little Passports
Ages: 5 to 10
Cost: $124 to $150 per week
A parent-led summer camp at home, Little Passports offers options to make their summer about world travel, or scientific exploration. Options include a World Edition, for kids ages 6 to 10; Science Junior, for kids ages 5 to 8; and Early Explorers for ages 3 to 5. All "camps" are hands-on and promise to keep kids engaged for three to four hours a day for six days, and both have additional digital content including online tutorials, how-to-draw activities, and a camp book club.
9. Camp Tech Revolution Online
Ages: 6 to 14
Cost: $274 per week
Camp Tech Revolution Online has over 35 different hands-on classes in cutting-edge STEM topics, from Math Olympics, to Minecraft, to Digital Music. Tech Revolution’s curricula is designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced campers in all age groups, so campers can progress each week. Each Tech Camp meets for three hours per day and features all live, online instruction—with a max staff to camper ratio of 1:8.
10. Camp Wonderopolis
Ages: All ages, with a focus on grades 2 through 8
This free online summer-learning destination is full of fun, interactive STEM- and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments. Keeping kids and their families learning together throughout the summer and out-of-school time, Camp Wonderopolis can help build vocabulary, background knowledge in science, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and other literacy skills along the way.
11. World Class Cheer Camp
Ages: Ages 3 and up
Cost: $125 for six weeks
This virtual cheer camp will move your athletes ahead this summer with an energized six-week training course. This virtual camp will have live sessions that focus on stunt conditioning, crowd-leading, motion and jump training, and more. By the end of the camp, athletes will learn 30 cheers and six dance routines. This one caters to kids as young as 3 or 4, right on through to college.
12. KidstoPros LIVE
Ages: 5 to 18
Cost: $150 to $250 per week
KidstoPros LIVE has dozens of live, online, interactive camps for students in grades K through 12. Taught in real time by professional instructors to groups of 10 or fewer students, their weeklong camps provide structure and interaction with teachers and campers. Camps for grades K through 5 include a combination of activities across STEM, art, and sports—including Lego Masters, Hip Hop Dancing, Scratch Coding, Chess, an array of game design classes, and many others. There are also coding bootcamps for grades 6 through 12, for kids who have their eyes on a high-tech future.
13. Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy
Ages: 9 to 18
Wouldn't it be cool to have your own Geek at home? Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy has launched a downloadable virtual set of tools for kids ages 10 to 18 who want to develop their tech skills. The free, downloadable classes include lessons on binary numbers systems, Godot game engines, mobile photography, and website creation.
14. San Diego Museum of Art
Grades: 1 through 5
Cost: $120 per week
From early elementary multimedia art exploration, to exploring wearable art, to sculpture, each of the courses in this virtual camp experience are inspired by works on display at the San Diego Museum of Art. Designed for grades 1 to 5, the camps are led by artist instructors, and allow young artists to explore art activities, a variety of media, and take virtual trips to the museum to view exhibitions.
15. WIT Summer Entrepreneur Program
Ages: 12 to 18
Cost: $700 to $1,750, depending on the duration (financial aid is available)
Camp WIT provides tweens and teens a chance to connect with entrepreneurs who have turned their passion into purpose and their hobby into a career. The Whatever It Takes (WIT) organization focuses heavily on empowering teens to make a difference, develop as leaders, and even launch businesses. All of the WIT activity leaders are entrepreneurs from different fields and industries, including podcast hosts, celebrity stylists, film directors, top chefs, extreme athletes and bestselling authors.
16. Camp Kinda
Ages: 3 to 13
Still on the fence about doing in-person summer camp? Camp Kinda to the rescue! It is a totally free, exploratory learning experience with a pick-and-choose style of curriculum. It's designed to keep kids preschool through tween engaged, curious, and having fun through flexible and self-directed adventures. It’s like summer camp (kinda).
