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Dallas Camp Guide for Summer 2021

Find the best summer camps for kids in the Dallas TX Area for Summer 2021 – including Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, Keller and surrounding areas.

Discover our most popular and trending camps in Dallas, TX – including outdoor camps, adventure camps, sports camps, LEGO® camps, maker camps, coding camps, and more! Learn more about camps updated programs for Summer 2021, including curriculum, group sizes, safety protocols, and cancellation policies.

Vision Martial Arts Camp in Plano, TX

Vision Martial Arts

Vision Martial Arts is a family-centered martial arts school offering in-person programs in Plano, TX and online classes to families everywhere. Vision Martial Arts specializes in character development and self-defense for kids of all ages and their families. Children become better learners through the development of focus, confidence, self- discipline and respect. They have camps all summer and classes year round, online and in-person!

Oklahoma Awesome Adventures

Oklahoma Awesome Adventures presents the 2021 Junior Elephant Ambassador Camp! This one-of-a-kind experience includes a one week overnight camp (5 days / 4 nights) located in Hugo, OK, close to Hugo Lake and right next door to the Endangered Ark Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private elephant facilities in the United States.

Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn about one of the world’s most endangered species – the Asian Elephant – up close and in person.  In addition to earning their Junior Elephant Ambassador Certification, Campers will also be provided with valuable lessons and enriching activities that will focus on Team Building, Leadership, Recreation Fun!

OutLoud Adventures

OutLoud Adventures was created by Jeffery Moffitt and Allison Caldwell to help youth form deeper connections with nature, build community, and explore the world around them. Jeffery and Allison have over 25 years of combined experience working with teenagers. They know that the key to an amazing summer adventure is the right route with the right people, and they take great pride in designing trips that are well paced, strike the perfect balance between challenging and rewarding, and are led by incredible educators that are experts at creating a sense of community from our very first meeting with the group. Their Summer 2021 small-group outdoor adventures depart from the DFW Airport and include options for epic explorations to the West Coast, Sedona, Seattle and Yellowstone.

United States Youth Volleyball

The United States Youth Volleyball League provides every child between the ages of 7 and 15 a chance to learn and play volleyball in a fun, safe, and supervised environment. While the program teaches children the skills necessary to excel in the sport of volleyball, the focus remains on participation, cooperation, sportsmanship, responsibility, and, of course, fun! Volleyball camps are being held in both Dallas and Cedar Park, TX for Summer 2021.

Destination Science

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning is more important than ever before. At Destination Science, we say “Science is a Way of Thinking!” When we know how to “do” science, we know how to be creative, critical, and organized thinkers and problem solvers. In all of our activities, we teach children how to ask great questions and how to wonder out loud. Every day provides opportunities to create new things and imagine. At Destination Science, we use science to prepare your child for life! We’re safe, non-stop fun, so kids can’t wait to go every day! In-person Destination Science camp locations include Plano, Dallas, and Frisco, TX for Summer 2021.

Challenger Sports

Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp company in North America will run over 1,200 camps this summer and utilize over 30 years of coaching experience! Locations in Texas include Rockwall, Frisco, Carrollton, Coppell, Flower Mound, Keller, and more! Challenger’s International Soccer Camp will contain a selection of age & ability appropriate drills and practices being used by five of the world’s top soccer countries (Brazil, France, Spain, UK and the US). Camp programs will include the innovative TinyTykes program, for ages 2-5. TinyTykes will feature fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories that have been designed to develop the technical, physical and social aspects of young players. The half-day and most popular player development program, for ages 5-16, will run for 3 hours each day and focus on coached skill development, games, challenges and competitions.

Breakthrough Basketball Camps

Breakthrough Basketball

Breakthrough Basketball conducts quality, high-intensity, drill based camps that focus on not only bettering a players skill set on the court but also building character and confidence off the court. These camps will strengthen your athletes mentality while boosting their confidence to become more aggressive and skilled players. Our camps will provide a focused, fun learning environment that cannot be rivaled. Breakthrough Basketball has camps across the country, including Texas locations in Abilene, Amarillo, Duncanville, Fort Worth, Houston, Iowa Park, Killeen, Lake Dallas, Lubbock, Perryton, Round Rock, and San Antonio.

Active Learning

Choose from USA Chess Camp or 7 different Video Game Creation Camps. Mix and match to create a fun-filled day for your child. At USA Chess Camp, professional chess instructors teach children of all abilities to play and improve their games. Each day consists of chess lessons and competitive play. Instructors are selected by USA Chess for their ability to make chess fun and teach the game to players of all levels. Our popular video game creation and animation camps let kids create & program their own video game. Using our custom curricula, children learn Minecraft, GameMaker, Kodu or Scratch as they create their very own video games that they can actually play!

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas – including Dallas, TX. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

CodeWiz Reading (online)

Code Wiz offers a wide range of individualized STEM programs, each tailored to the students’ skill level for kids aged 7-17. Watch your kids expand their creativity through computer science with a student-driven, project-based learning approach.  Code Wiz programs include online camps and and single-day class programs for Robotics, Minecraft modding, Roblox, Game design, Animations, Digital Art, Mobile app development, Web development, Java, Python, etc.

iCode Sugarland

The goal of iCode Sugarland is to enrich the educational experience and capability of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, scientists, economists, thinkers and doers. Our students gain skills in collaboration, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, through a process and proprietary curriculum that equips them with knowledge, confidence, leadership and project management skills. These skills are critical, as the global workforce increasingly demands innovators to solve ever-changing needs and crises. The demands are endless and through technology, so are the possibilities. Summer 2021 Camps include Minecraft Modding, LEGO® Robotics, YouTube production, and more!

Natl CSI

If you love CSI and forensics, this online STEM camp is for you! Taught by current and former detectives (how cool is that!), this camp is packed with hands-on activities to learn what it takes to become a crime scene investigator. Each student gets their own CSI Lab Kit shipped to them before the virtual class.Lift your own fingerprints and classify them, solve a missing persons case, analyze handwriting, and so much more! Ideal for students in grades 6 to 12 with an interest in law enforcement, science, and forensics. Each camp is capped at 10 students ensuring plenty of one-on-one guidance and mentorship from practicing CSI professionals – build your STEM skills and connections needed to succeed in the field. 

 

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SoCal Camp Guide for Summer 2021

Camp Guide - Summer 2021

The best summer camps for kids in the Los Angeles and Orange County Areas for Summer 2021 – including Irvine, Glendale, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Palos Verdes, and more!

The Official Summer Camp Guide 2021 features our most popular and trending camps on ActivityHero – including outdoor camps, adventure camps, sports camps, LEGO® camps, maker camps, coding camps, and more! Learn more about camps’ updated programs for Summer 2021, including curriculum, group sizes, safety protocols, and cancellation policies.

Camp Galileo

Rediscover summer fun at Camp Galileo where 75% of time is spent outdoors! Camp Galileo combines traditional summer camp excitement with lasting, innovation-igniting learning for pre-K – 7th graders. Summer 2021 program themes in Irvine CA include National Parks Adventure, Toymakers, and Olympic Games – art, science, and outdoor fun! And, check out the worry-free enrollment policies.

Camp Cosmo

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein’s words are the backbone of every Cosmo class, whether its focus is academic, artistic, physical, or social. Founded by a parent in response to the global pandemic, Camp Cosmo’s goal is to reach kids at home and offer them an outlet for fun that goes way beyond video games or TV. Every Cosmo class is designed to inspire critical thinking, creative thought and social connections — through play.

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas. Summer 2021 camp locations in SoCal include Redondo Beach, Glendale, Los Angeles, and more. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

UBTECH

UBTECH Education is passionate about preparing all learners for the future of work. Our solutions establish the strong foundation students need to thrive: a high-quality STEM education integrated with the development of 21st century skills and computational literacy. We are excited to return for a second year of virtual STEM camp for kids 8+ that features our UKIT and JIMU systems. We’ve created NEW, engaging courses with topics like music and self-driving cars to keep your kids engaged all summer long.

Summer Camps for kids in SoCal by LangoKids Irvine

LangoKids Irvine

LangoKids offers group classes to children ages 1-10. Kids acquire languages and are immersed in cultures through music, games, and art.

Musique Sur La Mer Orchestras and Academy of Music

La Petite Musique Training Orchestra (LPMO) is open to all instruments and all students with a minimum of one year of study on their instrument. This orchestra serves as both a first orchestral experience for young musicians and a training orchestra for Musique Sur La Mer Youth Symphony Orchestra.The Musique Sur La Mer Jazz Orchestra (MSLMJO) is a delightful combination of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The music ranges from the American songbook to Latin jazz, swing, country, pop, alternative and rock.

Ramona Convent Secondary School

Summer session students enjoy active learning in our garden, arts studios, science and computer labs, gym, swimming pool, kitchen and classrooms throughout our more than 19 acre campus. Open to both boys and girls in grades 5-12, summer session prepares students for junior high and high school and offers opportunities for enrichment. Ramona also offers summer athletics programs to introduce students to new sports and to enhance the skills of current athletes.

United States Youth Volleyball (USYVL) Camps for Kids in SoCal

United States Youth Volleyball

The United States Youth Volleyball League provides every child between the ages of 7 and 15 a chance to learn and play volleyball in a fun, safe, and supervised environment. While the program teaches children the skills necessary to excel in the sport of volleyball, the focus remains on participation, cooperation, sportsmanship, responsibility, and, of course, fun!

