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After-School Activities Camps School Breaks Uncategorized

The 10 Best Spring Break Camps

Curated by ActivityHero families in your community, here are the most popular go-to online and in-person programs in support of your child’s learning (and your sanity) while school’s out. It’s also just a great opportunity to open their minds to new interests and build skills outside of the traditional classroom walls.

Top 5 In-Person Camps

  1. Horseback Riding 

Learn about horses. From grooming and feeding to bathing and even horse first aid! You’ll find out interesting facts about the history, evolution and anatomy of the horse while picking up some horse lingo, caring for and riding the horse you’ll have throughout the session at Horse Camp.

  1. Outdoor Adventure 

Imagine a camp that gets away from the brick and mortar limits and gives your child a 

world of possibilities. Coyote Kids Adventure Camp encourages outdoor and nature play. With incredibly small ratios and the best caregivers, they treat campers more like family than just standard childcare. 

  1. Wilderness Exploration

Get ready to discover the magical high desert landscape of Sedona and a Secret Mountain Wilderness Adventure! Spend your nights backpacking in stunning red rock canyons, kayak the Verde River, hike to incredible caves, and cool off in spring fed swimming holes. 

  1. All Day Soccer Play

This full-day program is filled with developmental practices, games, competitions and challenges. Challenger Sports’ soccer camp is more advanced and geared toward players looking for a more competitive training environment. 

  1. Aviation Camp

The Hiller Aviation Museum hosts a collection of some 50 different historic aircraft.  

Public and private museum admission, and programs for BSA Scouts and Girl Scouts, are offered periodically throughout the year.  

Top 5 Online Programs

  1. Crafting 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein’s words are the backbone of every 

Camp Cosmo class, whether its focus is academic, artistic, physical, or social. This program is designed to inspire critical thinking, creative thought and social connections through play.

  1. Performing Arts

Choreography by Rae was founded as a way to help people of all ages amplify their voice through movement. Their motto is anyone can dance, even if you have two left feet. This supportive and inclusive environment provides students with an opportunity to develop a foundation in: Acting, Art History, Culture, Dance (Ballet, Hip Hop, Latin, Jazz), Storytelling, Singing, and more!

  1. Coding

Computer Kids Club is a computer science & academic program of typing, coding, design, math and engineering. Your child will be engaged in activities all while learning the importance of the computer and how it will help them through their school years ahead and eventually in a computer science related field. 

  1. Music

The LA School of Music offers fun and engaging music lessons and classes on piano, voice, and guitar to name a few. All music teachers are professionals with at least a Bachelor of Music. Most have a Master of Music degree. This is a special group of teachers who have been vetted through a competitive interview process for expertise, as well as creativity and fun personality.

  1. Art

Young Art believes in passion, creativity, and the power of education. Their team is committed to inspiring the next generation of young inventors, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs to be bold innovators by providing creative and enriching experiences through hands-on learning. Families are able to select from a variety of classes with modalities including clay sculpture, digital animation, acrylic painting and pencil sketching.

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After-School Activities Camps Featured Posts Uncategorized

Camp Trends 2021 White Paper

7 Summer Camp Trends in 2021 - Official Report by ActivityHero

7 Summer Camp Trends in 2021

Official Report by

Introduction

Summer planning during a pandemic has incorporated many more considerations than in years past. As parents and their kids start to determine what to do when school is out in the next few months, here are some key factors ActivityHero has observed in our community of 4 million+ families that may help others start thinking about their plans now.

“This year, families are registering for camps a bit later than usual, but the earliest camp registrations show that families are eager to have kids get outside and be active. We’ve seen a big increase in demand for outdoor specialty camps.”

Peggy Chang
CEO & Co-Founder ActivityHero
Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero. 45% of all searched activities are outdoor. Horseback riding and biking classes are filling quickly.

01. 45% of All Searched Activities are Outdoor

Parents want their kids outside. Many continue to struggle with balancing the “new normal” distance learning paired with increased screen time. Outdoor Activities and Non-Contact Sports have much more interest this year, contributing to most of the search inquiries happening on our platform. Horseback Riding and Biking classes, in particular, have been enrolled to capacity with long waitlists. Outdoor Petting Zoos and Outdoor Science Camps also support socially distant learning and have large upticks in popularity too.

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero. Many camps are held at public schools or temporary spaced and these locations are taking longer to confirm this year.

02. Locations

Many camps are held at public schools or temporary spaces and these locations are taking longer to confirm this year. You may see a “TBD address” more frequently, which means that the camp is still working on confirming the exact location.

COVID-Safety: Camps have adjusted many of their programs support their communities and their staff to follow public health guidelines.

03. COVID-Safety

Camps have adjusted many of their programs to support the families in their communities and their staff to follow public health guidelines You may even notice that many have dedicated pages on their websites addressing all the efforts to be taken to best ensure everyone’s safety. Face masks and daily screenings are regularly appearing as requirements with frequent hand washing and sanitizing reminders too

Camp Prices: Camp Trends Report based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero

04. Average Session Prices Increased 108%

Average camp session purchase prices have increased from $425 to $888 this year due to longer sessions that have become more common in some areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area. Camp sessions are required to be 3 weeks this summer to support more stable cohorts for COVID-safety. As a result, registrations for 3-week camps have increased by 5,000%, compared to last year.

On the plus side, attending a camp for multiple weeks helps kids make more friends and be more comfortable. 

It also gives them more time to master new skills such as art or coding.

Some camps have the same prices per week in 2021, including:

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero.

05. Updated Cancellation and Refund Policies

Many providers learned from their experiences last year to better apply more manageable and flexible policies this year. Some camps offer credit toward another registration and don’t offer cash refunds. There’s a wide variation of what’s available.

06. More Options for Deposits or Payment Plans

After last year’s unprecedented cancellation of camp, many have adjusted payment policies this year. More flexibility is now being offered as alternatives to only requiring full upfront payments. Families may only have to pay a small deposit to hold their spots. 

This year, 28% of registrations are using a payment plan.

Camp Trends Report Based on Q1 2021 data by ActivityHero.

07. Fewer Add-on Options

Extended care availability may also be limited for the same reasons. Based on ActivityHero’s community, we see a 25% reduction of this offering compared to last year.

Some camps offering extended care in 2021, include:


About ActivityHero

ActivityHero is the leading online marketplace for kids camps, activities, and after-school classes. Families book activities with one easy registration. Activity providers can claim and customize their listing and use online tools to get new customers.