17. Varsity Tutors
Cost: $150 a week
Need something to keep your K-12 kids busy this summer? Help them make the most of their break with interactive camps taught by expert instructors for two-hour daily instructions. Each camp consists of five sessions, starting on Monday and ending on Friday. Sign up for one camp, or all of them! New camps are added every day so be sure to check back often.
18. MDA Virtual Explorers
Ages: 8 to 17
For Muscular Dystrophy Association campers, your virtual adventure awaits! For the second year, the MDA has opted to make camp 100% virtual, but that doesn't seem to have dampened the enthusiasm from experienced MDA campers. Eleven-year-old Ethan LyBrand, who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, calls MDA Summer Camp “the best week of my life every year!” Rylie Erbacher, a 12-year-old camper who lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, says she “got to talk to kids from all over the country who were just like me” at MDA Summer Camp.
This year's theme is "The Great Escape" and it will include accessible activities, STEM programming, and virtual connections with fellow campers from all over.
19. Young Art
Cost: $79 per week
A passionate, vibrant, and community-focused art camp, Young Art thinks it's just as important to use art as a means for good as it is for creative expression. This is a comprehensive, community-minded camp that will take kids through a wide array of artistic mediums and will incorporate lessons with a healthy dose of STEAM—from painting, to Lego-building, to jewelry-making, to clay, to horticulture—to get kids understanding the ways in which the arts and the sciences are connected. This one is a favorite camp of this writer and highly recommended.
20. Raddish Kids
Ages: 8 to 13
Cost: $15 to $40
You love their cooking boxes—but this camp-in-a-box is taking things one step further with a fully interactive experience that doesn't require a parent-lead experience. Raddish Kids, the leading authority on teaching kids to cook, has teamed up with Outschool, the site dedicated to online classes for kids taught via video chat, to offer virtual summer classes. For ages 8 to 13, these fun classes help instill life skills and make learning delicious. The camps include classes on how to make specific dishes, as well as classes that teach social emotional learning through cooking.
21. Kids Like Me
Ages: 6 to 21
Cost: $105 to $300 per week
Kids on the Autism spectrum need to keep up with social interactions just like anyone else, and Kids Like Me summer camp is specially tailored for your ASD child. During these online summer camps, neuro-diverse 6- to 21-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs will be provided a safe and enriching atmosphere to engage, experience, and explore.
With three offerings to choose from, each camper is matched to ensure an appropriate peer group for learning and fun. Campers will participate in a wide range of fun activities, such as social skills, fun & fitness, engaging games, science experiments, arts & crafts, and so much more! Siblings are welcome.
22. Annenberg PetSpace Kids Camp Online
Ages: 8 to 11
Cost: $125 per week
Annenberg PetSpace Kids Camp Online offers a variety of fun and informative learning opportunities from home that engage your camper in learning about the human-animal bond. The one-week experience is designed for campers ages 8 to 11 and each daily itinerary explores a variety of themes through playful activities, interactive games, demonstrations, and videos. Topics covered during camp include animal health, behavior, grooming, nutrition, and more. Campers will virtually meet a variety of adoptable animals and learn how to be responsible pet owners.
23. Destination Science
Ages: 5 to 11
Cost: $200 per week
Destination Science is the online stop for STEM science-loving kids. Each Monday through Friday, kids log on for a live two hours of hands-on STEM fun. Each camper will receive a science supply kit for the topic of their choice, and they can look forward to exploring STEM science through games, challenges, and project-building fun. While this camp does focus on Zoom meetings, the fun continues with pre-recorded step-by-step video guides designed to assist your child with an additional 30 minutes per day of project-building at their pace.
24. iD Tech
Ages: 7 to 19
Cost: $399 per week
If you're looking for some seriously elite online learning, this is the place to log in to. With live instructors with degrees from such colleges and universities as Stanford, Caltech, and UCLA, your learners will be challenged by some seriously academic minds. With live instruction, peer collaboration, and guaranteed small classes with five students max, this coding camp promises personalized instruction that will "turn Zoom fatigue on its head." Topics include Roblox, Minecraft, Python, Scratch, and creative arts.