Destination Science

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning is more important than ever before. At Destination Science, we say “Science is a Way of Thinking!” When we know how to “do” science, we know how to be creative, critical, and organized thinkers and problem solvers. In all of our activities, we teach children how to ask great questions and how to wonder out loud. Every day provides opportunities to create new things and imagine. At Destination Science, we use science to prepare your child for life! We’re safe, non-stop fun, so kids can’t wait to go every day! 

Challenger Sports

Challenger Sports, the largest soccer camp company in North America will run over 1,200 camps this summer and utilize over 30 years of coaching experience! Camp locations in SoCal include Arcadia and Tustin. Challenger’s International Soccer Camp will contain a selection of age & ability appropriate drills and practices being used by five of the world’s top soccer countries (Brazil, France, Spain, UK and the US). Camp programs will include the innovative TinyTykes program, for ages 2-5. TinyTykes will feature fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories that have been designed to develop the technical, physical and social aspects of young players. The half-day and most popular player development program, for ages 5-16, will run for 3 hours each day and focus on coached skill development, games, challenges and competitions.

Basketball camps for kids in SoCal: Los Angeles and Irvine, CA with Breakthrough Basketball

Breakthrough Basketball

Breakthrough Basketball conducts quality, high-intensity, drill based camps that focus on not only bettering a players skill set on the court but also building character and confidence off the court. These camps will strengthen your athletes mentality while boosting their confidence to become more aggressive and skilled players. Our camps will provide a focused, fun learning environment that cannot be rivaled. Breakthrough Basketball has camps across the country, including locations in Los Angeles and Irvine.

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Houston Camp Guide for Summer 2021

Find the best summer camps for kids in the Houston TX Area for Summer 2021 – including Katy, Sugar Land, Missouri City TX, and surrounding areas.

Discover our most popular and trending camps on ActivityHero – including outdoor camps, adventure camps, sports camps, LEGO® camps, maker camps, coding camps, and more! Learn more about camps updated programs for Summer 2021, including curriculum, group sizes, safety protocols, and cancellation policies.

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

CodeWiz Reading (online)

Code Wiz offers a wide range of individualized STEM programs, each tailored to the students’ skill level for kids aged 7-17. Watch your kids expand their creativity through computer science with a student-driven, project-based learning approach.  Code Wiz programs include online camps and and single-day class programs for Robotics, Minecraft modding, Roblox, Game design, Animations, Digital Art, Mobile app development, Web development, Java, Python, etc.

Texas Rock Gym

Texas Rock Gym has been offering Climbing Day Camps to Houston youth for over 15 years. Their camps are well structured, run by experienced counselors, and most of all… fun! Not sure of what to do with your kids when they have days off of school but you still have to work? Texas Rock Gym offers single-day and multi-day camps throughout the year.

A.D. Players Performing Arts Academy

Founded in 1992 by Jeannette Clift George, the A.D. Players Performing Arts Academy offers students a learning experience that engages their imaginations with the art-making and innovation of theatre. Individuals ranging from age 3-18 get a hands-on education, developing skills and knowledge across various departments from rehearsal and backstage to acting and music. These environments provide a fascinating look at the process of producing theatrical performances. A.D. Players academy will be “cruisin’ the sea!” during summer 2021 with fun themes including: Dance Party with Nemo, Music with Moana, Muppet Treasure Island, and more!

iCode Sugarland

The goal of iCode Sugarland is to enrich the educational experience and capability of tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, engineers, artists, scientists, economists, thinkers and doers. Our students gain skills in collaboration, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, through a process and proprietary curriculum that equips them with knowledge, confidence, leadership and project management skills. These skills are critical, as the global workforce increasingly demands innovators to solve ever-changing needs and crises. The demands are endless and through technology, so are the possibilities. Summer 2021 Camps include Minecraft Modding, LEGO® Robotics, YouTube production, and more!

The Artistic Realm of Talentz

At the Artistic Realm of Talentz, their awesome and unique classes and camps are a great way for young aerialists ages 2-18 with no experience to learn the world of circus artz. Youth classes include portions focused on both skill development and play.

Natl CSI

If you love CSI and forensics, this online STEM camp is for you! Taught by current and former detectives (how cool is that!), this camp is packed with hands-on activities to learn what it takes to become a crime scene investigator. Each student gets their own CSI Lab Kit shipped to them before the virtual class.Lift your own fingerprints and classify them, solve a missing persons case, analyze handwriting, and so much more! Ideal for students in grades 6 to 12 with an interest in law enforcement, science, and forensics. Each camp is capped at 10 students ensuring plenty of one-on-one guidance and mentorship from practicing CSI professionals – build your STEM skills and connections needed to succeed in the field. 

Pro’s Katy Indoor Summer Fun Camp

Pro’s Katy Indoor Soccer strives to provide the best indoor soccer experience in Houston for all Adult and Youth players. They offer Year-round training for kids of all skill levels between 2-14 year olds. Every class is age-appropriate, managed by professional soccer trainers. At the Summer 2021 Technical Soccer Camp, campers will focus on technical and tactical skills daily, including speed and agility. Coaches will utilize the TOCA Touch Trainer in each session to help improve overall touch. Camper will also work on improving all fundamental skills like ball control, passing, receiving and finishing. 

True Knight Academy

True Knight Academy offers a student-centered approach for your exceptional child. They have a day school, after school, camps, brain-training therapies, an adult program and more on the way. True Knight Academy seeks to empower students with special needs within a Christ-centered environment, giving them a greater purpose and the opportunity to reach their potential socially and academically. The Summer 2021 Special Needs Camp focuses on fundamentals in reading, math and physical writing skills. These are facilitated through metronome—based activities to enhance brain development. Camp also includes fun field trips, including bowling, swimming, zoo, museums, ceramics, and more. 

OutLoud Adventures

OutLoud Adventures was created by Jeffery Moffitt and Allison Caldwell to help youth form deeper connections with nature, build community, and explore the world around them. Jeffery and Allison have over 25 years of combined experience working with teenagers. They know that the key to an amazing summer adventure is the right route with the right people, and they take great pride in designing trips that are well paced, strike the perfect balance between challenging and rewarding, and are led by incredible educators that are experts at creating a sense of community from our very first meeting with the group. Their Summer 2021 small-group outdoor adventures depart from the DFW Airport and include options for epic explorations to the West Coast, Sedona, Seattle and Yellowstone.

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Bay Area Camp Guide for Summer 2021


Skip to the Summer Camp Guide for:
San Francisco & Marin || East Bay || South Bay & Peninsula


Find the best summer camps for kids in the San Francisco Bay Area for Summer 2021. Discover our most popular and trending camps on ActivityHero – including outdoor camps, adventure camps, sports camps, LEGO® camps, maker camps, coding camps, and more! Learn more about camps updated programs for Summer 2021, including curriculum, group sizes, safety protocols, and cancellation policies.

San Francisco / Marin Summer Camp Guide

Summer camps with program locations serving families in San Francisco and Marin county up to San Rafael, CA.

Terra Marin Camp

Terra Marin Camps offer a nice blend of reputable academics with their core pillar – learning from the natural environment and one another. Terra Marin Camps foster a love of learning whether it be at Mandarin Camp, Earth Discovery, Wilderness Survival 101, or the Nature infused Academic program!

Galileo

Rediscover summer fun at Camp Galileo where 75% of time is spent outdoors! Camp Galileo combines traditional summer camp excitement with lasting, innovation-igniting learning for pre-K – 7th graders. And, check out the worry-free enrollment policies!

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

Mathnasium of Pacific Heights, San Francisco

Mathnasium Learning Center Summer Camp program explores STEM-related activities and games. It’s great fun and keeps math skills sharp! Activities include LEGO® robotics, logic board games, science projects, and STEM arts & crafts.

UBTECH

UBTECH Education is passionate about preparing all learners for the future of work. Our solutions establish the strong foundation students need to thrive: a high-quality STEM education integrated with the development of 21st century skills and computational literacy. We are excited to return for a second year of virtual STEM camp for kids 8+ that features our UKIT and JIMU systems. We’ve created NEW, engaging courses with topics like music and self-driving cars to keep your kids engaged all summer long.

Code Wiz Reading (online)

Code Wiz offers a wide range of individualized STEM programs, each tailored to the students’ skill level for kids aged 7-17. Watch your kids expand their creativity through computer science with a student-driven, project-based learning approach.  Code Wiz programs include online camps and and single-day class programs for Robotics, Minecraft modding, Roblox, Game design, Animations, Digital Art, Mobile app development, Web development, Java, Python, etc.

Camp Chrysalis

For over 38 years, Camp Chrysalis has helped young people, ages 8 to 17, explore the rich and diverse natural environments of California. Living among redwoods, tidepools, marshes and mountains, campers cultivate an ethic of respect and responsibility for the ecologies that support life on earth. While we are backpacking, we focus on active study of the plants, wildlife and ecology around us, and on basic camping and wilderness skills. Our campers develop science skills as well as an appreciation for the natural world. Each day our campers extend themselves in hikes and local exploration.

