Great virtual summer camps for parents who need a very real break | The Optimist Daily
Today’s Solutions: June 21, 2024

After months of virtual school, the cancellation of summer camps has left many parents with no break from 24/7 childcare. Fortunately, online summer camps are here to offer some relief for parents looking for new and educational outlets for their kids. 

For creative kids, Camp DIY is a great option. It’s perfect for kids seven and up and features over 80 summer projects and activities like drawing, photography, sewing, science, Lego, and inventing. They can show their creations to other online campers and counselors are there to offer advice and tips. Maker Camp is another great choice for creators with guidance on how to create cool projects such as a lemon battery or a butterfly chandelier with objects found around the house.

If your child likes theater, Gas Lamp Players is an online camp for middle and high schoolers with dialogue, singing, and dancing lessons from professional actors, singers, and directors. This camp isn’t free, but it’s less expensive than in-person camps and your child will get instruction from pros. 

For the science lovers, Camp Wonderopolis is a free and STEM-focused camp that leads kids on self-directed activities with a flexible schedule to explore topics in music, fitness, engineering, and more. Marco Polo summer camp offers even more flexibility with a downloadable calendar of guided activities complete with ready-to-use worksheets, puzzles, and more.

For the young detective, Brain Chase sends kids on an academics-based, online scavenger hunt with global leaderboard and Mail Order Mystery offers themed story-based puzzles that send your child on an adventure of sleuthing and problem-solving. With each mystery, clues arrive by mail (think: ciphers, maps, old photos, and fingerprints) letting your little one unravel the clues to decode the puzzle.

Finding a good alternative to sports camps is tough, especially if you don’t have a yard or open space near your home, but The National Academy of Athletics has sporty summer camps ranging from basketball, volleyball, and martial arts, to football and baseball. It even features sessions with the pros, like the Mets’ J.J. Newman and Grant Haley of the New York Giants.

We’ve talked about the benefits of cooking with kids before on The Optimist Daily. If your child prefers the kitchen to the basketball court, America’s Test Kitchen Young Chef’s Club has a selection of free recipes and activities (like growing scallions!) to keep your little chef occupied all summer long. Plus, they might even start cooking dinner from time to time!

Other good all-purpose camps include Outschool and Kidpass which both have a variety of classic camp activities to offer.  

The cancellation of summer camps has left many kids (and parents) bummed, but online summer camps are a great way to still capture some of that summer magic and keep kids engaged and entertained. Most of the camps listed are free or very affordable, and your child can even sign up with their friends for a collective experience!

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