This time last year, most parents were prepping their kids to attend their favorite sleepaway camp or planning a family vacation. But with COVID-19, most summer plans have been scrapped and while the quarantine boredom-busting activities of the spring – such as baking and board games – were fine to fill up the time between Zoom classes… there’s only so much banana bread one can make.
Depending on where you live, sleepaway and day camps are running with a focus on small groups and social distancing. However, more broadly, virtual camps are now in session. Here are a handful of companies hosting virtual camps for pre-K and preteens.
- This week, Camp by Walmart launched its free virtual camp with interactive video platform Eko. Activity videos featuring celebrity councilors such as actors Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel, Drew Barrymore, and athlete LeBron James are uploaded to the platform every week.
- On Monday, July 14, The Wiggles and Rascal + Friends will host a two-week virtual summer camp for toddlers and their parents. Hosted by Emma Wiggle and Captain Feathersword, the program includes arts, crafts, singing, dancing and prizes.
- Camp PBS Kids now offer the preschool set free, downloadable activity books and reading lists, as well as how-to videos ranging from art to science featuring PBS Kids characters Daniel Tiger, Dinosaur Train and more.
- The activities at Girl Scouts Adventures at Home marketplace change weekly, but topics include STEM, cooking and wildlife, grouped by grade level. Campers can do several Girl Scout-approved activities off-screen and outside (with supervision). While the virtual camp marketplace has a weekly membership fee for the courses, there are free activities available on the Girl Scouts’ website.
Inevitably, kids are going to complain about having “nothing to do” as summer goes on. Yet, in this unprecedented year, parents now have these new projects in their arsenal to combat kids’ boredom – from home.
And for parents, how will they spend their newfound freetime while the kids are at virtual camp? Well, there’s always Club Quarantine.