Dogpatch Paddle Camp

Adventure awaits this summer at a standup paddle board (SUP) camp! Outdoors, active, educational, and exciting – Dogpatch Paddle Camp is creating lifelong memories. Kids will learn how to be safe, paddle strong, appreciate the raw wilderness of the Bay, while creating lifelong memories with new and old friends alike. All camps are broken into small pods with only 5 campers per counselor. All of our counselors are CPR and first-aid certified. Additionally, we only hire swim athletes (who are also really fun and great with kids!).

Gaming Together (online)

Gaming Together offers summer camps, weekly groups, and school break camps, played entirely online using Zoom and Roll20. Dungeons & Dragons is the main activity: kids each play a fantasy, Lord-of-the-Rings style hero they create, and they work together as a group to make decisions, defeat monsters, solve puzzles, and finish quests. D&D offers structured, turn-based interactions where less confident kids will flourish, while free-flowing story and strategy discussions let them work on joining in and being heard.

Sirron Norris Academy Animation Camp

Sirron Norris Academy has been offering Animation and Cartooning workshops for 10 years. This summer, the Academy is operating their week long summer camp virtually online through Zoom guided classes and as an in-person camp, held outdoors in San Francisco. Students will learn basic cartooning skills to develop their own animated short. Each student will make their own movie and we will show it on the last day of class and the movie will also be posted online.

Sony KOOV

Sony KOOV is the all-in-one coding, robotics and design kit that combines digital coding with physical building to teach the next generation of innovators. Your child will learn how to use KOOV in this online robotics and coding camp focused on block programming, computer logic and problem solving. Each day will include one hour of live instruction. Class subjects include robotics, coding, and design. 


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East Bay Summer Camp Guide

Summer camps with program locations serving families in the East Bay Area, including Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont, and more.

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

Galileo

Rediscover summer fun at Camp Galileo where 75% of time is spent outdoors! Camp Galileo combines traditional summer camp excitement with lasting, innovation-igniting learning for pre-K – 7th graders. And, check out our worry-free enrollment policies!

UBTECH

UBTECH Education is passionate about preparing all learners for the future of work. Our solutions establish the strong foundation students need to thrive: a high-quality STEM education integrated with the development of 21st century skills and computational literacy. We are excited to return for a second year of virtual STEM camp for kids 8+ that features our UKIT and JIMU systems. We’ve created NEW, engaging courses with topics like music and self-driving cars to keep your kids engaged all summer long.

Camp Chrysalis

For over 38 years, Camp Chrysalis has helped young people, ages 8 to 17, explore the rich and diverse natural environments of California. Living among redwoods, tidepools, marshes and mountains, campers cultivate an ethic of respect and responsibility for the ecologies that support life on earth. While we are backpacking, we focus on active study of the plants, wildlife and ecology around us, and on basic camping and wilderness skills. Our campers develop science skills as well as an appreciation for the natural world. Each day our campers extend themselves in hikes and local exploration.

Cooking Round the World

Cooking Round the World offers children engaging, fun and delicious summer cooking camps – each week is a different theme!​ The culinary process is all hands on. Everyone chops, dices, sautés, blends. Campers learn the use of kitchen tools like melon ballers and rubber tipped spatulas, culinary processes like zesting and measuring, and the importance of timing and cleanliness. Other activities include subject- related games and stories, a cooking demonstration, and a trivia game.

Kairos Music Academy

Kairos Music Academy, Berkeley’s premier youth choir, has been offering comprehensive music education to children ages 6-15 in the Bay Area and celebrates 30 years.

Gaming Together (online)

Gaming Together offers summer camps, weekly groups, and school break camps, played entirely online using Zoom and Roll20. Dungeons & Dragons is the main activity: kids each play a fantasy, Lord-of-the-Rings style hero they create, and they work together as a group to make decisions, defeat monsters, solve puzzles, and finish quests. D&D offers structured, turn-based interactions where less confident kids will flourish, while free-flowing story and strategy discussions let them work on joining in and being heard.

Hanabi Judo

Hanabi’s Summer Camp will be a fun, active introduction to the traditions of Japan: an adventure in physical and cultural education for children from 5 to 15. Every themed session will have children learning judo (a requirement in Japanese schools), Japanese songs, Japanese stories as well as the main artistic, linguistic or cultural activity. At Hanabi, learning is fun. Whether children are rolling, running, story-telling or speaking Japanese, they use both bodies and minds to expand their abilities and experiences.

Genius Kids – Fremont Mowry Campus

Genius Kids is an award-winning global learning center founded on the simple belief that every child is born a “genius” and
as parents and educators, it is our responsibility to awaken the
inner genius” in each child. Genius Kids advanced yet fun, learning curriculum offers stimulating, positive, educational experiences to develop cognitive, social, emotional, motor, communication and self-confidence skills. Summer programs are available for both preschool and school-age children.

Girls Leading Girls

Girls Leading Girls is a San Francisco based nonprofit organization that trains young women in leadership and life skills through soccer. Programs focus on three main areas: skill development through soccer training and competitive play, leadership training through junior coaches and career mentoring programs, and character building through community service initiatives both home and abroad.

Mad Science of the Bay Area

Mad Science® offers unique, hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science encourages scientific literacy in children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic. Mad Science offers a variety of science summer camps designed for children ages 5 to 12, including Nature’s Anatomy Academy, Spy Academy, Jet Cadets, NASA: Journey into Outer Space, Reactions in Action, Wacky Robots & Widgets and more.

CodeREV Kids

CodeREV Kids Tech Camps provide a one-of-a kind camp experience. Campers learn important technology skills while having a fun-packed time that will create memories that for a lifetime. With a healthy mix of project-based coding, programming or digital art, design, teamwork building activities off the computer, and outdoor games and activities in the park, CodeREV Tech Camps provide a perfect mix of fun, education, and life-skill building to keep each student motivated, having fun, and learning.

American Swim Academy

American Swim Academy has been teaching the Bay Area to swim since 1973. Their goal is to promote water safety, comfort and stroke technique for all ages and abilities. All programs are taught with love and positive reinforcement. Swimmers learn through a structured, consistent program that builds progressively through basic swimming techniques to more advanced and challenging skills.

Pear Tree Summer

Pear Tree is a social justice school and camp located in the Oakland hills. Each week we offer a unique theme explored through arts and crafts, cooking, sports and games and science. Included is a one-hour morning academic support session with Montessori-informed, common core aligned curriculum to prevent summer learning loss. Our week culminates in a theme-inspired on-site celebration!


South Bay / Peninsula Summer Camp Guide

Summer camps with program locations serving families in the South Bay and Peninsula area, including San Mateo, Palo Alto, San Jose, Los Gatos, and more.

Next Level Athletes – Born2Ball

Next Level Athletes Born2Ball Basketball Academy is the premier innovator in basketball training and camps where they put the fun in fundamentals. Their summer camp programs offer advanced and comprehensive basketball training to increase your child’s knowledge, ability, and skills.

Ingenium Enrichment LLC

Ingenium Enrichment is a Modern Kids Learning Center featuring online and in-person programs – including tutoring, academic enrichment, and camps! Ingenium Summer Camp 2021 safely welcomes families with fun, enrichment-filled camp days in 45,000 square feet of dedicated youth development indoor and outdoor facilities.

KidzToPros

KidzToPros has built a trusted brand as an after-school and seasonal camp provider, partnering with over 400 schools in 14 metropolitan areas. KidzToPros offers programs for grades K-8th, including: outdoor sports camps, LEGO® Masters, Minecraft and Roblox game design, art skills, graphic design, and more!

RISU Inc

RISU provides K-12 students with STEM enrichment programs – both online and in-person. Popular programs include Python App Development, Scratch Coding, Math Camp, 3D Animation, and more!

Menlo Park Legends

Menlo Park Legends Experience Baseball Summer Camp is coached by the Legends semi pro team. The 5:1 ratio means tons of individual attention for your child. Private and small group instruction, along with their innovative coaching program combining drills, games and exciting contests are to ensure your child is building confidence and having a legendary time while simultaneously developing their baseball skills.

UBTECH

UBTECH Education is passionate about preparing all learners for the future of work. Our solutions establish the strong foundation students need to thrive: a high-quality STEM education integrated with the development of 21st century skills and computational literacy. We are excited to return for a second year of virtual STEM camp for kids 8+ that features our UKIT and JIMU systems. We’ve created NEW, engaging courses with topics like music and self-driving cars to keep your kids engaged all summer long.

Best in Class Education Center Palo Alto

Best in Class offers engaging academic enrichment camps in math, reading, and writing for kids in grades K-8th. Students benefit from individual attention, active instruction in small groups, and engaging course material aligned with common standards. Best in Class specifically seeks out college-educated instructors with a passion for teaching to ensure your students get the most out of their learning. 

Galileo

Rediscover summer fun at Camp Galileo where 75% of time is spent outdoors! Camp Galileo combines traditional summer camp excitement with lasting, innovation-igniting learning for pre-K – 7th graders. And, check out our worry-free enrollment policies!

Camp Chrysalis

For over 38 years, Camp Chrysalis has helped young people, ages 8 to 17, explore the rich and diverse natural environments of California. Living among redwoods, tidepools, marshes and mountains, campers cultivate an ethic of respect and responsibility for the ecologies that support life on earth. While we are backpacking, we focus on active study of the plants, wildlife and ecology around us, and on basic camping and wilderness skills. Our campers develop science skills as well as an appreciation for the natural world. Each day our campers extend themselves in hikes and local exploration.

