Categories
Camps

Learning During COVID-19: 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 or class. Virtual learning can also benefit children who are seeking advanced instruction that may not be available near you. (Also see: Online Classes for Kids: Tips for Success)

Live, Interactive Classes vs. YouTube

In a live online class, the instructor and students meet on Zoom or another interactive system and can see each other. Students are able to ask questions and can follow along in the class. A live class meets at a specific time, so it’s important to note the time zone of the class. Scheduling live classes can be beneficial for staying on a routine during school closures.

Live online classes are also an opportunity to schedule virtual playdates with friends or classmates. During this time of social distancing, it can be fun for kids to connect with their friends while doing something fun online.

Recorded online courses may be found on YouTube or other educational websites and can be watched at any time. These types of online lessons can be helpful if need a quick option. The most common types of pre-recorded online classes are movement – kids dance or zumba.

Online Art Classes for Kids

Online classes for kids during school breaks due to COVID-19
Free Online Art Class for Kids

Art is a very popular online class for kids of all ages. Most art classes use materials you would normally already have at your house – pencil, paper, old magazines or paint. Live art classes provide time to ask questions or spotlight finished art projects.

Family favorites include:
CD’s Art Studio: Draw a different subject every week – previous classes included baby raccoons, penguins and even a hedgehog.
Art & Soul: Small group, highly interactive sessions through an online Art Club.
Young Art: Select from a variety of lessons in all kinds of art media, including clay sculpture, animation, acrylic painting, and pencil sketching.
Artist Center: The online classroom is a State of the Art Program using “The Masters” techniques.
KidztoPros: Variety of creative art programs including anime, graphic design, architecture art design and more.

Find low cost or free online art classes for kids >>

Online Coding Classes for Kids

From beginner level Scratch to more advanced Python, find online coding and gaming camps for kids of all ages. Introducing a child to programming languages could be either a building block for a career or an entertaining option for your young gamer. Not sure where to start? Get expert tips on picking the right coding camp to fit your child.

Family favorites:
Camp Edmo
NR Computer Learning Center
Discover Science Center
CodeREV
KidztoPros

Find low cost or free online coding classes for kids >>

Online Sports and Fitness Camps for Kids

online yoga class for kids, meditation and movement during covid-19 stay at home restrictions
Online Virtual Yoga Class for Kids

Set aside some time to burn off all that extra energy from being stuck at home. Movement and exercise can help support children’s mental and physical well-being during this challenging time. Online sports and fitness camps include skills and fun games that kids can do from the safety of their own home, backyard, garage or patio. Family favorites include martial arts, yoga, dance, virtual recess and more.

Find low cost or free online sports and fitness camps for kids >>

Online LEGO® Camps for Kids

Popular LEGO® camp curriculums have been adapted for online learning so that your child can make their screen time count with engaging and entertaining STEAM enrichment. Build with LEGO® in themes of cities, robots, superheroes and more.

Find low cost or free online LEGO® camps for kids >>

Online Girl Scout Camps

Earn Girl Scout badges through online workshops in coding and science. Popular badges include: Fling Flyer badge, Coding Basics Badge, Bugs Badge for Brownies and more!

Find online girl scout classes and camps near me >>

Online School Break or Full Day Camps

Many online classes are between 30 minutes and an hour, but full day virtual camps are available. These may be more more convenient for parents that have multiple kids or are trying to work from home.

New Camps:
Camp Super Duper (9:30am-3pm)
Teeter Pal Spring Break Camp

Free Online Classes for Kids

ActivityHero LIVE offers a free, daily series of live, interactive classes for kids. These classes are made possible by teachers who want to help families while school is out with classes in art, music, business, medicine, cooking, LEGO®, fitness and more. They are also small businesses who have lost income due to COVID-19.

Find free online classes and camps for kids >>

Categories
Martial Arts

How Martial Arts Training Breaks the Cycle of Bullying






Parents expect that learning self-defense techniques will keep their kids safe from bullying. But that’s only one of the benefits of martial arts.

By Laura Quaglio

Martial Arts Helps Kids Build Confidence
Learning self-defense techniques in martial arts class can certainly help kids feel stronger and more confident, while providing them with the skills to protect themselves if need be. But this type of after school activity can also help kids who are not typically the targets of bullying. First, martial arts training often includes life-changing skills that can help the bullies themselves transform into “good citizens.” And it can help kids who may be bystanders (observing others being bullied) by teaching them how to react when they see someone else being targeted.

