I know that a socially distanced summer — with all the closures and cancellations it entails — is pretty daunting to parents. Like, ahem, myself. But I’ve been encouraged to find that there are so many wonderful online resources available right now, including these virtual summer camps.
Yes, yes. I can hear your skepticism crackling over the interwebs. They’re not the same thing as in person camps. You’re right. Still, I think these virtual camps provide a great jumping off point for kids who might want to pick up a new hobby, hone an existing skill, or just see some new faces — even if it is over Zoom.
Virtual summer camps: Alliance Theater Virtual Drama Camps 

1. Alliance Theater Virtual Drama Camps 

Zoom may not be the most intuitive way to learn about musical theater, but hey, we’re all making adjustments these days. And I love that Alliance Theater is offering camps for kids as young as 3, because as the mom of a 3-year-old, I know that kids even that young need an outlet for their, let’s say, expressive energy. Camp tuition includes a box of supplies, and older kids get to choose fun themes like Little Women and Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

2. Chess NYC Virtual Chess Camp

Chess camp actually translates fairly easily into an online form, plus it’s excellent brain exercise for growing minds. And these camps are serious, featuring an activity-packed all-day schedule even for younger kids. But Chess NYC incorporates lots of games to keep this from feeling too school-ish.

3. Woof Wag Dogs Virtual Dog Training Camp

I’ve been hearing about so many families who’ve adopted pets during quarantine, so I think this virtual dog training camp is a brilliant (and potentially very adorable) idea. Plus, the camp is designed to train your kids to train the dogs, not you. Hopefully this means they’ll start scooping poop and paying vet bills, too?

4. Camp Whatever It Takes Virtual Entrepreneurship Camp

I was so excited to discover a virtual camp focused on entrepreneurship since it’s such a valuable skill for kids — especially girls. This camp features live interaction from real-world professionals in a range of different fields. And they’re all there to nurture your kids’ own small business dreams, whether it’s a lemonade stand, an Etsy shop, or the next world-changing non-profit.

Related: Helping kids who are struggling with isolation, loss, and social distancing

Virtual summer camps: Super Soccer Stars Virtual Soccer Camp 

5. Super Soccer Stars Virtual Soccer Camp 

Back in February I signed my son up for a spring soccer league which, sadly, has still not launched. But I was encouraged to see so many soccer programs going online this summer, so that he and kids like him can start learning some basic skills — or polish existing ones if you already have a more seasoned soccer player at home. Super Soccer Stars is located in New York, but it’s worth a quick google to see if there are any in your area if you’d rather support a local business.

Virtual summer camps: Varsity Tutors Virtual Camp 

6. Varsity Tutors Virtual Camp 

Varsity Tutors is a website that offers virtual live tutoring from some top colleges around the country. And happily, they’ve branched out into online camps with some pretty unique offerings, like forensic science and a whole class on animal bites and stings for kids who are, you know, into that.

7. MBL Virtual Money Camp

We’re big advocates of financial literacy for kids, and so this virtual money management camp immediately caught my eye. It uses games to help kids 9 and up learn about budgeting, earning, emergency expenses, financing big purchases and more. Knowledge that’s feeling very relevant in coronavirus days.

Virtual summer camps: Camp Lessonface Virtual Music Camp

8. Camp Lessonface Virtual Music Camp

Summer 2020 seems like the perfect time for kids to learn an instrument, or just spark musical curiosity, so I’m glad Camp Lessonface is moving online. And for having such a silly name, it’s a pretty intensive music education over the course of two weeks. I also like that beyond lessons, they hold events like demos and talent shows every night for kids who want a more camp-like experience.

9. Zoo Camp

While it may not involve petting actual zoo animals, this camp from our beloved Nashville Zoo looks like it features some great content for aspiring zookeepers, like animals and art, and a day in the life at the zoo. Check to see if your own local zoo offers an online program.

Virtual summer camps: Warriors Basketball Academy Virtual Basketball Camp

10. Warriors Basketball Academy Virtual Basketball Camp

No matter if your kid cheers for the Golden State Warriors of another pro team, this camp looks legit. It includes a daily workout to help with conditioning, plus personalized feedback from instructors over Zoom. Tuition for the camp includes some fun Warriors swag, too.

11. Outschool Virtual Camps 

Outschool’s become a great resource for so many of us since schools have closed, and it also features some excellent virtual camps. Kids can find camps on almost anything that’s up their alley: from Disney Princesses, to poetry, to magic, to sewing doll clothes.

Related: The best homeschooling resources right now for newbies

12. Center for Contemporary Art Virtual Art Camp 

The Center for Contemporary Art is offering virtual art camps on everything from basic acrylics to iPad art to graffiti and cartooning. I was also impressed that they offer one course specifically for kids with special needs.

13. Live the Language Spanish Immersion Camp 

This virtual Spanish camp is so practical, and it could maybe even pave the way for a fun study abroad or family trip once it’s safe to travel. This particular camp comes with Spanish-immersed cooking videos, which seem like a fun way to make the experience more hands-on.

Virtual summer camps: Breathing Space Yoga Camp 

14. Breathing Space Yoga Camp 

Our family is all coping with the coronavirus in different ways, but one thing’s for sure: we all have a lot of feelings to process over it. So this virtual yoga camp, which includes art projects and mindfulness exercises, seems like it would be a great option for us — and anyone whose kids need a healthy way to channel their stress right now.

Top image: Matt Ragland via Unsplash 

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