Kidizens

Would you like to leverage your love of LEGO® to learn critical real-life lessons and strategies? Kidizens inspires students to become good citizens and future leaders, one LEGO® brick at a time. Kidizens is an innovative and a highly immersive educational environment where students build, inhabit, manage and govern their own LEGO® cities. It’s a collaborative and guided discovery of real-world concepts while role-playing and having fun in a universe built of LEGO®.

Ventana School Summer Camp

Keep your child wondering constantly at Ventana’s Summer Camps! With engaging week-long themes, campers will explore hands on activities that will boost their creative confidence and stimulate their way of thinking. Ventana Summer Camps are full of immersive fun. Summer session themes include: Brilliant Builders, Mad Science, Art Explorers, Wacky Water Week, Movie Making and more!

AIClub / Pyxeda (online)

Award winning Artificial Intelligence and Programming classes for Grades 4-12. Designed and taught by Computer Science PhDs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing fields. AIClub provides workshops to help students understand and build AI. Students will learn what Artificial Intelligence is, learn different types of AI algorithms, and create applications to build and use AI using the Amazon Cloud.

Run for Fun Camps

Run for Fun programs are great for kids of all ages and athletic abilities! Any youth who enjoys running around, playing classic field games, and having fun will enjoy the program. Some of the favorite games include Chaos Tag, Capture the Flag, Dr. Dodgeball and Gaga Ball. The program consists of games that allow everyone to play and also serves as a great form of exercise. Kids work on their speed, agility and fitness through play. Run for Fun emphasizes good attitude and sportsmanship.

Gaming Together (online)

Gaming Together offers summer camps, weekly groups, and school break camps, played entirely online using Zoom and Roll20. Dungeons & Dragons is the main activity: kids each play a fantasy, Lord-of-the-Rings style hero they create, and they work together as a group to make decisions, defeat monsters, solve puzzles, and finish quests. D&D offers structured, turn-based interactions where less confident kids will flourish, while free-flowing story and strategy discussions let them work on joining in and being heard.

CodeREV Kids

CodeREV Kids Tech Camps provide a one-of-a kind camp experience. Campers learn important technology skills while having a fun-packed time that will create memories that for a lifetime. With a healthy mix of project-based coding, programming or digital art, design, teamwork building activities off the computer, and outdoor games and activities in the park, CodeREV Tech Camps provide a perfect mix of fun, education, and life-skill building to keep each student motivated, having fun, and learning.

BrainVyne LEGO and Money Camps

BrainVyne offers entertaining and enriching LEGO® summer, spring & school break camps and LEGO® birthday parties for children ages 4 to 12 years old in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their unique enrichment classes & camps are fast-paced, where kids discover, explore, invent and create. During Summer 2021, BrainVyne is also offering their Money 101 Camps and Stop Animation Camps as online programs for kids anywhere.

DesignX

DesignX offer one-of-a-kind in-person programs in design to unleash and nurture creativity in kids ages 7-16 in Los Altos, CA. Kids learn how to take their idea from concept to completion for Fashion, Textiles, Soft Toys, Wood Toys, Accessories and Architecture. The curriculum and methodologies used in our programs enables budding fashionistas and tinkerers as young as 7 to explore their ‘voice’ and build on their creative confidence. DesignX students have a personal connection to their finished projects, as they are creating something that they intend to wear or use… encouraging true “design thinking” while fostering a sense of global awareness and an eco-friendly mindset.

Dance Connection Palo Alto

Dance Connection offers classes for ages 3 to adults from beginning to advanced levels. Children’s combination dance classes and graded classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and tap dance are guided by experienced dance professionals. Summer camp programs include TikTok Dance Camp, Musical Theatre, Cheer & Dance Camp, Acro Dance Camp and more!

Young Builders

Young Builders is a way to get your child to build a plane, boat or electric motor among many things while building self-esteem and confidence. Working with their hands with parts that can be picked up at any home improvement store will give them a sense of pride while building skills. The knowledge they get from building these models will help with math, geometry through the need for measurements and an introduction to engineering while having fun. A memory that will last a life time and a pride of saying “I made that.”

Genius Kids – Sunnyvale

Genius Kids is an award-winning global learning center founded on the simple belief that every child is born a “genius” and
as parents and educators, it is our responsibility to awaken the
inner genius” in each child. Genius Kids advanced yet fun, learning curriculum offers stimulating, positive, educational experiences to develop cognitive, social, emotional, motor, communication and self-confidence skills. Summer programs are available for both preschool and school-age children.

Code For Fun

Code for Fun is a non-profit organization committed to exposing all students, especially girls, to computer science at an early stage, to help grow the next generation of engineers. Code for Fun offers virtual programs and camps via our award winning instructional platform – including Roblox, Minecraft, Machine Learning, Python, Scratch, Mobile App Development & more!

The Curiosity Lab

The Curiosity Lab is dedicated to connecting children with Nature. Created and led by a former public elementary school teacher who spent 25 years developing curriculum, this unique camp immerses children in outdoor nature experiences. This summer they are offering week-long nature based camps that provide amazing experiences along the magnificent San Mateo Coast. It’s time to get out, get dirty and get happy!

Find in-person Summer camps near me >>
Find online Summer camps and classes >>

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Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms

Fun Activity Ideas for Long Car Rides

Beat backseat boredom! Here are 7 fun ideas to keep your kids entertained during your next road trip, while boosting brainpower and bonding with family.

By Sarah Antrim

Road trips can be really exciting … for about 20 minutes, until the “are we there yet” and “I’m bored” comments begin to roll in. Sure, you could let kids fire up a game or movie on their tablet, but let’s face it: Kids get enough screen time these days. Besides, gazing out the window means they will get a better sense of going on and adventure as they watch the scenery change and spot buildings and landmarks that are unfamiliar.

How to get kids to set down the tech for at least a good part of your trip? ActivityHero gathered these 7 great games and activities that kids love — and some are even fun to play well into their teen years! Don’t tell the kids, but these activities also improve their powers of awareness and observation, memory, and fine motor skills. Be sure to play at least a few of the ones that involve the whole family, such as the Alphabet Game. They allow for some silly interaction between parents and adults that is sure to start your trip off with miles of smiles.

See All On-Demand DIY Activities and Printables, including art, science, coding, music, and more >>

The State License Plate Game

Heading down a highway? That can make for boring viewing, to be sure, but it’s a great forum for this car game, which enables kids to practice geography, memorization, writing, and more.

In this game, passengers check out the license plates of vehicles nearby and attempt to find at least one plate per state.

To begin, have kids make a list of all 50 states. They can hand-write it during the trip, or you can prepare sheets ahead of time at home. To make it more challenging, see if the your kids (and you!) can name all of the states without looking them up.

Next, give a copy of the list to each child. If you have little kids who can’t read, you can print the photo shown here and have them look for states by their first letter and their license plate color and image.

As each child finds a plate from a new state, they cross it off their list. The first one to complete all 50 states or get the highest number crossed out is the winner.

Alternate version: Instead of a worded list, give kids a printed black-and-white map of the states (widely available online) and have them color each state as they spy a license plate from there.

You can also use the map to point out where you’re headed, as well as the route you’re taking, so your child can track your progress.

BONUS POINTS: Download one of the many “50 States” songs (or states and capitals songs) to play in the car, too. By the end of the trip, you all might be able to name them quickly … even it it’s off-key.

The Alphabet Game

This game can go fairly quickly, but it’s one your kids can play over and over until they tire of it. It’s especially fun for little ones just learning their ABCs, since they’ll be proud to show what they know.

To play, kids will try to find each letter of the alphabet — from start to finish — by looking at street signs, billboards, highway markers, license plates, car or truck logos or artwork, and any other item with wording or letters.

For example, a sign that reads “Albuquerque” would count for letter A. Another that says “Bus Stop” would count for B, and so on.

The alphabet must be completed in order, which means it can be challenging when you get to Q and Z, unless you do happen to be near Albuquerque or Zion National Park.

It’s more challenging if you can accept only first letters of words, but you can also allow kids to find consecutive letters within the same word. In this case, Albuquerque could count for A and B. Alter the rules as you like, but be sure everyone knows them!

Kids can either work together to finish one alphabet or each complete their own in a race to see who finishes first.

Mad Libs

Who can resist the silly stories that ensue with Mad Libs?

A tried-and-true favorite for over 50 years, Mad Libs can still entertain every generation in vehicles, at rest stops, in the lobby of a restaurant, or in a hotel room while waiting for a turn to brush teeth.

Purchase your own book of Mad Libs at your favorite book store, visit the website (Madlibs.com) for free downloads, or add the Mad Libs app to your iPhone or iPad.

Kids will practice language and terms, such as identifying the difference between a noun and an adjective. If you’re traveling during the school year, encourage them to bring their vocabulary books or lists from school and find the funniest uses for new words.

Make a Travel Journal

Give each child a notebook and crayons. Or create a homemade travel journal using construction paper and office paper, punching holes in the spine and linking them with yarn.

