We know, virtual summer camps aren’t what anyone was hoping for this year. But with in-person programs across the country making the difficult decision to close because of COVID-19, these online experiences are an option for families needing help keeping kids active and engaged throughout the summer months.
Here are a few virtual experiences worth checking out.
1. TD Summer Reading Club
Claiming to be Canada’s biggest, bilingual summer reading program for kids TDSRC works with more than 2,200 public libraries across Canada to host activities, like live readings by authors, and weekly trivia. This year’s program will launch on June 15th and will be completely online. For more information, visit tdsummerreadingclub.ca.
2. U of T Daniels Faculty of Architecture
Specially developed this year due to the pandemic, a Minecraft Camp has been created in partnership with U of T eSports to teach campers (ages eight to 14) the fundamentals of architecture and design all through the video game Minecraft. The university is also offering a Digital Design Camp for kids ages 12 to 14, which has campers working with the Kensington Market Business Improvement Area (KMBIA) to digitally design projects that solve real-world design issues. The camp curriculum has been carefully built-out to create a place for kids to socialize, learn, and build teamwork skills through the internet. For more information, visit daniels.utoronto.ca.
3. Actua at Home
This charitable organization known for it’s STEM educational programs for children in kindergarten to grade 12 recently launched Actua at Home, a series of free online STEM activities, workshops, thought leadership and virtual events to support parents and kids during COVID-19. For more information, visit actua.ca.
4. Camp Wonderopolis
This free online resource helps keep kids and families learning together throughout the summer months. Register for one of the four programs: music, health and fitness, construction and engineering or science. There’s also an option to connect with others by sharing photos and videos of what you’ve been getting up to. For more information, visit camp.wonderopolis.org.
5. Camp Supernow
This virtual summer camp for kids ages five to 11 has kids join a virtual cabin of six to eight kids for counsellor-guided arts and crafts, movement, games, field trips, mindfulness exercises, and more. Each day of camp has a new theme and no two days are alike. Example themes include Pirates, Outer Space and Spirit Animals. Each week, campers can opt to join additional camp activities like morning music, magic shows, book readings, talent shows and field days. Cabins can be private (ie. an entire scout troop or group of friends) or mixed (with kids from around the globe). For more information, visit campsupernow.com.
6. Varsity Tutors
This free virtual summer camp for kids (ages five to 18) will host online interactive classes will run through to the end of August with enrichment-based classes like photography, theatre, coding and chess. Each half-day camp will be a week long, with interactive courses like “Recycled Art”, “Make Your Own LEGO Movie!”, “Minecraft: Create Your Own World”, “Detective: Crack the Case”, “Is it Ready Yet? Cooking 101”, “Travel the World with Google Earth”, and more. For more information, visit varsitytutors.com.
7. Guardian Adventures
This popular camp provider is offering an immersive and educational story-based online summer day camps for kids ages seven to 19, as well as a Little Knights summer program for kids ages five and six. Similar to their live camps, young heroes can make new friends and save the world during their five days of adventure. From STEM-based experiments to virtual sword or NERF battles, the homebound hero’s journey is both exciting and educational. For more information, visit: guardup.com
8. Telus Spark and World of Science Camps
Kids can get daily camp content and activities for four to six hours a day at this online camp. Each week includes live interaction with camp leaders, daily videos and daily themed activities where they explore and experience animals, nature, space and science. Parents or caregivers must be present for the camps as supervision is required. The virtual camp is ideal for kids ages five to 14 and is scheduled to run from July 6 to August 28. For more information, visit sparkscience.ca or telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca.
9. Camp Tournesol
This popular French camp is now offering a virtual experience to keep your children entertained and engaged in fun and learning while they’re at home. Each programs includes both academic and fun discovery modules to engage your child. For activities requiring special supplies, campers will receive a Camp-In-A-Box package with everything they need to do the activity at home. For more information, visit camptournesol.ca.
10. Jack of Sports
This camp has two virtual options: one-hour or an hour and a half programs each day. Themes range from art and dance to science and boxercise. Most programs are designed for kids ages four to seven. For more information, visit jackofsports.com.
11. Black Rocket
These virtual summer STEAM camps are designed for kids ages eight to 14 and offer programs in video game design, coding, interactive storytelling and Minecraft. Classes are held live (based on your timezone) with small group break out sessions with coaches. For more information, visit blackrocket.com.
12. Our Kids
This virtual camp directory provides a huge listing of online offerings for kids of all ages. From a Pokémon-themed camp to digital soccer camps, parents will find over a hundred listings to choose from at varying price points. For more information, visit ourkids.net.
13. Camp KiwiCo
The popular kids subscription box company has created four different five-day sessions of hands-on activities, content and projects that you can do at home with your camper. All four sessions will be accessible starting June 22nd, and parents can have kids participate in them whenever they please. While all the content is free, parents can supplement the experience with KiwiCo crates that have been handpicked to match each day’s camp themes. For more information, visit kiwico.com.
14. Quest Theatre Digital Drama Camp
This year, Calgary’s Quest Theatre has decided to move it’s camp online with drama activities, storytelling projects and interaction in real-time with instructors and other children. A variety of programs are designed for kids ages 6 to 17 with a range of pricing to fit your family’s needs. For more information, visit questtheatre.org.
15. Backyard Summer Camp
This free online resource was designed to provide parents with inspiration on how to keep their kids entertained this summer. Get daily ideas on their Facebook page or go to their website to sign up for their free newsletter, which can be tailed to your kid’s age and interests. For more information, visit backyardcamp.ca.