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Academics After-School Activities Creative Arts Dance Language Music Online Learning Science/Technology Uncategorized

Boredom Busters: Interesting New Classes To Try Next Week

Extra curricular activities open kids’ minds to new interests. They help build skills outside of the classroom. They provide a productive break from study. And they open new social opportunities to grow a community. Here are editor’s picks for interesting new classes to try:

Foreign Language

The many cognitive benefits of learning languages are undeniable. People who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask, and better listening skills.*

Theater Games in Spanish – Beginners

by Rogue Artists Ensemble

Learn Spanish through theatre games and music! We naturally learn language through trial and error and through play. In Theatre Games in Spanish, students learn to communicate in Spanish by playing games and having fun. We strive to joyfully instill a love of language through embodied learning and play.

Grades K – 5

$17/day starting Feb 22

German for Beginners: Singing & Speaking

by Musical Learning

In this fun and musical class, learners explore German greetings, keywords, introduction vocabulary and pronunciation – through music! Learning a language is fun and easy with Ms. Kelsey – let’s sing, dance and color! 

Ms. Kelsey is a professional opera singer and language teacher, and she started Musical Learning in 2016. She has taught German, French, English and ‘Musical Science’ for the past 10 years both online and in person. 

Ages 3 – 7

$100/ 8 session series that meets twice a week starting Feb 22


STEM

Skills attained through STEM education include problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, acceptance of failure and more.*

Explorations in Quantum Physics

by Electivity Kids

In the first 4 weeks of the session, students learn about the electromagnetic nature of matter and energy, including: Magnetism, Magnetic Induction Electricity, Photons, Solar Energy. In the second half of the session, students are introduced to atoms, subatomic particles and the Periodic Table of Elements (Hydrogen to Xenon). They learn how atoms form molecules, and also learn about the structure of the Periodic Table.  Class content is taught through engaging visual aids, physical demonstrations and thought-provoking discussion.

Grades 5 – 12

$230/ full series, ongoing until March 22

Python Programming 1: Live Online Class

by Kodeclik Online Academy

Python is one of the most feature-packed coding languages ever and today underlies the foundation of many websites, applications, and games.

This fast moving course assumes no prior experience with Python programming but rapidly takes you to high levels of functionality illustrating how you can write your own programs in Python!

Ages 11 – 18

$399 / 16-session series beginning Feb 19

Ancient Greece to Quantum Realms

by Digivations Institute

With An Emphasis on the Homeric epics of The Iliad and the Odyssey, the Milesian School of Thought yielding Thales, Pre-Socratics highlighting Democritus and the Socratic Period illustrative of Socrates Philosophy in the Context of Innovation Ranging from The Theory of Everything to Einstein’s Unified Theory and Quantum Realms.

Digivations Institute has NASA award-winning curriculum and is an ActivityHero Best of 2020.

ages 12 & up

$49/day ongoing until May 25

Curiosity Club S.T.E.A.M. Lab – science & art fun

by Active Art & Science

Join us online for S.T.E.A.M powered fun where you will explore the curious worlds of science, technology, engineering, art and math. Conduct experiments, create art, build, take things apart and enjoy learning how art, science, engineering and technology are connected.

Ages 5 – 10

$96/ 6-session series beginning Feb 22


Homeschooling

Homeschool offers academic flexibility. During these ever-changing COVID times, many families have turned to this option. Try these classes for academic homeschooling and enrichment education!

Martial Arts & Life Lessons

by Family Karate

Family Karate provides fun, fitness, karate, and life skills.  Now your child can enjoy our unique blend of martial arts and character building in our live online classes with a Master Instructor.

In each class we’ll ask you to set a self leadership goal for your children, and in the next class we’ll follow up progress on those goals.

Ages 5 – 11 but fun for the whole family! Try it as a stress reliever!

$10/day trial classes or $20/day regular price ongoing throughout spring

First Grade Curriculum! Homeschooling 101!

by Homeschool Academy

This is a great introductory trial for parents thinking about homeschooling their kids.

In this curriculum which follows the Common Core State Standards, we dive into EVERYTHING your child should learn in First Grade WOW! See below for a snapshot of some of the covered content. In previous classes on different platforms– parents would RAVE how their child would not be able to read at all prior to Mrs. Hendricks Academy and by the end of the curriculum- they were reading whole sentences, creative writing on their own and excelling. 

Ages 4 – 8

$7/class. Special discount available $145/month

Princess Story Time Ballet Dance Camp

by Lovely Leaps

Each week we will have a different princess joining the class. After the princess arrives the children will perform their dance while the princess sings, Then they will sit with their favorite toy while the princess reads a fun book! After story time the children will have a chance to each personally interact with the princess! It’s not everyday your child will get to have a virtual Disneyland experience! 

Ages 3 – 6

$17/day starting March 4


Tired of online classes? Try a fun Lego® course:
Amusement Park LEGO® Engineering

by SNAPOLOGY OF LOS GATOS

We bet your child loves going to amusement parks to experience the variety of fast, dropping, and spinning rides, but have they ever thought about the science that goes into building those rides and the people who are responsible for designing them? In Snapology’s Amusement Park Engineering class, students will become engineers building their own amusement park rides like roller coasters, Ferris wheel , Bumper Car and other awesome rides!! 

Snapology of Los Gatos serves Almaden, Camden, Los Gatos, Saratoga and Cupertino.

Ages 5 – 12

$150/ 4-session series starting Feb 24

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After-School Activities Parenting Resources Sports

Using Flexible Spending Accounts & Tax Credits for Summer Camps and After School Activities

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) can be a great way to reduce your taxes while you spend on child care. You can use money from your FSA to pay for summer camps and after-school activities. Certain after-school activities and care expenses are covered as well. If your company doesn’t offer an FSA, you can also cover some of the costs of camp and child care with the child care tax credit.

There are a few stipulations to consider, one being that only kids under 13 years old are covered. Only day camps are covered, not overnight camps, and both parents must be working or attending school full-time. Also, the same expenses cannot be covered by FSA and the child care tax credit. The child care tax credit covers only a percentage of child care costs and varies between 20-35% depending on your household income. If your adjusted gross income is over $43,000, your child care tax credit is limited to 20%. 

Other key points you should know about the tax credit:

  • Expenses are deductible only if the main purpose is the “person’s well-being and protection.” Summer school, private school tuition, tutoring and overnight camps don’t qualify.
  • Day care centers or after-school care qualifies if only if the center complies with all state and local regulations.
  • There is a maximum yearly dollar amount of $3000 for one child, or $6000 for two or more children.