Each time you enter a new state, encourage your child to draw a picture of something they spot, and ask them to write a few memorable things that they liked about that state.

Older kids can log the trip in greater detail. Did you stop somewhere for lunch or dinner? How was the food? What sort of things did you see there that are different from those back at home? Not only will this help you recall good times when you review them a few months later, but it also will allow you to return to favorite spots if you make the same journey again.

The Alphabet Memory Game

This is a great activity for the whole family, except perhaps the driver who should save their attention for the road ahead.

One person starts the story with a noun that begins with the letter A, for example, “I went to Atlanta.” The next person repeats the story and adds on with the next letter of the alphabet, such as “I went to Atlanta to see a buffalo” and so on. See how long you can keep the game (and the story) going.

Kids will exercise their memory and concentration with this game.

If you complete a particularly funny story, one of the older kids can write it down after the fact, recording it in their travel journal so you all can have a good laugh later.

BONUS POINTS: On the way home, see if anyone can remember one whole story that you created during the ride to your destination. (No peeking in the travel journal for help!)

Destination Wheel of Fortune

Can I get an F for fun? There’s a reason that this game show has existed since 1983!

In this travel version, everyone chooses one thing that they are excited to see or do at your destination. Then each person puts that thing in the form of a phrase, just as the game show does. Examples could be “going miniature golfing” or “hiking a new trail.”

Next, have passengers take turns trying to guess one letter at a time to reveal the answer. If they can solve the puzzle first, they win!

Kids will practice reasoning and spelling with this game. This is also a good way for parents to learn what each child is hoping to do, so everyone will have a fond memory when the vacation is over.

BONUS POINTS: It’s always nice for parents to have one “date night” during a vacation! You can use ActivityHero to help you find a drop-in session or a day or evening class at your destination, where your child can a special activity while you savor a meal and some couples-time at an upscale eatery.

Sewing Cards

If you’d like kids to practice fine motor skills, pick up some of these colorful cards at a craft store or toy store. Or work together with your kids to construct some homemade ones prior to the car ride, using these instructions.

All you’ll need is a hole puncher, some thin cardboard, a thick plastic needle, and some colored yarn.

Have your child trace a figure that they’d like to “sew” on a piece of cardboard. For instance, they may choose a teddy bear, a dinosaur, or a cartoon character. They may draw it themselves or you can print it out from a website photo. (If using a printout or a drawing of the item that’s on paper, use glue to mount it to the thin cardboard before moving on to the next step.)

Next, use the hole puncher to place holes around the outline of the picture, locating them about an inch apart and an inch from the edge.

Take these cards, along with the plastic needle and yarn, along on your trip. If you don’t have a plastic needle, simply wrap some tape tightly around the end of the yarn … or use a thin shoelace, which will be easy to thread through the holes.

What fun games do YOUR kids love to play during road trips?

Share your ideas in the comments to help other parents keep their kids happily amused! And for more car activity suggestions, check our recent posting on kid-friendly, screen-free podcasts to keep little ones entertained.

ActivityHero has updated schedules on popular kid’s activities – including in-person, live online, and on-demand. Customize your search by your child’s age and discover convenient providers near you.

 
 
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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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Featured Posts Mindfulness Parenting Resources Yoga

5 Ways to Start the New Year Right for Kids

After a year of school shutdowns, schedule disruptions, and social isolation, many families may be looking forward to a fresh start. Here are some ideas for kids to take on 2021 the right way with health, education, and mindfulness.

2020 was a challenge for many families, and for many kids that can come with increased stress and anxiousness. Helping children manage physical and mental health is especially important this year. Look for ways to make 2021 their best year yet!

2021 Goals for Kids and Teens

Here are 5 steps towards a year full of growth and joy.

1) Physical Exercise

Exercising every day can help kids manage their sleep schedule, improve their mood, and decrease stress. This can be a healthy habit for the whole family in 2021 – hiking, biking, going for walks, or other recreational activities are all great ideas to enjoy together. 

Kids Yoga Classes

Other exercise and fitness classes for your child include:

Dance: Kids of any age can participate in a dance class or have a dance party in a fun, safe environment. Many classes are for beginners and explore many different styles of dance, like hip hop, ballet, and jazz.

Martial Arts: Martial arts classes help build confidence, leadership skills, and resilience while providing a fun space to stay active.

Yoga: Online yoga and exercise classes are a relaxing activity for all ages. In yoga classes for kids as young as 4, students learn basic yoga movements and body awareness.

See All Fitness Classes on ActivityHero>>

2) Nutrition

Nutrition and healthy eating is important for all ages. Establishing a good relationship with food is knowledge that kids can use for their whole life.

Getting started with cooking at a young age is a great way for kids to start learning about nutrition. Being in the kitchen can also help with independence, help picky eaters, and spark creativity.

Cooking Classes: Instructional classes with expert teachers bring kids through recipes while teaching kitchen safety, cleanliness, and art.

DIY Recipes: Have fun with recipes on your own time, with video tutorials to help you out!

3) Schedule Relaxing Activities

Along with exercise and nutrition, making time for enjoyable and relaxing hobbies has many benefits as well. A new year is the perfect time to explore something new, whether it be art, music, writing, or gaming.

Art classes for kids

Art Classes for Kids: Art can be a constructive outlet for children of all abilities to express emotions and relieve anxiety. Drawing, painting, clay modeling, and crafts are all great activities.

Music Classes for Kids: Music is a great activity that anyone can pick up for fun, whether it’s learning an instrument, singing, or dancing.

In addition, any relaxing hobby your child enjoys can help them socialize and unwind. Cooking, theatre & drama, music, LEGO or even making slime could be good options!

See All Online Classes on ActivityHero>>

4) Mindfulness and Meditation

Look forward to a year of emotional health and reduced stress. Yoga, exercises to reduce stress, and meditation can all help to prepare for the ups and downs of 2021. Even five minutes of breathing or mindful exercises a day can help to develop healthy emotions and resilience.

Kids Mindfulness Classes

See Mindfulness on ActivityHero>>

5) Staying Connected

Many kids had to learn to navigate technology this year to attend school and socialize with friends. Live online classes or calls are a great time for kids to safely interact with each other and work together on fun activities. After feeling isolated this year, it is important to make time to keep connections this year.

See Social Skills and Social Media on ActivityHero>>

Along with encouraging kids to reach out to others, be aware of the risks of the online world. Teach your kids about cyberbullying and staying safe on the internet.

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Featured Posts Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Mindfulness On-Demand Parenting Resources

A Teens Guide to the Social Dilemma

Has social media been sneaking into your brain? Many teens are spending hours scrolling through perfectly filtered photos, obsessing over likes and shares, or encountering virtual bullies. Teens are going down a “rabbit hole” online, experiencing the tricks software developers use to keep people on Instagram, Snapchat, video games and other media. 

How can we build healthier relationships with technology?Max Stossel, Head of Education for The Center for Humane Technology, illustrated some of the specific ways technology is designed to be addictive & distracting, provided tools to help combat these designs, and showcased a much needed discussion among peers about the impact of phones & social media on our lives during ActivityHero’s free event, The Teens Guide to the Social Dilemma.

Watch Max Stossel’s presentation available on-demand >>

Max’s Top tips for Social Media Well-being

  1. Turn off all notification except from people you care about
  2. Unfollow every account that makes you feel badly about yourself 
  3. Delete toxic apps 
  4. Use a physical alarm clock 
  5. Get the phone out of the bedroom at least an hour before you go to sleep
  6. DF Youtube: an extension to make YouTube a more kid-friendly place (distraction-free, without suggested videos) 
  7. Practice mindfulness to know yourself; what are you thinking and feeling?
  8. Give an 8-second hug a day! 

#mysocialtruth
Share your stories on Socialtruth.humanetech.com


Q&A with Max Stossel

Transcribed from The Teens Guide to the Social Dilemma

Q1: What is the recommended time per day to spend on social media? How do we strengthen the emotional awareness of teens, should we slowly reduce screen-time or just stop?

There is no golden rule for the amount of time. I think it’s far more helpful to look at in terms of life. What role is social media serving for us? Is it entertainment? Are we aware of these mental health challenges? Are we doing other things? Are we doing the things we need to do with our lives? Some people do report saying “I have this one hour a day when I’m not going to just go on in a mindless moment. From 7 to 8 [o’clock], that’s going to be my social media time because I like social media.” Some people like doing it this way.

Especially for younger kids, these mental health challenges are real. To me, it’s just not worth the cost in the younger, middle school-age years. I don’t believe it’s worthwhile. And in terms of developing that emotional resilience, parents know better than me. I believe, especially in schools,  looking into those curriculums and focusing on those topics is going to be practical. In this next generation, we’re going to need to know ourselves and our emotions to thrive in the digital world. 

Q2: Is there an age where you think it’s ok for kids to be on social media?

I’m one person, with one person’s opinion, but I have spoken to a lot of parents. I have spoken to a lot of parents who have been very glad they have delayed. I have not spoken to parents who believe they wished they gave it earlier. For me, I would wait until at least high school. Our adult brains are hardly capable and it’s doing a number on our mental health. 

It doesn’t mean don’t talk about it, or don’t have the conversations about it until high school if you’re on it, like sharing, and using it in your life. I could not build a better self comparison machine than social media. 

