Summer in quarantine? Here are some great at-home summer camp ideas for your kids while you work from home! Check out this list of virtual summer camp ideas.
Schools are closed. Some daycares have not reopened. But working moms still have work to do. Many working moms are working remotely for our full-time jobs. Some offices are beginning to reopen, but with child care looking very different for us, the feasibility of continuing to work is becoming difficult.
Working from home with kids is a challenge, but working remotely with kids during a pandemic presents unique and undeniable hardship.
Finding ways to keep our kids busy (and entertained) while we focus on meeting our deadlines is a must this summer. Here is a collection of ideas for summer camp at home 2020 as well as virtual summer camp options for working moms and your kids.
Finding summer childcare is critical, and hiring someone to care for our child in our own home might be the only option we have with schools and daycares closed. Here are some great options.
If you want to hire your own nanny or babysitter, here are some ideas for sitter or nanny interview questions. Here are tips on what to include in your nanny contract since you will need an agreement for your nanny or sitter.
Another option is Nanno StayCare, which is a way for parents to work together and book a single great caregiver to care for the kids in their little pod. According to their research, a pod of three or four kids is cheaper than most summer camps. You can also book an individual sitter for just your family through them.
Virtual Summer Camps
Science Camp in a Box: Little Passports
This kit is the perfect way to host Summer Camp at home. Keep the campers busy for six days, 3-4 hours a day. Additional online printables and activities are available to extend your camp experience.
Summer Camp in a Box: World Edition includes:
- The first six packages of the World Edition product: World, Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, and Australia
- Sam & Sofia’s Scooter Stories Chapter Book Boxed Set
- Our signature blue suitcase
- Your very own passport and world wall map
- Exclusive collectible country coins and coin board
- Three fun, super soft animal squishies
- Letters from new pen pals Sam & Sofia
- Stickers, activity sheets, hands-on souvenirs
- Plus online access to fun facts, photos, foreign language phrases, DIY crafts, pen-to-paper printables, music, camp schedule, and a camp completion certificate!
With Summer Camp in a Box: World Edition, kids will learn about the world around them with an introductory kit featuring an easy-to-follow camp schedule, our signature blue suitcase, and a world map. Campers will then travel to five different countries where they will be immersed in the cultures of Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, and Australia. Camp activities include reading a letter from pen pals Sam and Sofia, completing pen-to-paper activities, collecting coins, enjoying hands-on culturally relevant projects, reading the Sam & Sofia’s Scooter Stories Chapter Books, and so much more.
> Get Summer Camp in a Box: World Edition <<
Summer Camp in a Box: Science Jr. includes:
- The first six packages of the Science Junior product: Weddell Seals, Volcanoes, Sound & Music, Chimpanzees, Deep Sea Exploration, and Wetlands
- Our signature green backpack
- Materials for hands-on projects and DIY experiments
- Full-color magazine with comic, instructions, and pen-to-paper activities
- Stickers, trading cards, and badges
- Plus access to online videos, DIY crafts, printables, camp schedule, and a camp completion certificate
With Summer Camp in a Box: Science Junior, budding scientists can explore the world around them with STEAM-based activities. While visiting six unique locations around the world, campers will build projects like a Weddell seal walker, an erupting volcano, a stringed instrument, a swinging chimpanzee, a sinking submarine, and a balloon-powered air boat. Campers will also read full-color comic books, complete pen-to-paper activities, collect trading cards, and place badges on their very own camp backpack. An easy-to-follow, flexible camp schedule allows campers to participate in camp over a one-week period or spread camp out all summer long.
>>Get Summer Camp in a Box: Science Junior <<
Little Passports has also given me this lovely how-to-draw worksheet to share with you! Download it below.
Grab your drawing supplies and get ready for some art time! This How to Draw a Chimpanzee worksheet from Little Passports lets your child learn about primates while practicing their drawing skills. Swing over to littlepassports.com for more fun learning activities.
Cooking Lessons: Kids Cook Real Food
Did you hear about the Kids Cook Real Food Free Virtual Summer Camp? 100% free to attend, the Kids Cook Real Food DIY Summer Camp will keep your kitchen hopping, your bodies nourished, and your kids busy learning:
- Build confidence and independence in the kitchen
- Healthy food and ingredients you recognize
- Teach your kids over 30 basic cooking skills in 8 days!
- Connect with your kids around healthy food
It’s not too late to join! This weekend, June 27th and 28th, Katie will release some of the campers’ favorite videos for both days. This is an incredible opportunity to teach your kids some healthy food cooking skills. Remember that every skill or positive experience your children have in the kitchen is a huge step toward their confidence. Join here.
Cooking Lessons: Whis-Kid
This is great for older kiddos who can read and work in the kitchen alone, or for younger kiddos with parent supervision (you know, when you’re done working for the day). The Whis-Kid Guidebook and lessons help teach your kids to cook, ending battles in the kitchen over meals. Because when kids are in control of the food they are cooking, they will want to eat what they make.
With the help of an adult, Whis-Kid cooking lessons are suitable for children and teens of all ages. The boys in the video lessons range from 7-14 years of age.