Are online classes and camps eligible for FSA or tax credit?

In 2020 and 2021, many more families enrolled their kids in an online course or virtual camp. Unfortunately, some FSA’s are not approving online courses as an eligible dependent care expense because the parents were at home during the course and thus providing child care.

IRS publication 503 says “Expenses are for the care of a qualifying person only if their main purpose is the person’s well-being and protection.” One FSA administrator states in a recent notice that an online platform with audio and visual functions satisfies the requirement. But some FSA plans state that if the parents are at home, then the parents are providing care for the child. 

If I paid for a camp in 2020, but we attended in 2021, what year is my expense tax deductible?

If you paid for camp in one year, but your kids did not attend until the next year, you would count expenses in the year your kids attended. 

How can I get the EIN number for the camp or class provider?

When you register on ActivityHero.com, your registration confirmation email will include the EIN and other information you need to claim your tax credit or use your FSA funds. 

Please keep in mind that we know a fair bit about summer camps and kids activities, but we are NOT tax experts. There are additional restrictions to this tax credit, so read IRS publication 503 carefully or consult your tax advisor before claiming the tax dependent care credit.

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After-School Activities Cartooning Cooking Crafts Crafts Creative Arts Drawing and Painting Featured Posts Holiday Break Camps On-Demand

Best Free On-Demand Activities: Printables and DIY for Kids

On-demand classes and activities for your child are a great option when you need an activity at any time of day. ActivityHero provides a wide variety of on-demand content that can be used at any time, free of any cost! Here are our favorite free, on-demand options.

See All Free On-Demand Classes, including art, science, coding, music, and more >>

On-Demand Art - Learn to draw funny llamas!

Pixar in a Box: The Computer Science Behind Movies

What’s your favorite movie – Cars, Frozen, or maybe The Avengers? Did you know that computer technology is behind the making of all of your favorite movies? This video shows children exciting state-of-the-art technologies and how they are applied in the real world!

On-Demand Art Classes for Kids - Learn to Draw a Great White Shark with watercolor and colored pencils on ActivityHero

Nutrition: Let’s Make a Stir Fry

This class will focus on (1) a review of the basics of nutrition, and (2) how to use the five food groups to create a healthy, well rounded, delicious meal. Some of the student activities will include (1) preparing their own individual menu for a stir-fry (2) watching Dr. Mary cook a nutritious stir-fry, and (3) several choices of posters to create.

Draw your own home alone battle plan. Free on-demand from Stanford Library Map Collections

How to Make a Solar Oven

Have fun baking a dessert with your kids and learn some science at the same time with this DIY Solar Oven by Beau Coffron, in partnership with Home Depot. All you need is an old pizza box and a handful of tools and materials. In just a few easy steps, you’ll have created an innovative solar oven!

On-Demand Art Class with Young Rembrandts

Hour of Code – Learn JavaScript

Learn how to code with Javascript in Classroom Antics’ easy-to-use web interface and self-guided lessons. Progress through fun online coding activities at your own pace. Complete up to 9 lessons (one hour each). Lessons feature fun projects such as creating an facetracker, eclipse simulation, greeting card, snapchat filter, community map and more!

Learn inkscape by drawing a winter holiday card. On-demand art classes for kids.

Free French Class for Kids!

Join Madame Barbara from Springs French Music Lingua for a fun introductory class and learn the Itsy Bitsy Spider in French.  This is a 22-minute previously recorded live online class.  Download the coloring page for additional reinforcement of the French vocabulary.

Peter Max Art with Young Rembrandts

Music Reading Tutorial with KidzKeys!

Ms. Emily will show students how to read the musical staff and place colorful stickers on your piano or keyboard (Printable Download Included!).

Peter Max Art with Young Rembrandts

Making the Perfect Pie Shell

In this FREE video you’ll learn how to make the perfect pie shell.  You’ll learn how to create pie dough and then how best to roll out out and form it into a pie pan.  This lesson is for a pie shell for sweet pies.  The method can be used for quiche and tart shells by changing just a few ingredients.

Learn Inkscape By Making a Winter Holiday Card

In this on-demand class you will learn the basics of Inkscape while creating your very own winter theme card.  We’ll learn how to create a basic winter scene, including how to make some basic evergreen trees, snow flakes, and form a snow man. You can print and use the card you create as a holiday card, or a card to bring in some winter time cheer.

Draw your own home alone battle plan. Free on-demand from Stanford Library Map Collections

Free Winter Coloring and Sudoku Sheets

Choose from a collection of free Winter and Holiday themed coloring sheets and Sudoku printables! These are great for long car rides or for the whole family to enjoy.

See All Free On-Demand Activities >>

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After-School Activities On-Demand Online Learning School Breaks

5 Fun Alternatives to Family Movie Night

Have you watched every family-friendly movie on Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus? Memorized every scene of Trolls World Tour? Eaten your body weight in popcorn? No judgement here – it’s been a long year! 

Here are five alternatives to Family Movie Night at home that are just as fun!

Take an Art Class together:

There is something therapeutic about drawing or painting after a long week of work or school, even if you aren’t really an artist! On-demand art classes fit into your schedule and are fun for the whole family.

See All On-Demand Art Classes >>

Bake up a sweet treat

What’s better than a weekend night decorating cookies or cupcakes? Not only is it super fun, but you get a tasty reward at the end. Make it even more entertaining by creating a theme or game to your decorating – whether it’s Disney characters or seasonal holiday themes. On-demand cooking or baking classes are a good way to learn new skills together in the kitchen, too.

See All On-Demand Cooking & Baking Classes >>

Experiment with Science

Learn weather science with Engineering for Kids of Kern

Change the perspective that science is all academic and boring. Getting hands-on with STEM projects at home with your kids can be fun for all ages. Instead of learning about weather science in a book, create clouds in a jar and queue the “wow, that’s so cool”. On-demand STEM activities are available for most ages and can be enjoyed as a family.

See All On-Demand STEM Activities >>

Build something together

Roll up your sleeves and spend some quality time building something together. Working on a project as a family is a great way to connect and have conversations with your kids in a low-pressure environment. The best part is you will have a tangible item to remind you of the time you spent together. 