To be honest, the idea that porn won’t seep in is not honest. People believe, it’s not my kid, but it’s a box with the entire internet on it. Everything that comes with the entire internet is involved with that box. We want the golden bullet – we want to have the good and not the bad. I think a more honest approach is recognizing this is really a lot and we haven’t as a society figured out good guard rails for ways of doing this thing yet. Let’s approach it honestly as a result.

Q3: Can you please discuss the YouTube rabbit hole and how does affect my brain?

YouTube is deciding with it’s algorithm, based on all your information, to figure out what’s the perfect piece of content that will get you watching. It doesn’t particularly care what is good for you, will make you smile, what will make you care, make you any of these things. What it cares about is you watching. Oftentimes that’s just like the most out-there extreme radical idea. And then we start believing what’s out there, not true things, and it messes with our sense making of the world. YouTube DF is a powerful tool so you can just turn off the recommended videos. So you can go to that one video that you meant to watch, and watch it, and then go about doing your best. And we might find now and then, as the slot machine, “I found something I really like!”, but if we turn off the recommendations we will be much happier. 

Q4: I recently started my own YouTube channel, how does it affect me? I mostly post my own content. 

I am an artist and a filmmaker; I use social media. I use it to promote. At your age, you can probably relate to this – you post something and then how does it feel? You are asking yourself “are people liking this?” “are people engaging with it?” I think one of the hardest things to do as someone creating content on YouTube, is to actually stick to doing to what you want to do. Not let “how many views did this get” drive what you’re making, everything you’re doing, because then you’re not really doing it because you want to do it. 

We start [creating content] because I love XYZ and that’s why I’m going to make videos about it – I love it. But, then we start to get more into “this one I liked it, but it didn’t do as well, maybe I shouldn’t do it” like that and then the outside world starts to govern what you’re creating, what you’re making. And you start to care so much more about what everybody else thinks. That’s what to look out for. and it’s hard. It’s hard so get together with some friends and be like “hey we’re going to support each other”. Let’s make sure that we are actually doing this because we want to do it. If we [create content] for getting the likes then it becomes so addictive, literally addictive. 

I have YouTube videos with millions of views and it’s endless. If you want to have one you want 5 and 10 there’s no number that is satisfying. It’s an endless treadmill. I want more more more more more and it never ends. So you can beat it by just posting what you actually want to post. Try and do what you actually want to share and not think about how good it does. Doing this is easier said than done. 

Q5: What is the right age for kids to start gaming (i.e. Roblox)? Parent says “I’m very confused when my child says he plays for achievements.” 

I mean I think that’s a similar example to what I was explaining with Halo. I just needed to get to the next level, I needed to accomplish it! Especially for young boys. Life is confusing for teenage boys and in Halo I know that “I do this one thing that is really hard, and then I get to the next level.” In life everything is scary and hard. Life doesn’t have an experience bar in that way.

What age is right? I think some games can be really educational. Games are obviously really really fun. My best advice would be – I would not compromise on the “just one more game because I’m going to lose.” The systems are designed so that you lose. When it’s dinner, it’s dinner like in the real world. Real world takes precedence over the video game world. And to recognize we are going to set limits because we know how easy it is to fall into the radicals of these games. Set and stick to those limits, make it an open conversation. Kids should have a voice in this. They should say what’s working and not working. It should be not a dictatorship, but a conversation. 

Q6: How can you tell a teen is addicted to social? “My teen is says he’s not addicted to social, but he plays Discord and Roblox. I have noticed after he spends hours playing, his personality changes. He does not want to accept he is addicted.”

I am not a mental health counselor. There are many resources on our website that might be helpful. But your child has to be ready and willing and admitting that there’s a problem for any of this stuff to work. So having these conversations – talking about some of these resources, asking those questions, like “notice how it’s making you feel?” Also, they are probably afraid you’re going to take it away from them. This is a real problem that tends to exist.

Opening the conversation is the way to start. Some of these games are really disturbing because there aren’t actually enhancing something on a human level.

Are we learning something from it? Or is this just engaging? We have not approached this well as a society. Social media just happens to be a strong pull. It’s a journey. Hug your kids and tell them you love them. It’s not a solution but I have seen in my work it has been very helpful. 

Q7: How can I monitor what they’re doing on their phone without infringing on their privacy ?  

That question makes me laugh. Monitoring what they are doing on their phones, is infringing on their privacy. We want the best for them. This is a good example of creating trust and opening conversation. 

You can try, you can put all of the monitoring software on there. But they will be able to get around all that software. Conversation can be one of the best. And for me, delay is the answer. Try to delay until high school to start introducing this stuff into lives. For me the mental health risks are not worth it. 

Q8: Whenever I play video games and I am done, I always feel like there is nothing else to do and I feel bored. Then I want to play it again. 

Try creating your own game, find new things. There are skills in life – video editing, photography, etc that you can choose to try rather than playing Fortnite. Find a replacement hobby, but have the expectation that nothing will hit you as hard as Fortnite. 

Resource Links:

The Center for Humane Technology
Stayfosucd – site blocker for Chrome
Gamequitters.com/hobby-tool/
ActivityHero.com – find new educational or enrichment activities that build useful skills, like coding, video editing, web design, art, music, and more.

Watch Max Stossel’s presentation available on-demand >>

Categories
Featured Posts Mindfulness Parenting Resources Yoga

5 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety in Kids

Stress and anxiety is common for both children and adults. Butterflies before a piano recital or feeling nervous about a big test is a normal reaction to a stressful situation or event. As parents, we can’t eliminate stress in our children’s lives – only teach them how to manage it. 

Triggers that can cause stress in children include major life changes such as moving or divorce, family financial problems, peer pressure or bullying, body changes, and worrying about schoolwork. Helping our children form coping strategies at a young age will set them up for long-term success as they encounter education, career, social, and financial decisions. 

During 2020, the number of children expressing stress increased with schedule disruptions, school shutdowns, social isolation, virtual learning, and health concerns. According to a parent survey on ActivityHero in September 2020, 86% of children reported feeling anxious during the prior 6 months. 

Without healthy stress management, chronic anxiety could lead to behavioral and physical symptoms in children: (medlineplus.gov)

  • Decreased appetite or other sudden changes in eating habits
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Nightmares or Sleep disturbances
  • Upset stomach or vague stomach pain
  • Sudden changes in behavior that are out of character
  • New or recurring fears (fear of the dark, fear of being alone, fear of strangers)
  • Clinging, unwilling to let you out of sight (separation anxiety)
  • Not able to control emotions; Aggressive or stubborn behavior
  • Unwilling to participate in family or school activities

Stress management for Kids and Teens

Here are 5 ways to help your child manage every day anxiety and take healthy habits into adulthood:

1) Good Sleep Routines

Sleep is essential for your body and mind to recover and reset from the day. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 9-12 hours of sleep a night is recommended for 6- to 12-year olds. Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Set a schedule and bedtime routine for consistency. For younger children, this could include a “wind down” time of bath and story time. For teens, limiting screen time and gaming before bed can support more restful sleep. 

2) Physical Exercise

At least 60 minutes of exercise a day can have many health benefits for children, including relieving stress. This is a healthy habit for the whole family – hiking, biking, surfing, or other recreational activities are all great ideas to enjoy together. 

Other fun, non-competitive exercise and fitness classes for your child to manage stress (and burn off extra energy), include:

Kids Yoga

Yoga: Online stretching and yoga classes are a relaxing activity for all ages. In yoga classes for kids as young as 4, students learn basic yoga movements and body awareness.

Dance Party: Toddlers to teens can enjoy a fun dance party, connecting in a safe environment led by an engaging instructor. Many dance and movement classes have fun themes and do not require any previous dance experience.

Karate: Introductions to martial arts classes online do not require previous experience, and can be a confidence builder for children.

We’re here to help your child become even more engaged, strong and optimistic during this unique time.  We know that grit, resilience and laughter have never been more important than right now.

– Family Karate Online

See All Fitness Classes on ActivityHero>>

3) Schedule Relaxing Activities

In addition to exercising your body, scheduling relaxing activities can also relieve mental stress. Art, music, journaling, and other relaxing hobbies all have therapeutic benefits. The most important reminder is to make sure there is zero pressure – these should be purely for fun!

Art Classes for Kids: Art can be a constructive outlet for children of all abilities to express emotions and relieve anxiety. Drawing, painting, clay modeling, and crafts are all great activities.

In addition, any relaxing hobby your child enjoys can help them socialize and unwind. Cooking, theatre & drama, music, LEGO or even making slime could be good options!

See All Online Classes on ActivityHero>>

4) Breathing & Meditation

If your child is starting to feel overwhelmed, teaching them breathing exercises can help them work through their feelings. Taking deep breaths, visualizing themselves in a calming place, and listening to relaxing sounds are all strategies to help them refocus. 

“We started using online classes on Activity Hero after schools closed and I was furloughed. My son especially enjoys Vibras Meditation (now LoveHero). Positive messages and empowerment are so good for kids right now (and always I guess.) The instructor is great and we will continue even after things move to the new normal.”