Here’s how two ActivityHero providers say today’s martial arts programs are tackling the topic of bullying — and why all kids can benefit from this type of after school activity.

Parents who feel their kids are “bully-magnets” have long sought the martial arts to help their children gain the skills and self-confidence they need to stand up for themselves. And with good reason. “Whether on the bus, in the playground, or at school, bullies pick on kids that look like easy targets,” says Victoria “Tori” Navarrete, an instructor and co-owner of Navarrete’s Black Belt Academy in San Francisco, California. Tori and her husband, Master Fernando Navarrete, have more than 30 years of experience in martial arts, are members of the American Taekwondo Association, and are certified in the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. “We believe that teaching kids the skills needed to defend themselves both physically and verbally will make them a less likely target, and help them act when they see bullying going on.”

Bill Soto (“Mr. Soto” to his students) — who has been owner and chief instructor at Soto’s Martial Arts in Appleton, Wisconsin, for more than 28 years – agrees. Further, he asserts that kids are often first taught one of the least effective strategies for preventing bullying: avoidance. “In my experience, trying to avoid a bully doesn’t solve anything,” says this fifth-degree black belt in American Martial Arts. In bullying situations at school, he explains, the kids are showing up at the same place as the bully every day. “So the bully usually continues to track them down,” he says. To help combat this very real problem in a more effective way, Bill’s school hosts free bully-prevention seminars for both his students and the local community. “Some martial arts schools focus on what to do during a fight,” he says. “But we need to talk about what kids can do beforehand to prevent the fight.”

Here, some details on how these ActivityHero providers are enabling kids to stop bullying in its tracks.

Shop for martial arts classes & camps near you > >

They’re Building Physical Strength

Training in martial arts typically involves a variety of exercise, including cardio and strength-training. Students also build endurance by participating in class. Perhaps just as important, though, martial arts students learn how to carry themselves in a way that discourages bullying. “The bully will prey on the child that seems to be walking with their head down, shoulders slumped,” says Mr. Soto. “Putting a child in a martial arts program where they can be constantly encouraged and in a place where they can achieve success – this can help them hold their head high outside the martial arts program,” says Mr. Soto.

The Navarretes agree: In fact, they begin by teaching students to make strong eye contact and walk “tall and strong” before they progress to showing kids how to respond to verbal, then physical attacks. “Taekwondo teaches you to be strong in your body and your mind, and this gives students a certain air of confidence that is evident to those who would mean them harm,” says Tori.

They’re Learning How to Be Good Citizens

“In our school, you are expected to treat others with kindness and respect, help those in need, and do the right thing, no matter what,” says Tori. She’s proud to report that one of their students recently stepped through a circle of kids to put her arm around a boy with physical disabilities who was being bullied. “She told them that he was her friend and not to pick on him, and then led him away,” says Tori. “He told her this was the first time that anyone stood up for him. We could not be more proud.”

Mr. Soto refers to this type of intervention as being an “upstander” instead of a “bystander.” “The problem with a being a bystander is that you’re standing by, doing nothing,” he explains. Instead, kids need to know how to recognize bullying and report it to an adult. But telling kids is not enough, he says. That’s why, during bully-prevention workshops, Bill has two kids role-play a verbal bullying situation, then instructs another child to stand up and tell the bully to stop. Then he has another do the same. And another. “Saying those words can be harder than throwing a punch or a kick,” he says. “Kids have to role play this over and over so they will be able do it when necessary. Knowing what to do isn’t enough: It’s not in the knowing, it’s in the doing.”

They’re Learning to Be Good Leaders

erase-bullying

“The biggest misconception is that martial arts training will make students more aggressive and more likely to engage in physical fights,” says Tori. “While it may seem counter-intuitive, the opposite has been true in our experience.” In fact, Tori says that counselors have referred many “physically aggressive” kids to their school to help the kids channel their energy in a positive way. What’s more, martial arts instructors pride themselves on showing former bullies how to become a positive role model and leader. “We actually have several black belts who were once bullies who now help teach the younger kids,” says Tori.

In fact, a big focus of the curriculum at Soto’s Martial Arts is on “leadership life skills.” “Whether it’s discipline, confidence, courage, focus … those are skills that kids can use every day,” says Bill. “Sometimes people ask me if martial arts is a seasonal sport. I say, ‘Is confidence seasonal? Is attitude?’ Kids are not going to use their self-defense moves every day, but the leadership skills, they will.”

Shop for martial arts classes & camps near you > >

Start Bully-Proofing Your Kids Today!

Find a martial arts or bully prevention program in your area.