Free DIY Birdhouse Activity with Home Depot

Get Crafty

On-Demand Girl Scouts Workshop: Pumpkin Crafts with Discover Science Center

If you have movie fatigue, break out the craft supplies. Instead of watching your kids favorite characters sing on-screen for the 2,536th time this year, create puppet versions of Poppy and Branch and have your kids put on a show! Or, use the time together to decorate for any seasonal holiday or make special gifts for family.

See All On-Demand Craft Activities >>

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Academics After-School Activities Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Sports Super Activities for Super Kids Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms

5 Organizing Hacks Perfect for Back to School






Prepping for back-to-school means juggling after-school activities and loads more stuff. These 5 organization hacks will keep your family organized and ready for anything.

By Jillian Chamberlain

happy girl with organized folders

Where are my shin guards? Did you sign that permission slip? I can’t find my sheet music!  When you’re trying to get kids out the door and to their after school activities, time is at a premium. Taking a few minutes now to modify your organization process can help streamline things when you’re in a rush. Here are some of our favorite ideas from parents and caregivers who’ve been there, organized that.

1. “Stuff Station” — The One Place to Keep Everything

Photo Credit: IAmNotTheBabysitter.com

There’s so much to keep track of during back-to-school season, it gets overwhelming. When school is back in session, so are all of those music lessons, soccer practices, and martial arts classes. As parents of active children, you are guaranteed to be dealing with more STUFF. How do you keep it all straight and teach your children to be responsible for their things on any given day? Keep it all in one place, and color-code it! Your kids’ activity station can come in many different shapes and forms, but here is one ‘stuff station’ idea we thought was appealing to the eye and highly functional. Check out this and more organization hacks from IAmNotTheBabysitter.com

2. There’s a Bag for That

Source: Momtastic.com

Once you create a ‘stuff station’ for homework, permission slips and projects are sure to add a hook for an after-school activity drawstring bag. If you have a child with a lot of various interests, consider making an individual drawstring bag that is designated as the one place to keep any and all equipment for each sport or lesson. On Mondays and Wednesdays, your child knows to grab the yellow drawstring bag with their shin guards and cleats for soccer. On Thursday the red bag is ready at the door for martial arts. Momtastic.com has a great DIY tutorial for customizable drawstring bags. So simple!

3. Car Homework Station

Homework happens. If there’s one thing to dread with the start of the new school year, it’s the renewed battle over nightly homework assignments. Convincing kids to sit down and do their work is one of the hardest parts of a parent’s job. One way to get them excited about homework is a comfortable and creative space dedicated to them…even if that is in the car. Consider creating a homework station in the car so that your little ones can knock out some homework while you’re on the road.

4. After-School Snacks on the Go

Kids start school relatively early in the morning each day. That means a big gap between lunchtime and after-school snack time. Kids need to refuel, and every parent knows how difficult it can be dealing with cranky, “hangry” youngsters. StuffedSuitcase.com has made it easy to steer clear of junk foods and other unhealthy quick fixes by gathering some easy-to-assemble snacks to keep ready in the car. After-school snacks can be healthy, fun and mobile!

5. Organize Your After-School Schedule, Too!

Searching ActivityHero on a phoneActivityHero can help you find local activities that work with your child’s calendar — and nurture his or her interests! Whether your child likes to dance, sports, outdoor recreation, music, or computers, ActivityHero makes browsing and registering easy.

Getting organized is about clearing the space and time for your family members to meet their needs and find focus, in whatever way works for you!

Search for after-school classes near you >>

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After-School Activities Classic Guitar Drums Flute Guitar Music Music Theory Piano Rock Saxophone String Trumpet Violin Voice Wind

7 Ways Music Lessons Help Kids Excel






Looking to avoid summer brain drain? A music-loving mom shares her personal research into 7 impressive benefits associated with music lessons. Drumroll, please!

By Katie Femia

One, two, three, four … With all of the counting and time signatures, it makes sense that learning a musical instrument can help strengthen a child’s ability to do mathematics and problem-solve. Years of research have borne that out. But what about socially? Emotionally? Physically? Personally? It turns out that music lessons can be an effective way to help children grow in all of these areas, too.

My own daughter began playing the piano at the age of nine. It was something she had asked us to sign her up for after she received a keyboard for Christmas the year prior. She was at the age where we expected more responsibility from her, and we were also looking for an effective way for her to channel her feelings. Music lessons have helped her in both of those areas. Being able to use her hands to create something beautiful is a therapeutic experience for her. Working with her instructor and practicing at home means she has developed more discipline and motivation to excel. As her lessons continue I am seeing growth in other areas of her life as well.

Here’s a medley of the amazing benefits that can come when children take up an instrument.

1. Improved Memory

Whether your child is memorizing the alphabet, multiplication tables, or Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, they will need to be able to focus on the information and store it in a retrievable manner. Music reinforces memory in the sense that it requires the child to memorize notes along with hand/mouth movement, turning the information into a tune. Using this part of the brain often to store and recite information is important, and music lessons continue to put memorization skills into practice.

2. Stress Relief or Prevention

Artforms are a wonderful way for children to express themselves while relieving tension at the same time, and music is no exception. The hands-on experience, the practice of manipulating the instruments, and the sound of the music that is created can all help put children at ease–especially after a long day at school.My child’s music school even has a school outreach program where kids with special needs are given musical instruments to play as a form of therapy.

3. Better Focus

Traditional classroom learning typically involves long periods of sitting still and concentrating, which can be a challenge for children. Music lessons can help children improve their focus, as their concentration and attention to detail is important when learning a tune. Improved attention leads to mastery of the tune and progress on to the next one. The positive feelings that result from this accomplishment strengthen their desire and ability to focus on goals related to the classroom.

piano-lessons-for-kids

4. Fine Motor Skill Development

Fine motor skills–for example, tasks that are done with the fingers–typically require hand and eye coordination. Learning to play a musical instrument can help strengthen a child’s fine motor skills, which can come in handy in the classroom when the child writes (in print or cursive), paints, cuts, measures, glues, and so on.

5. Enhanced Self-Esteem

When a child becomes familiar with playing a musical instrument, they can feel a great sense of pride in their accomplishment. As they realize that they can entertain others and even evoke emotions through their performances, their confidence may grow even more. Every child wants to feel like they are good at or successful at something, and music lessons give them the chance to do that … and then treat others with their talent. The resulting self-esteem follows that child throughout their school day and throughout their life.

