Whether you’re spending the summer on the road or just looking for at-home activities to keep kids engaged over the summer, check out our list of Online and Virtual Summer Camps below.
Before you stop reading this post and think “Ugh! I don’t want my kids on a computer all summer, I want them DOING THINGS” – trust us when we tell you most of these “camps” are opportunities for kids to learn and explore by DOING, the instructions just happen to be online! Whether you’re looking for self-guided activities kids can do on their own (ages 7 & up) or just want some pre-tested activities with instructions for easy at-home activities, you’ll find something on our list below.
Most of the camps listed here are FREE, but do involve hands-on activities where kids will need to use or purchase household materials. The level of parental involvement required varies by camp as well as age level, but many of the activities are perfect for the whole family to do together.
FREE ONLINE SUMMER CAMPS
Camp Wonderopolis is a FREE virtual summer camp is for kids to gain extensive science knowledge with 42 STEM-based learning lessons that can be tackled at your convenience all summer long. Camp Wonderopolis can help build vocabulary, background knowledge in science, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and other literacy skills along the way. Each topic includes lessons, outdoor activities, videos, and additional reading suggestions for all ages. Camp is geared towards 2nd-8th graders, but younger children may be able to participate with assistance.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. All lessons and practice tests are FREE.
Explore + Make + Share with Maker Camp – Join our FREE community for kids who are making around the world, online and in your neighborhood. You can start making projects anytime! Maker Camp is a free, online community for young Makers interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and learning.
Science Fair Central with Home Depot and Discovery Education – Science Fair Central, built by The Home Depot, and Discovery Education have joined forces to help STEAM power classrooms and homes across the country as students prepare for the careers of tomorrow. Search through hundreds of idea starters to develop your own investigation or engineering design challenge. Find ideas to make something that the whole family can create together.
- A list of fiction and non-fiction books relevant to the topic, separated by age level
- Links to instructions for hands-on activities you can do at home
- Summer writing prompts
- Relevant kid-friendly websites and mobile apps
Start with a book … and see where your child’s imagination goes!
Made with Code includes a wide range of projects, including making emojis, animating GIFs, and composing music, is designed to ignite a passion for coding in teen girls. (There’s no stopping boys from doing these projects, though.)
DIY.org is a website and app for kids to discover new skills through challenges in over 140 categories. Kids earn both virtual and real embroidered patches (purchasing the patches is optional and is the only cost involved in the program), and developing a portfolio of videos and photos showing when challenges are accomplished. Skill areas include art, athletics, business, building, citizenship, design, engineering, exploring, growing, hacking, philosophy, science. Within each one you’ll find subcategories, and kids need to complete 3 challenges to earn a patch.
Are you a kid who loves to write? Are you needing a challenge? Inspiration? Are you ready to take your writing to the next level?
Kids are Writers features helpful hints and fun writing prompts for creative writers, ages 10-18. We offer weekly writing activities and articles to inspire your writing.
This website hasn’t been updated in a while, but includes photo prompts and story starters that can be used for writing, storytelling, and more. There are links to Summer Camp Activities from 2014 and 2015.
ONLINE SUMMER CAMPS – COST INVOLVED
Learn how to code, build circuits, design games, and more in Minecraft during summer break. Our camps are for kids 8-15 years old. Each camp comes with:
- 10 hours of instruction with experienced counselors
- Access to a custom built multiplayer world
- Access to our library of Minecraft resources
- A personalized certificate of achievement
- Automatic membership in our free Kid Club in Minecraft
- Discounts for the purchase of multiple camps
Camp topics include Architecture, Game Design, Survival Camp, Beginning Coding, Intermediate Coding, Engineering in Minecraft, and camps just for Girls. Prices range from $49-79. For more details on Summer Camps or their year round Minecraft Club, visit Connected Camps.
Tech Rocket is an online learning platform, built by iD Tech, for kids and teens to learn valuable STEM skills, year-round and on-demand. There are online learning channels in Programming languages like Java, C++, Python, and iOS app development, and also Game Design tracks including Minecraft Modding and other popular 2D and 3D platforms. There’s also an online forum to post questions or talk to the social community, Live Coaches to help with courses via chat, and other cool features that make learning fun! Cost is $29/month or $229/year. Free trial available.
Jam.com offers go at your own pace online courses for kids. Topics include drawing, cooking, animation, music, and much more. Each course has a pro as a mentor and is broken down into easily manageable “quests” that kids can complete at their own pace. Your mentor will give you tips along the way – stuff only pros would know.