-Parent Review

See All Meditation & Mindfulness Classes on ActivityHero>>

5) Model Self-Care and Positive Thinking

As parents and adults, modeling self-care and positive thinking is probably the hardest habit to implement. However, our children observe and absorb more of our adult stress than we realize. Some strategies include:

  • Talk with your children about how you have dealt with stressful situations and encourage dialogue about how they are feeling. Tip: Conversations can be more natural if you engage when your child doesn’t have to look directly at you – riding in a car, walking the dog, or sitting on the beach. 
  • Be mindful of your reactions; take a deep breath before responding to stressful situations. 
  • Avoid negative thinking; Model behaviors of self-care instead of self-doubt for your children.
  • Be Aware: Children are spending more time online and it’s important to understand (and teach) the dangers of cyberbullying, social media addiction, and predators. 

If at any time you feel your child may have chronic anxiety or depression, please consult your healthcare provider. Some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety or depression in children could be caused by other conditions, such as trauma. If you need help finding treatment, visit MentalHealth.gov

Categories
Camps Computer Animation Computers Gaming Lego Parenting Resources Programming Robotics Science/Technology

4 Ways to Get Your Child Started with Coding






Computer programming isn’t just for college students and hackers. Here are four engaging ways to get your kids started with coding.

By Ashley Wang

It’s pretty clear by now that technology is a force to be reckoned with. Tech companies are ever-growing and demand for programmers has never been higher. Computers dominate our lives right now, and they will dominate the lives of our children, as well.

So it’s not unexpected that many parents are interested in coding for kids. But getting them started can be rather tricky, especially if you don’t have too much experience with programming, yourself. Here, we highlight four ways to introduce your child to code.

1. Scratch

Used by millions of children around the world, Scratch is considered by educators to be the gold standard for teaching beginner coders the basics of programming. The reason? It uses blocks-based grammar that has users drag and drop commands rather than typing code. Because Scratch doesn’t require learning any complicated programming languages, even eight-year-old kids can use it.

Using the website, you can create everything from short animations to simple games. It’s intuitive, logical, and familiarizes kids with the computational thinking behind programming without overwhelming them with abstract ideas.

And if you want to get your child started even earlier, say at five-years-old, ScratchJr is the perfect learning tool. It doesn’t even require the ability to read; instead, children only need to connect together icon-based blocks to animate their characters.

Find Scratch camps & classes>>

2. Lego Robotics

Looking for a more hands-on experience for your child? Lego robotics might just be the perfect fit. Lego Mindstorms, a hardware-software platform produced by Lego for children aged 10 and up, combines the fun of Lego-building with the intellectual challenge of programming robots to walk, talk, and even think.

Calvin Grewal, a Palo Alto High School senior who interned at a startup as a web developer over the summer, thinks it’s especially great for keeping kids motivated because of the immediate results it lets them see.

“It’s a good way to make coding not so dry,” Grewal says. “Building a physical robot is definitely a lot more interesting, especially for younger kids.”

Grewal does, however, warn against having children learn robotics and coding without the proper assistance that is provided at robotics camps and classes.

“If you’re in high school then you may be able to study code on your own and be properly self-motivated,” Grewal says. “But for kids, camps are definitely better to help facilitate learning and engagement.”

Find Lego Robotics camps & classes>>

3. Game Design

Camps that teach video game design are another great option for children. Because if your kids can’t seem to peel their eyes away from their screens — be it iPads, laptops, or TV — then why not have them learn how to make a video game, themselves?

Grewal is a major proponent of game design camps, citing them as the reason for his initial interest in coding. He started over the summer in elementary school, where he was taught basic Python to develop a simple computer game. Because he was doing something he was already interested in, Grewal viewed learning something as complicated as coding as more of a fun activity rather than a school-related task.

Game design is also becoming a rapidly-growing industry. Especially with eSports on the rise, specialized software developers are needed now more than ever to help create the next bestselling video game.

Find Game Design camps & classes>>

4. School or Online Clubs

For kids that love interacting with their peers, joining a school or online coding club may offer additional benefits. While programming is often viewed as an individual activity done in solidarity, clubs encourage students with like-minded interests in coding to help each other out with tips and advice. Students often find it beneficial to have others help them troubleshoot their issues.

“It’s a good way to talk with other people who are interested,” Grewal says. “You learn from other people, who then learn from you.”

However you plan to approach coding for kids, it’s important to always keep an open mind. Because no matter how much they may like legos or game design, it’s still possible that coding just isn’t the right activity for them. But starting by gauging your child’s interest with some of these tips wouldn’t hurt, and perhaps they might just become the next tech founder.

>> Find more coding camps & classes on ActivityHero
Categories
Cooking Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms

Kids in the Kitchen: Age Appropriate Cooking Tips






Want your child to develop a love of cooking and baking? Here, we share age-appropriate tips to help kids have fun in the kitchen.

Young child having age-appropriate fun in the kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen.jpgWhether we like it or not, cooking is something everyone needs to learn to do in order to have a healthy and fruitful life.  It is our choice whether we approach cooking with a great attitude or a sour attitude, but even more importantly, what will be the attitudes of our kids in the kitchen?

Most kids are very open and excited to help in the kitchen, it is usually us as parents that don’t have the patience or feel we lack the skill to teach anything relevant about cooking to our kids.  Let me assure you, anything you do in the kitchen with your kids equates to a fun time and great learning experience.  So enjoy your time together and let’s go!

The benefits of cooking with your kids are enormous.  When you start to think about all of the things that kids learn from a simple cooking lesson, you are going to want to have them with you in the kitchen all the time.

Find Online Cooking Classes for Kids>>

Think about some of these benefits:

  • Bonding Together ~ No explanation there.

  • Kids are learning to be self sufficient and independent ~ you may want those kids to live with you forever now BUT trust me, you won’t when they turn 18!

  • Math Skills ~ Estimating, Fractions, Measuring, Liquid vs Dry Measuring

  • Nutrition ~ Be sure and talk all about the foods as you cook and how beneficial they are to your body!

  • Satisfying the Senses ~ Ahhh doesn’t that smell so good!

  • Confidence ~ That’s a big one.  For a child to help with a whole recipe or meal, YES a huge confidence builder which spills over into other areas of their lives.

  • Picky eaters will eat better!  They love to be involved in food choices and meal planning, it helps them to be more in control over what they eat.  Let them help (with a little guidance of course)

  • Imagination ~ Creating and experimenting with foods uses all kinds of imagination!

Don’t you just want to invite your kids in the kitchen now! Here are some activities and foods that you might use to include your kids from the earliest age:

For the very littles, Toddlers ~

  • Bring a high chair into the kitchen and give them kitchen utensils to play with, NO not a knife!  Spatulas, Spoons, Measuring Cups (plastic)  etc. Dollarphotoclub_53035402.jpg

  • Put a tiny bit of water into a bowl and let them use a spoon to scoop and pour.

  • If the child is old enough not to put things in their mouths, you can put dried beans into a bowl and let them stir the beans for dinner.

  • If it’s near mealtime, exchange the beans for cheerios and fishy crackers to keep them happy.

Using these little utensils with food and water is a sensory and motor skills blast. Maybe a bit messy but who cares!  Smiles make up for that!

3 to 5 years ~

  • Pudding Painting ~ Make pudding per package directions (together) then let them paint on a cookie sheet with edges, wax paper or freezer paper.  This makes food fun AND tasty!Dollarphotoclub_62937612.jpg

  • Pizza Muffins ~ Let the children have a Muffin (cut in half by you) then give them a little sauce (spaghetti sauce works great) and cheese in a bowl.  Let them spread and sprinkle onto the Muffin with a spoon!  You can also make Homemade Bagel Bites.

6 and Up ~

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 3.27.13 PM.png

  • Make Homemade Pizza Dough or buy it at the store.  Let them roll out the dough and top with spaghetti sauce, cheese and any other toppings they love.

  • Have them fill up celery sticks with their favorite filling; Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter

  • Cut up some cheese and cut out shapes with cookie cutters (littles can do this too)

As kids get older, you decide when they are ready, start to teach them Math concepts.  This does not mean you have to teach them Algebra.  Some of the concepts you can teach are; Estimating and Fractions.  Show them that measuring dry ingredients is different than measuring wet ingredients.  Math can be fun when you cook.

Play kitchen games. Kitchen games?  Yes!  Some of these might include:

  • Teaching kids the different smells and tastes of different spices, foods, liquids.  Pick a few different ingredients in your kitchen, then take turns blindfolding each other.  The person with the blindfold has to taste and smell an ingredient and guess what it is.  You have to do this too Mom and Dad, so choose wisely the ingredients you will use. HA!

  • Use tongs to move ice cubes, cotton balls, strawberries, grapes from one bowl to another.  See who can do it the fastest (that is if there will be no tears)

  • Create different shapes and sizes of Sugar Cookies and Decorate!

The benefits and fun that accompany cooking with kids FAR outway the mess and patience you need to muster up to have your kids in the kitchen.   when kids know how to fix easy and healthy foods they are much less likely to reach for the snack foods or beg for fast food.

Big and small the kitchen should be a comfortable fun place for everyone to use their imagination while creating and eating delicious foods.

Find Online Cooking Classes for Kids>>

Categories
Keeping Kids Active, Healthy + Engaged Parenting Resources Vacations

5 Tips When Kids Won’t Listen






Does it feel impossible to get your child’s attention? Does your child tune you out when you have something important to say? When you are frustrated because your child is not listening, try these 5 tips to make communicating with kids more productive and get kids to really listen.