6. Lessons in Accountability

My daughter’s piano lessons are an intense 30 minutes in length, so it is important she is ready with her music sheets, notebook, and a sharpened pencil in hand when the lesson begins. She knows that stopping to find any of these items during the lesson would take away from valuable class time. The “homework” assigned by music instructors can also help create accountability in kids. At home, kids learn to make decisions on how to allocate their time to prepare for the next lesson. Children who take music lessons can carry this skill of accountability over to their classroom life, where deadlines for homework and classwork need to be met.

7. A Sense of Responsibility

Whether you decide to rent or own your child’s instrument, you will find it does not come cheap. Caring for the instrument properly is essential to protect your investment. Music lessons teach your child to be responsible for cleaning, caring for, and storing their instrument properly. The habits kids learn in music lessons can translate into increased responsibility for their school supplies, homework, and even their actions.

Consider music as a summer enrichment activity which can prepare your child to succeed in the classroom when the next school year rolls around. There are options for every budget and level of experience, so do some exploring and what might interest your child! Find summer music camps near you at ActivityHero.

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After-School Activities Parenting Resources Sports Super Activities for Super Kids

Fun Columbus Day Camps in the San Francisco Bay Area






Columbus Day & Indigenous People’s Day is coming up and you know what that means… kids have a long weekend and are looking for something to do! Skip the TV and the mall this year and give them a new and exciting experience. From sports to coding, there are many school holiday camps for your kids in the San Francisco area.

Does your school has the whole week off? You can find week-long October break camps too.

Adventure Camps

In San Francisco: Adventure Camps is a unique mobile day camp for children for kids 4 years and older. For over 45 years, the Adventure Camp staff takes kids on a different adventure each day to create a fun, learning experience. View Adventure Camp Columbus Day schedule for more information and pickup spots.

Camp Bladium

In Alameda: Bladium, the sports complex in Alameda, offers a day camp and specialty sports camps for Columbus Day and other school holidays. Children can experience a wide variety of games and activities: Rock Climbing, Basketball, Dodgeball, Karaoke, Kickball, Arts and Crafts, Laser Tag, Cheerleading, Soccer, Lego®. Ages 5-14. See schedule for Columbus Day camps.

AYSO Soccer Camps

In San Mateo, Foster City and other locations: AYSO Soccer Camps have full day and half day camps to keep kids active and practice soccer skills. Different programs for different ages and soccer abilities. See locations and Columbus Day camp schedule. Also full week camps.

Tech Rocks

In San Francisco and San Mateo: Tech Rocks reinforces kids’ technology skills and extends their digital knowledge in a full-day format. Kids learn multimedia, game design, web development and app development as well as basic computing skills. See the schedule for October school holidays camps.

CD’s Kids Art Studio

In San Jose: Kids use different art mediums to express their unique creativity. Paper mache’ animals, glass mosaic stepping stones, fused glass art, woodwork, and painting are some of the kids’ favorite projects. Open for San Jose school breaks and holidays.

<< See all October school holiday camps for Columbus Day, October Break and Indigenous Peoples Day.

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After-School Activities Guest Posts

Moving Your Family to a New Town? Don’t Forget To…






Moving your family to a new town? Here’s a simple tip to help your kids transition smoothly and make connections in your new community.

Guest Post by Jaime Hollander

moving
Photo by AJ Brustein

You know the reasons activities, teams and other extracurriculars are good for your kids. From getting healthy to boosting creativity to encouraging teamwork, there are countless perks to integrating structured activities into your children’s lives. But, when you’re moving your family — especially from the city to suburbia — hands-on activities become even more important to their short- and long-term happiness and success. Even before your move, you can sign up your child up for a club, encourage him to join a team, or enroll her in a fun class to help ease the transition — and, above all, help your child make meaningful connections in their new community. Here’s why your moving checklist should include an activity sign up (or two…):

See a List of Camps & Classes Near You >>

#1. They’ll make friends fast

This one’s a no-brainer. Kids who participate in activities, clubs and teams tend to have an easier time making friends and connecting with their peers. Post-move your child is likely feeling unsure — there’s a new home, a new street and possibly a new school. Integrating him into an activity he’s excited about will help his personality shine through and enable him to make fast friends with other local kids. And the quicker his schedule is filled with playdates, birthday parties and his go-to activities, the happier he’ll be — and the happier you’ll be!

#2. Activities foster independence

Many preschool- and elementary-aged kids get a little extra clingy post-move — and it’s easy to see why. Everything feels different, especially if you’re moving from the city to the suburbs. Enrolling in an activity will help your child regain her independence by encouraging risk-taking, bolstering confidence and, simply, separating her from Mom and Dad, if only just for an hour or so. As she starts to feel more and more comfortable in her post-move universe, she’ll start easing into other aspects of your new neighborhood and be an all-around happier, spunkier kid!

#3. They may be feeling stressed post-move
Your move was, no doubt, stressful for you — but, chances are, it was also stressful for your children. Older kids may stress about making new friends or starting in a new school. If kids are younger, though, their stresses may be off your radar. Something as simple as sleeping in their own room or feeling overwhelmed in a big backyard can cause a preschooler or kindergartener serious stress, even though these may be the very reasons you moved in the first place. Getting your kids into an activity ASAP can help them work out their worries while boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence.

#4. Activities support academic success

Many families make a big move during the preschool years, and that means “real school” — AKA kindergarten — is right around the corner. While this is a major change for every family, kids who are new to a community may feel added stress or pressure. Creative and physical activities — art classes, music lessons, sports teams — have been shown to increase academic and intellectual pursuits, even in the youngest learners. By helping kids deal with challenges and teaching them to think outside the box, activities can have a major impact on your child’s in-school success. Especially on the heels of a move — and especially if your child is feeling unsure about that all-important first day of school — these activities can be the boost he needs to have an A+ year.

#5. You’ll get a taste for the town

Another perk to activities and classes? They let you and your kids get a feel for a community before you make the move. Many centers, studios and gyms offer a free trial class or low-cost drop-in option for first-timers — use that to your advantage! Drop in to a few different classes or activities and let your child get the lay of the land while you use that time to chat with fellow parents and learn more about the town and the people who live there. And, who knows? Your child could wind up loving the activity and you could wind up loving the town!

If you’re making a move or, even, just considering a community, be sure to add “activities sign up” to your moving to-do list. The faster you get your kids into activities, clubs and teams the better your family’s transition — and your kids’ happiness and well-being — will be, and the quicker you’ll be able to dig into the community’s goings-on. Happy moving!