Kitchen Science Kit: Clifford the Big Red Dog
Does your little chef like to help you out in the kitchen? Help them learn about science with Fun.com’s Clifford the Big Red Dog- Kitchen Science Kit. Your little scientist can experiment alongside Emily Elizabeth and Clifford the Big Red Dog with the included experiment book and all the materials they need to make their own slime, glue, and crystals. Help them make gooey slime today so tomorrow they can make you a delicious dinner!
Reading Reimagined Digital Play Packs
Reading Reimagined is a subscription service, that shares a book and related activities with you each month as part of their Read and Play subscription box (see our play here). They are sharing monthly Digital Play Packs – a themed list of books, activities, crafts, and snacks. You get the supplies and follow their directions for a fun family summer camp day!
Use code FABMOM to receive 10% off any purchase.
Virtual Mentoring: HomeBuddies
HomeBuddies is an online platform that facilitates virtual one-on-one mentorship relationships between college students and school-aged children, in addition to hosting group Zoom activities three days a week. The organization operates on a pay-what-you-can model, starting at zero dollars. HomeBuddies is a meaningful, engaging, intentional mentorship program that matches children with young adults based on shared interests and observed compatibility.
Coding Camp for Girls: Girls Get IT
Girls Get IT is an introductory (now virtual!) computer science and mentorship program – exclusively for girls aged 7-12-year-olds. Campers learn how to run their first computer science programs and how to problem solve more patiently and creatively. Campers also have discussions around feminism and ways more women can get involved in computer science in school and work.
Virtual Camp: Outschool
Outschool: Explore any interest over live video chat! Discover fun, social, and safe learning experiences for kids ages 3-18 led by passionate teachers. Classes from $10. From phonics to AP Physics to Minecraft to Piano, Outschool feeds your kid’s curiosity and elevates their learning with a variety of 15,000+ classes.
Virtual Camp: TheCampCloud
The CampCloud provides the opportunity for campers (ages 6-15) to make new friends, and engage in guided, yet independent, experiential activities led by seasoned facilitators and accredited institutions like science centers, museums, zoos & aquariums, schools, universities, and theatres, without need for significant parental assistance, putting worthwhile wonder into a virtual life every day over Zoom. Activities include building a shelter, putting on a play; diving into science, technology, math, and art; training your pet; suburban survival: navigation, tracking, trap making, fire safety; role-playing on an imaginary island, and hundreds of other activities to suit every interest. At CampCloud, children will experience that camp feeling – socially connected while physically distant.
Free Virtual Camps
- Scholastic learn at home (BookFlix) – online stories
- Primrose online with Og – weekly activity ideas and learning ideas
- Arree Chung – Free classes on writing, drawing, and storytelling from award-winning author/illustrator Arree Chung
- Virtual museum tours – many famous museums offering virtual tours
- Virtual School Day at Varsity Tutors! Daily Live Classes. 100% interactive. 100% free.
- Camp Kinda– Self-directed themed activities
- Wide Open School by Common Sense Media
- Start with a Book – site for parents and teachers who are looking for book suggestions, reading activities, and practical tips for teaching kids to read
- Camp Wonderopolis – free STEAM—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—programs.
- PBS Kids for Parents – free age-by-age tips, crafts, games, and activities to get you through summer.
- UNICEF Kid Power Camp @ Home – videos about sports, cooking, crafts, and more
- Khan Academy – a nonprofit with the mission to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
- WowArt – daily art videos and painting tutorials
- BOND (Body + Mind Together) – An online tool for at-home physical activity and mindfulness skills for kids.
- Kids Gardening – opportunities for kids to learn and grow through gardening, engaging their natural curiosity, and wonder.
- #CampYouTube – summer camp topics like arts, sports, adventure, and STEM
- Camp TFK (TIME for Kids) – virtual daily activities for the month of July
- Metropolitan Opera – free weekly streaming of performances as well as arts and crafts lessons and live artist broadcasts
- REI virtual family summer series – teaming up with Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority to share activities and lessons about animals and the outdoors
- Arm & Hammer summer camp – includes STEM, baking, and slime making starts late July.
- Camp by Walmart – if you have the app, you get access to weekly fun games and things to make.
My friend also shares these summer camp printables with summer at home themes.
Summer Camp at Home Activities (Ideas for Mom Summer Camp Activities)
When kids are stuck at home all summer, it is imperative to have some fun activities they can get involved in and have fun.
Younger kids can be set up with an activity and play beside you while you work. It isn’t ideal, I know, but little ones require supervision. Lots of supervision. You can try some of these amazing learning activity ideas for one-year-olds up to preschool age from Hands on as we Grow. I love the ideas she shares, and there are always great fresh ideas in her Activity Room Membership.
Active play is so important for cooped-up kids. If you have the space in your home or yard, active toys and play equipment is a must!
You can also take your kids on a nature walk, which is very educational, and then do some nature crafts.
Melissa and Doug toys are great for open-ended play and learning. Take 15% Off All Summer Toys. Use Code SUMMER15
Backyard Camp Idea from Melissa & Doug- Take 15% Off Active & Outdoor Toys. Use Code CAMPOUT
When other distraction methods fail, there’s always screen time! We love ABC Mouse for educational screen time that my child can do completely independently while I’m focused on conference calls.
What are you doing to keep your kids busy this summer? Do share!