By Wendy Chou

Susan Stone Belton is a noted author and speaker on family and parenting issues. Her book, Real Parents, Real Kids, Real Talk, has excellent advice for saving our sanity, one day at a time. Here are some of the tips we learned from the book.

1. Talk less

Fewer words will have more impact and staying power. Remember the saying about drinking from a firehose? Kids are better able to process directions when you prepare your main point in advance and stay laser-focused. For many parents, this doesn’t come naturally. But that’s OK, because –guaranteed — you can get in a lot of practice! Keep trying. And do keep the tone neutral or positive, rather than negative.

2. Listen more

Role model the way you want your kids to listen to you. Don’t interrupt or be dismissive. “If we want our kids to listen to us, we need to listen more. We need to give our kids our full attention. We need to feel that what they are saying is important. We need to be patient and listen to their entire story,” says Stone Belton. She recommends a strategy called “Listen and acknowledge; then respond.” With a billion things running through a parent’s head at any given moment, it’s easy to tune out the things our kids are telling us. Monkey see, monkey do.

Kids who feel heard are more likely to reciprocate. So slow down and really absorb what they are saying before responding. A thoughtful response shows a child that what they said matters to you. The child may not be able to move past their own thoughts until they feel heard and understood. It also prepares them to listen to you.

3. Use non-verbal cues

When children are absorbed in their task and don’t respond to your voice, try another approach. Getting close and putting a hand on their shoulder makes a big difference in getting someone’s attention.

With younger children, get down on one knee to be at their eye level, which can create a better connection.

4. Seek out opportunities for communication

Family schedules can get packed, so making connections with each other sometimes needs a little forethought. The classic example is nightly conversations around the dinner table. But even if you’re on the go, parents can still connect with kids in the car — say, on the way to soccer practice or choir rehearsal. Other kids may enjoy talking about the day’s events just before bedtime.

Know your own kids and when they feel most comfortable opening up. Some kids open up more if you’re not even there — for instance, through text messages or written notes — because these forms of communication are more neutral and less emotional. Make a mental note of what works for your family. These everyday moments, especially added up over time, are valuable!

5. Schedule in low-tech “no phones” time

Sometimes all we need is a digital break to be able to reconnect with each other. For some pointers, check ActivityHero’s blog post on how to turn off distracting smartphones.

Susan Stone Belton is a parenting/family coach and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her website is: http://susanstonebelton.com/

Families: ActivityHero is your convenient online destination for kids’ after-school activities and summer camps. Browse schedules, read reviews, and book your whole summer with our easy registration form.

Wendy Chou is a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Categories
Parenting Resources School Breaks Uncategorized

Virtual Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8th, but kids across the nation aren’t physically in school.

Virtual Teacher Appreciation Week - Ways to say thank you to your teachers from a distance during COVID-19.

Teacher appreciation is at an all-time high during the COVID-19 school closures, but families may not have an opportunity to show gratitude before the end of the school year. The sudden switch to online learning for kids has not been easy on families or teachers. Here are some creative ideas to say a virtual thank you to teachers from a distance.

Buy a Teacher Dinner

Teachers are learning new technology and adapting lesson plans, many while being parents themselves. Buying dinner for your teacher is a nice gesture during this stressful time. A gift card to a local restaurant or food delivery service such as UberEats are great options.

Virtual Thank You Note

Don’t underestimate a simple thank you note from your child. If you don’t want to mail the card to the school, scan and email to your child’s teacher directly or send an e-card with a photo of your child.

Video Compilation

If your kids are older, they may enjoy collaborating with their friends to create a thank you video compilation for their teachers. Bonus: they get to put all those new dance moves and screen time to good use.

Thank You Photo Collage

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020 virtual thank you photo collage from students.

Coordinate with the other parents in your child’s classroom to create a photo collage. Each child can hold up a sign to say thank you for Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teacher Appreciation Yard Signs

Coordinate with the other students at your child’s school to contribute to outdoor signs thanking the teachers. Get permission from your school administrator to display in front of your school.

Digital Gift Cards

Support small businesses and teachers at the same time! Purchase a gift cards to a local restaurant, retail store, bookstore or even salon. If your child’s teacher is also a parent, give them the gift of time with an ActivityHero gift card for kids camps or classes.

ActivityHero Gift Cards for Camps and Classes > >

Categories
Crafts Holiday Break Camps Parenting Resources

Easter Ideas for Kids during COVID-19

Easter ideas for kids during COVID-19.

Many families have traditions for Easter that include fun community activities like egg hunts, visits to the Easter bunny or a special dinner out. With stay-at-home restrictions still in effect, the holiday is going to look very different this year. Here are some alternative Easter ideas for kids to still enjoy the weekend.

Easter Sunday Brunch for Kids

Start the day with a special breakfast or Easter brunch as a family. Before the happy chaos of baskets begins, serve up one of these too-cute recipes for Easter breakfast that not only will your kids love – but they can help make too. Our friends over at SheKnows have compiled a list of 15 Cute Easter Breakfast Ideas.

Alternative Easter Egg Hunts for kids

Even if the neighborhood or community Easter egg hunts are canceled, enjoy an egg hunt at your house. Fill plastic eggs with special treats or rewards. Extra screen time or picking the family movie are great alternatives to a midday sugar crash.

Easter Egg Hunt alternatives during social distancing

Or, get your neighbors to join you for a virtual Easter Egg Hunt. Paint, draw or display eggs that can seen from the sidewalk. Most importantly, spread positivity and enjoyment while practicing safe social distancing. Get the word out by posting on your community NextDoor or create a private Facebook group. Try some on-demand Easter activities, use colorful window paint or even draw eggs outside with sidewalk chalk.

Virtual Easter Meetings

After the excitement of Easter brunch and egg hunts, check in with friends and family virtually. Set up a family Zoom call or Facetime the grandparents. If your Easter tradition usually includes church, find a live stream service to watch together at home. If you had already picked out the perfect Easter outfit, don’t let it go to waste! Get dressed up and then take pictures for the scrapbook.

Easter Entertainment for Kids

To finish up your Easter during COVID-19, queue up an Easter-themed movie for your kids on Netflix, Hulu or Disney+. Some of our Easter family movie favorites include:

  • Hop
  • Rise of the Guardians
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade

Take a Break for Spring

After a fun-filled Easter weekend with crafts, treats and egg hunts you may want a few minutes for yourself. ActivityHero has live, interactive classes every day for kids of all ages. Schedule an online class with expert teachers in art, music, LEGO® building, sports, coding and more.

Categories
Holiday Break Camps Parenting Resources School Breaks

Online Classes for Kids: Tips for Success

Extended school closures can be a disruption of routine for many families. Parents are seeking online classes for their children to close the gap of learning, but establishing a new schedule can be a learning curve for all.

online classes for kids

As parents, it can be difficult to keep kids engaged during school closures and breaks. In-home lessons can help children stay busy, even when it is not possible to physically be at a camp. 

free online educational videos online - Fiona the Hippo - Cincinnati Zoo
Fiona the Hippo

Facebook Live and YouTube are popular for streaming educational videos like the Cincinnati Zoo’s, “Home Safari”, when zoo staff highlights a different animal each day. Local camps and online e-learning websites are offering a wide range of online classes for kids, from virtual dance classes to online coding classes and workshops. Languages and music are also popular online courses for teaching kids at home.

The act of both entertaining and educating children – while sometimes also working from home – can be a challenge. We’ve put together a list of steps you can take to support your child for online learning.

Setting your Kids up for Success Online

  1. Establish a new routine: Keep in mind that your child is also going through a lot of adjustment, regardless of age. A schedule can keep everyone engaged and happy throughout the day. However, be flexible if your kids need a little more time for an activity. 
  2. Act as if your child is going to class: Establish a time for the class, whether the class is live or self-directed. Post a daily schedule if age-appropriate, or verbally remind your child that morning. Stay comfortable, but don’t forget to change out of those PJ’s! 
  3. Schedule for success: Younger students are often the sharpest in the morning. Start with a more challenging subject early while their brains are most receptive to learning. Each child is different though, so plan accordingly.
  4. Create a quiet, distraction free environment: To help a child focus on their online class, remove toys and electronics from the room. For example, don’t leave out art supplies if they are having an online music lesson.
  5. Consider your child’s age and personality: The younger the child, typically the shorter the attention span. When planning an online course for your child, select a length of time that will keep them engaged. If it’s not a live class, schedule movement breaks. Jumping jacks or a couple laps around the yard can help keep your child engaged.
  6. Plan unstructured play time: Just like at school, it is important to take a break. This is also a good opportunity for parents to check their email, take that work call or finish other household tasks.
  7. Step away from the screens: If you have ever stared at a computer screen for work all day, you know how tired your eyes and brains can get. Plan a craft, science experiment or other fun activity offline. 
  8. Creative Connections: During a time of social distancing, kids may feel isolated from their friends. Plan an online class that your child could attend with friends. After an online session, set up Facetime chats so they can talk about it.  

As parents, we understand a lot of families are searching for enrichment activities to supplement homeschool and virtual learning curriculum. ActivityHero is here to help! Find free virtual events and online classes for your child on ActivityHero or download our iPhone app for faster and easier searching.