See a List of Camps & Classes Near You >>

Jaime Hollander works for The Suburban Jungle Realty Group helping city families in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and more, create their unique path to suburbia. This innovative no-cost advisory focuses on finding the perfect suburb for their clients based on personality and lifestyle, not just real estate. If you’re ready to get started — or are even just exploring! — check out their questionnaire designed to help streamline your suburban search.

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After-School Activities Ballet Contemporary Dance Hip Hop Indian Classical Jazz Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Modern Pointe Tap

Dancing for Kids: Should Your Child Be in Dance Class?






Do your kids know all the latest moves? Want to train in ballet? Yearn to be in musical theatre? Dance classes may be on point. Here, some must-know info.

By Sarah Antrim

See All Dance Classes & Camps>>

modern danceIt’s not too difficult to tell if a child likes to dance. You’ll see them wiggling and swaying to TV theme songs as toddlers. They’ll tap their toes to pop songs on TV — or go into full-out routines in the living room. In fact, it’s probably true to say that most kids will shake their groove thing when they’re little. The question is, “Are dance classes the logical next step?”

If you’re looking for an after-school activity for your child, dance offers plenty of benefits. According to the London-based Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), this activity is perfect for kids who aren’t necessarily drawn to other team sports, but it’s also perfectly wonderful for those who seem to be good at all things athletic. In fact, it can improve flexibility and strength, which may help those kids improve at another sport. Read on to learn more about the perks of enrolling your child in dance classes or a dance camp — and to see the answers to some commonly asked questions from parents.

What are the benefits of dance classes?

According to Berkeley Wellness, dance offers myriad benefits far beyond what you might first imagine. “Dancing provides physical, psychological, and social benefits galore,” says their online article entitled “The Many Health Benefits of Dancing.”

Dance is a fun activity for kids that exercises both the body and mind. In addition to increasing fitness levels, dance classes for kids also help with better posture, creativity, and cultural understanding. It helps improve balance and flexibility. Studies have found that dancing can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It can bolster self-esteem. It can help kids achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It provides both cardiovascular activity and weight-bearing activity, so it’s good for kids’ hearts and bones.

It can also open doors to a variety of careers, including more obvious options such as dance teacher, professional dancer, and dance movement therapist (using dance and movement to support physical and emotional health). It also can lead to other careers that support the arts in general or dance specifically, such as a publicist, producer, costume designer, or promoter.
Dancer on Pointe

How do I know if dance is a good activity for my child?

First, consider your child’s personality and interests. Have they enjoyed dancing in the past? Do they ask for lessons? Do they like to watch other people dance? If so, it’s worth trying a dance class or a summer dance camp. A one- or two-week dance camp is a great way for kids (and parents) to figure out if regular dance lessons will be a welcome addition to your regular routine. It can also allow you to check out different studios to find an instructor and location that is a good fit for your kids and your budget.

Many studios allow parents to be present during class or view from a window in the lobby of the studio. If they take an introductory class or participate in a dance camp, watch your child and make sure they are smiling and having fun during class. Dance class can be hard work at times, but it should first be enjoyable.

How do I know if my child is ready to start dance classes?

Some studios will enroll toddlers as young as 3 years old. These may be called Pre-K or pre-ballet classes, or the like. Kids younger than this often lack the attention span and physical strength needed for basic dance lessons. Perhaps your child has friends who are already enrolled in classes or who are planning on signing up. Different studios offer different programs, and they may do a quick assessment to see which class may be a good fit for your child. This decision is best made by talking to the dance school instructors or owners about your child’s personality and level of interest, as well as any concerns and expectations you may have.

What can I expect the costs to be for kids dance classes?

Of course, as with any activity, costs vary depending upon your geographic location and factors affecting the individual studio, such who the instructors are (and what their background and skill level are), as well as how long classes are. Enrolling kids in multiple classes or enrolling more than one family member may bring down your per-class cost.

That said, the website Howmuchisit.org reports that dance classes cost about $40 to $120 per month and are typically held weekly. So the per-class cost will likely be $10 to $30. Private lessons typically cost more than group sessions. The studio may also charge a registration or membership fee.

Also inquire about the dance gear and clothing you’re expected to provide. Some studios have very strict policies about what they expect students to wear. Ballet classes usually require tights and leotards (sometimes in specific colors), while some jazz and hip-hop teachers prefer dance pants, capris, or shorts paired with a tank top, dance top, or fitted T-shirt. You’ll also need to invest in some good dance shoes. Ballet and tap shoes often are available at discount stores, but other footwear like hip-hop and pointe shoes may need to be special-ordered at a dance boutique or online. Prepare to spend $45 to $175 on the outfit and $12 to $60 for a pair of shoes, reports Howmuchisit.org.

Also keep in mind that most studios put on a yearly recital in which you’ll have to purchase a costume, usually averaging around $50 to $75 depending on the studio.

If you’re on a tight budget, ask the school if scholarships are available or if they might be offering a special deal or coupon, such as one that waives the registration fee. You can also look into purchasing dance gear and shoes online or from gently-used children’s clothing stores. Often once you get to know the families at your dance studio, those with kids in larger sizes will offer hand-me-downs to younger children.

What questions should I ask the dance teacher?

Many times the dance studio’s website will list each instructor’s bio, so you might want to check there first. You can also ask to set up a time to talk to the instructor. (They may have very little or no time between classes, so it’s best to arrange an appointment when they’re truly free.)

When you’re face-to-face, ask what the teacher’s background is, including where they studied and what they like to teach. Also find out if their emphasis is on classically training kids in proper technique or if they’re more focused on fun and physical movement. Many places offer a blend of both, but if they know you’d like a class that is heavy on serious technique, they may recommend some specific dance classes for your child.

Also, see what other dance activities the instructor is involved in; some teachers also run a dance camp over the summer or teach at different studios. Or maybe they perform locally. If so, you may want to take your child to a performance to show them what their teacher can do on stage.

Which type of dance is best for my child?

Kids usually get their interest in dancing by seeing it somewhere first. Many girls start out their dance experience with ballet simply because they dream of someday becoming a ballerina. Boys may express an interest in hip-hop or tap initially. Or if your child is seriously pursuing musical theatre opportunities, maybe their directors have suggested specific types of classes to help them pick up choreography for a show.

A good place to start is by showing your child as many different types of dance as possible then observe which appeals to them the most. Take your child to a dance recital or performance in your area and see which numbers hold their attention or pique their curiosity.