25. Trackers Online Earth Camps
Ages: 4 to adult
Cost: $18 to $88 per class
Trackers Online is a virtual learning center that focused on rekindling a camper's relationship with the earth around them. The philosophical goal of Trackers is for each learner to consider themselves "champions of land and village." Courses are focused on understanding nature and celebrating the earth, with such offerings as "Earth Ninjas," "Ranger Adventures," and "Wizard Academy." Trackers Online camps are live, small group interactive webinars—some last a week, and many are one-off day classes. Each staff member is a background checked, trained, and approved Trackers Teachers and Guides.
26. Camp Pinniped at Home
Ages: 8 to 11
Cost: $229 per week
Camp Pinniped at Home is a week-long program, offered from June 14 to 28, for kids ages 8 to 12. Children will learn how the Pacific Marine Mammal Center rescues and rehabilitates the center's seal and sea lion patients. They'll also dive learn about different careers in marine science, hearing from professionals about what their job is like. Each day has a different marine mammal theme and kids will engage in STEM-oriented topics and activities through a series of live chats, videos, and presentations.
Ages: 8 to 18
Cost: 3 payments of $149 for 12 weeks
CodeWizardsHQ offers live, online coding classes for kids ages 8 to 18. These classes are taught by developers with tech industry experience who use structured, comprehensive curriculums to help kids master programming skills in a fun, exploratory environment. The CodeWizardsHQ team pairs real-world coding tools with their own proprietary coding platform featuring a gamified reward system to make it fun for kids and teens to learn. Students can access this coding platform at any time and communicate with their teachers via direct messaging and free office hours, allowing them to continue to explore, learn, and play outside of the virtual classroom.
28. PCC Community Markets Kids' Cooking Camps
Ages: 8 to 15
Cost: $150 per week
Is your kid asking for a trip to Thailand? How about a baking bootcamp? For five days, campers will explore local and global cuisines while practicing foundational cooking techniques at home. This interactive cooking course lets learners, cook along with seasoned instructors, ask questions, and share their creations with the group as they gain confidence in the kitchen. Sessions are offered via Zoom. Recipes are emailed in advance, along with prep and equipment lists.
29. NatGeo Family Camp
Ages: 5 to 12
This seven-week downloadable camp is a static camp that's left from the 2020 pandemic summer, but it's an excellent guide to take you through an at-home-learner camping experience. Activities include such things as painting constellations and building nature trails. The series is meant to help foster the same life skills—confidence, independence, teamwork, communication, leadership—that children typically bring home from camp, with specific activities associated with each theme.
Ages: 6 mos to 7
Cost: $28 a month
Founded by Korean-American lifestyle influencer Chriselle Lim, and United Nations-recognized academic Joan Nguyen, BümoBrain was created to provide a quality online learning experience for kids. Each class has a 6:1 ratio. Classes are creatively conceived and range from early speech lessons to Dino Disco for toddlers to how to be a MagnaTile architect. You can also sign your kid up for academies, which focus on individual subjects like math and foreign languages.
31. GoldieBlox Curiosity Camp
Ages: 6 to 12
Developed by media and entertainment company GoldieBlox, Curiosity Camp is self-guided, boredom-busting, virtual camp for girls ages 6 to 12. Campers navigate their way around Curiosity Camp using a virtual map that encourages them to explore the featured STEAM content and engaging downloadable activities. Along the way, they collect badges to complete their Curiosity Camp experience. Curiosity Camp is designed to keep young minds engaged and entertained with activities, videos, and surprises focused on STEAM learning.
32. Heal The Planet
Ages: 8 to 12
Cost: Free (a $25 donation is appreciated)
If you are looking for a summer camp that will encourage social responsibility, global leadership, and environmental stewardship, Heal The Planet is the one for your child. The global peace and child empowerment organization is bringing summer camp home through this hands-on, interactive, enrichment program. The five-week program is designed to engage kids in activities and conversations about race, humanity, environmental responsibility and global leadership and is aimed to help cultivate a responsibility for self, community, and planet.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.