If they are still unsure, see if a local studio will allow your child to drop in on a few different classes and decide which is most enjoyable to them. Many studios also offer combo classes such as tap, jazz, and ballet all in one, with the recital numbers utilizing parts of the same outfit in each. For instance, a leotard may come with a ballet tutu, a fringe tap skirt, and jazz pants. This is less expensive than buying three entire outfits. If you enroll your child in a combo class, you might want to ask about recital outfit requirements and costs, especially if budget is a factor.

What other options are there besides studio classes for dancers?

For kids who have found their passion in dance and want a bit more flexibility than an organized class offers, a dance camp might be a good option. Dance camps expose kids to a variety of different dance styles and are also a great way to help shy kids break out of their shell before enrolling in weekly dance classes.

Looking for great dance classes? Check out the top-rated dance classes and dance summer camps on ActivityHero!

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After-School Activities

The After School Bully: What to Do, When to Leave






By Katie Femia

kids-activities
Dealing with a bully can be a stressful and even frightening situation, and it’s one that’s not limited to the school yard. It may not be common, but it’s possible for kids to encounter bullies in after school programs, too.

While all bullying situations are different, approaching them with reason as well as a sense of urgency can help calm and diffuse them, allowing your child to better focus on the tasks at hand. Here are some tips that I have adapted from the anti-bullying protocol that was followed at school during the 10 years I served as a teacher. They are designed not only to help you solve the bullying issue for your child, but also to give your child the inner resources and information they need so they can solve future bullying situations on their own.

Need a better after school program? Search ActivityHero now >>

1. Gather plenty of background information

The first step in dealing with bullying is to find out who is involved. You should know the names of the perpetrators as well as all of the children being bullied. You might find out that your child is not the only victim. It is also important to know where the bullying is taking place, such as in a restroom, locker room, hallway, or classroom. This information will be helpful when you talk to the supervisor of the program. So how do you find this out? Encourage your child to talk to you about what is happening. Wait until you are in a space where they feel safe, such as their own home or a favorite restaurant. Gently encourage them to tell you what is happening, who is involved, and how they would like to see the situation resolved.

Also ask what your child has done to solve the issue so far. For example, ask which adults they have spoken to and what actions they have already taken. This can help you best decide where to start when approaching the issue with the after school program’s supervisor. Be sure you take notes as you speak with your child so no detail is missed or overlooked.

2. Give your child options

Even before you are able to discuss the issue with the adult who oversees the program, it is good to give your child some options to use when dealing with bullies. Let your child know that they deserve to feel safe, to be safe, and to enjoy the program — just like the rest of the students. Encourage them to find friends they feel comfortable with and secure with, so they are never alone. (Being alone gives bullies a chance to move in on them.) Make sure your child reports any physical confrontations to an adult staffer immediately and continues to report other bullying behavior as well.

If the bullying is more of the verbal kind, let them know it is okay to walk away. Tell your child that they don’t have to tolerate the behavior. Also work with your child to build their self-esteem: Encourage them to tell you what they love or enjoy about themselves; kids with self-confidence are harder targets for bullies.

3. Meet with the program director

Take the information you now have and meet with the director of the after school program as soon as possible. The staff needs to be made aware of the situation and how it is interfering with your child’s experience in the program. Ask what other complaints about the child have been brought to their attention at this point, and what the director has done to deal with such complaints. Once the information is provided to the director, arrange for a follow-up meeting so you can discuss the progress. This lets the director know you are serious about remedying the situation, and that you wish for there to be not only accountability but also a resolution to the bullying.

4. Observe the after school program

If your child is telling you they are being bullied, it is sometimes wise to spend time observing them at the program. This lets both the staff and the bullies know that you are keeping an eye on the situation. It also gives you a chance to see how the program is operating and how your child is operating within it. Observing can also help you identify children that your child may consider a friend or ally, which you can then encourage a friendship with.

5. Be sure to follow up

Decide when you think a sufficient amount of time has passed after your meeting with the supervisor, then follow up on the situation. First and foremost, meet with your child to see how they feel things are going. Ask if they notice any changes in the bully’s behavior, if they feel more comfortable in the program, and if the bullying has lessened or stopped. Now is also the time to talk to the directors of the program and see what changes have been made to ensure the safety of all of the children in the program.

Hopefully, you will see changes that you are pleased with and your child will decide to continue on in the program. If the bullying is not resolved and the after school provider does not seem to be invested in remedying it, you may want to find another program for your child. If this is the case, it is important to let the staff know the reason for your decision. If they are made aware that people are leaving the program as a result of bullying, they may finally realize how serious the issue is and, at last, take more serious steps to address the problem.

When It’s Time to Leave

Kids find new after school activities for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they don’t mesh well with the group, perhaps they’ve outgrown the program in age or ability, or sometimes they just want to try something new. Whenever you find yourself at this kind of after school crossroads, be sure to let >ActivityHero help you check out the hundreds of options in your area!

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After-School Activities

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Love Museums






Museums are something you may have frequented as a singleton or couple without kids but once you start your family, these cultural outings may have fallen by the wayside. You don’t have to give up your favorite galleries or drag your kids kicking and screaming to exhibits – you just need to ignite their interests. Try these tips to raise a museum-loving kid and you may find you appreciate both your kids and the cultural outings in ways you never did before.

Here are five things to try:

#1 Start when they’re young

As soon as your kids are walking and talking, they’re old enough for short museum outings. You may be tempted to strictly stick to “kid’s museums” when your little ones are young, but this may not be the best approach. You don’t want your children thinking that every museum is a loud, touchy-feely, free for all. Instead, take them to “adult” museums when they’re young but make it fun. Play “I Spy” with exhibits, ask your child to tell you what family members a portrait resembles, or as what piece of history or art they’d like to take home. If photos are allowed (most museums are open to this now), snap pics of your child imitating exhibits and then print them out and tack to the fridge at home.

Image from Flickr

#2 Always leave them wanting more

Nothing kills a child’s urge to do something again more than being dragged through an event. So don’t try to complete a major museum in one visit. The only way to see an entire museum in a day is to speed race through it. This will exhaust your kids mentally and physically and take the fun out of it. Instead, choose one gallery, artist, time period or a special exhibit to focus on so that the visit has scope and purpose, and you’ll leave them with plenty to see next time. For a younger child (five or under), cap the visit at 45 to 60 minutes. For age six to eight, 60 to 90 minutes is workable. For age nine and up, max it out at two hours or so. Better to take them out crying for more than crying in frustration.

#3 Download interactive apps to engage

Where museums were once camera-free and phone-free zones, now they encourage personal devices as part of the museum experience. Many museums offer an app specific to their facility. For instance, MoMA’s app offers self-guided tour info, a camera feature, search functions and lets you curate your favorite content. The Smithsonian’s new app brings exhibits to life. And, if the museum you plan to visit doesn’t offer an app (although most do), you can use other tablet and smart-phone tools to enrich your visit. Use a sketch app to let your child try and reproduce an exhibit they like or download a photo manipulation app then snap pics of paintings or exhibits and play around with them.

Image from Flickr

#4 Look beyond local offerings

The easiest thing is to visit museums near you. If you live in an area that’s rich with culture that’s great, but if you aren’t in a museum-filled area, you may run out of places to visit or discover you’re not near museums that cover your child’s interests. If your child is into airplanes, why not add a trip to the Kennedy Space Center as part of your next Disney World visit? Also look at museum offerings within a couple of hours drive or close to a relative you owe a visit. Click here to search for museums by state. And don’t discount smaller museums. These are often cheap (or free), highly focused and able to be done without any stress in one visit. Anywhere you vacation, you’ll find a museum.

#5 Expand your own horizons

While you may prefer art museums, your kids may be more keen on science, classic cars or natural history. Plus, there’s a whole swath of museums that don’t fit into common categories. Step outside the lines when choosing museums to spark your kids’ interest in learning new things and seeing the unexpected. In Tennessee, there’s an amazing towing and recovery museum with vintage fire and rescue trucks. Alaska has a museum devoted to hammers (any Thor fans out there?). Iowa has a matchstick museum that features a match-made miniature Hogwarts. Take your kids to explore museums from the serious to the whimsical – your kids will love it and you will too!

Some other things to remember – no matter what museum you visit – is to pack snacks, stop and rest weary feet, don’t postpone bathroom breaks and never show up hungry. Also, do research ahead of time to plan your visit. Find out what days and times are less busy, whether there’s a snack bar or restaurant, if there’s an app, what touring exhibits are open and if there are free or discounted days or coupons. Finally, keep the visit chatty and interactive. Ask questions and talk rather than encouraging quiet contemplation.

Check out this list of museum suggestions in our article “From The Midwest to the West Coast…Must See Museums”

Also, consider some of these museums that host summer camps for children:

Houston Museum of Natural Science – Houston, Texas

Children’s Creativity Museum – San Francisco, California

Miami Science Museum – Miami, Florida

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After-School Activities Computer Animation Computers

How to Engage Girls in Computers and Tech






Co-founder of Sparkiverse Labs Mare Lucas shares why her company seeks to spark girls’ interest in STEM subjects, and how to do the same for your daughter.

By Mare Lucas, Co-Founder, Sparkiverse Labs (and Lifelong Tech Geek)

A Princess Party at Sparkiverse Labs.

Girls + Tech. We’re finding a way to make it happen. We started Sparkiverse with the mission of introducing tech to ALL kids. But we have a special drive to get more GIRLS into tech. Why? It’s personal, and it’s from our hearts …

I’ve been a female in tech for most of my professional career. And it’s been lonely. expected things to have changed dramatically since I was in college in the 1980s, but surprisingly it hasn’t. There are still few females in technology-related fields. I know this because I have sought them out to hire. So the time came to decide whether to keep TALKING about my passions to get more females into tech — or to get busy DOING something about it.

What I saw from my experience as a mom and technologist was that somewhere in elementary school, girls start deciding that they “aren’t a math person” — or some sentiment to that effect. I felt that we were losing kids to tech — particularly girls — because it wasn’t creative and engaging. And as we talked to more parents once we started Sparkiverse, we heard that girls in particular don’t like to sit glued to a computer for hours. And that girls enjoy a more diverse approach to tech — a larger mix of creativity and problem solving.

We listened to the feedback. And weaved in our own experience and intuition. Now we’re proud to say that at Sparkiverse we have some classes where we have MORE girls than boys! Many of our new classes are designed to particularly interest girls — like our Creativity & Circuits, Wearable Tech, and Build Your Own Games classes.

Looking forward, we’re going to continue making sure that our company creates an environment where girls can feel comfortable letting their tech side shine through. I believe that if we expose girls in elementary school to coding … and circuits … and robots … and all things cool tech, that we will see the numbers of girls sticking with these fields rise quite organically. That’s my goal and my hope for the next generation.

Book a Sparkiverse camp here > >

Shop for kids’ computer and STEM camps, classes & workshops > >

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After-School Activities

Video Production Camp and Claymation For Beginner from KMVT






Does your child want a skill they can keep after camp is over? Are they interested in making videos on their cell phones or devices?  KMVT is offering an Intro to Video Production camp that engages students in fun, hands-on-activities where they will learn behind-the-scenes production skills while introducing youths to production experience in a studio environment.

Video Production Camp

Students use KMVT’s professional studio equipment to gain basic skills in camera, directing, audio, acting and producing. By the end of the week, students produce segments including Game Shows, Talk Shows and Entertainment performances!

We also offer a popular Claymation camp where students will be introduced to a variety of animation techniques, from frame-by-frame (flipbooks) to stop motion animation. Students will learn Clay Animation using the same stop-motion techniques that was used in the Wallace & Gromit films, Chicken Run and other favorite Claymation movies.  Collaborating in small groups, students will conceptualize, mold, animate and edit a final project. Student will learn the techniques of conceptualization, planning, creation of clay models, while also learning videography and editing in this hands-on, fun-filled workshop. We see a lot of the same children coming back year after year to hone in on their skills.

And do you know what is the coolest part of these camps is? Student get their projects broadcast on Comcast Channel 15 in Mountain View, Los Altos and Cupertino, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 throughout the bay area, Roku and on our YouTube channel http://tinyurl.com/l6gpm4o.

Each student receives a DVD copy of all the class projects produced at camp so they can show it off to family and friends!

Our camps offer skills in leadership, team-building, attention to detail, creativity and an appreciation for technology.  Our instructors have a strong background in technology and digital media bringing decades of educational experience.  KMVT 15 Silicon Valley Community Media has been providing media and television services for over 30 years. Our camps are for middle school students age 10-14.  Roughly over 250 kids a year attend KMVT 15’s youth camps.  Scholarship opportunities are also available.

You’ll find KMVT camps and classes on ActivityHero.