2021 Virtual Summer Camp Resource
Summer is on its way! While things are slowly starting to open up, there is still always a need for some extra fun to help fill up those (sometimes) long summer days! To help, I’ve scoured the net and composed a list of some of the best free and low cost online summer camp options I’ve come across.
This is a pretty lengthy list, so I’ve broken it up into different categories. As a note, the hot link on some devices puts it a couple of links past the start, so you may need to scroll up a tiny bit to see the first two resources.
- Free Live Online Camps/Class
- Free On-Demand Style Camps/Classes
- Low Cost Camps and Classes
- Just For Tweens and Teens
Free Live Activities
- Michaels Online Classes
They have art and crafting classes for kids and adults going on just about every day. In June, their maker camp will be starting up, with even more live kids stuff going on.
- Rusty Harden Studio – Doodle Bugs
They offer free drawing classes twice a week for kids. If your child joins, make sure to help them pin the instructor’s video so they don’t miss out on any of the drawing instruction.
- Stem & Straws
Twice a month they offer free workshops. Sometimes they are science related and sometimes they are design related.
- Check out your library!
Many libraries are still unable to open their doors and are offering virtual events. If yours doesn’t currently offer virtual events, check out my local library. They have events several times a week, and you don’t need a library card to join in the fun. They’ve had kids from all over the world join in 😊
- Homeschool Co-op 2020
There are lots of free events available on here every day. However, if you sign your kiddo up for an event on here, be sure to stay close by during classes. Most of the time things are fine, but Z bombers have targeted classes on here in the past.
Free On-Demand Style Camps and Classes
- Camp Wonderopolis
Explore daily videos and articles full of STEM and literacy-building topics boosted. We participated in this last summer and had an absolute blast. There is a camp theme on here for just about every interest.
- Camp Youtube
STEM, Arts, Sports, and Adventure themed camps to learn new skills, stay active, and explore the world together
- Virtual 4-H
If you can’t meet up with a local chapter yet, this link has lots of fun activities you can do from home.
- Maker Summer Camp
From robots to other maker fun! The new session will be starting in July, but the link above will take you to previous videos.
- Start With a Book
This has options for science, reading, and writing related camps.
Low Cost Camps and Classes
- Camp Kinda
This is a really fun on-demand virtual camp. There are weekly activities, plus you get access to their activities from past years on top of that. This is $25 for the entire summer (starting first week of June), which isn’t bad. We did this last summer, and it’s totally worth the price.
If you haven’t heard of this site before – it is seriously awesome. It is full of instructional videos for every topic under the sun. They have art, sewing, baking, science, legos – you name it! Plus, every summer they come up with their own camp program on top of the other videos available. They also have live events a few times a month as well. At 4.99 a month, this is a great deal. We’ve had a subscription to this for a year now, and my son still loves it. The best part is that there is also an option to purchase badges that you can sew on a backpack or item of your choice. When your child completes an activity category, they can then earn the badge. They are usually fairly inexpensive and it serves as an extra fun incentive.
- Camp SuperNow
This is a fun place with lots of live Zoom style classes/activities your kiddo can join. It’s good for kids up to 10 years old. You can check it out with a 7 day free trial, then afterwards it is 18.00 per month. What I like about it is that you can attend as many meetings as you want and during the school year offers opportunities for children to attend up to five live meetings a day. For summer there will be even more meetings. The meeting leaders are really fun, and it has had a really good variety of activities and social meetings. If you are looking for some live events to fill up the day, this is actually a pretty good deal. So far, in our two weeks of membership, there has been science, art history (done in a fun escape room motif), nature studies, dance classes, music, trivia, and gaming clubs (mainly Among Us).
- Stems and Straws
I mentioned these folks earlier. They offer lots of one off live science workshops, and they are very affordable. They also sell science kits that go along with some of the workshops. We have purchased two of their kit/workshop combos, and they were pretty fun. My son said the “surface tension” kit was his favorite because you got to create your own water skipper bug. The bath bomb one was a close second.
- Happy Camper Live
This is a camp style site full of on-demand videos. There are crafts, outdoor ideas, and a bunch of other stuff. At $4.95 a month, it’s also not a bad deal. However, the name of the site is very misleading. They claim to offer live events, but that’s not really the case. Their “live” events are YouTube style videos that air at certain times – no interaction or anything like that. However, they do have a community area where kids can interact and share videos. Some of the videos get featured on the “live” shows.
For Tweens & Teens
These resources are primarily tech/art related, since a few of these are things I subscribe to that I thought would be good resources for older kiddos.
- Free: NUA – Learn the Power of Art
These are free recordings of art and tech classes they offered last summer. You need to sign up, and then can choose which classes you would like to have the recordings of. There’s animation, UI design, 3d modeling, writing for tv/film, and a lot more.
- Free: ArtStation Learning
For the rest of 2021, ArtStation Learning is free. There are all sorts of digital art classes on here. All you need to do to access it is to sign up for a free ArtStation account.
- Free: Behance Live
Best for teens. This is full of all sorts of creative professionals from all walks of art and design, who live stream and instruct). If your teen is interested in learning any of Adobe’s products, this is definitely the place to go. There are monthly creative challenges, and tons of other fun stuffs.
- Creature Art Teacher
Right now their monthly streaming package is on sale for 14.99 a month. If you have a teen (or tween) who is really into drawing, painting and/or learning basic animation, you have to check this one out. I subscribe to this one for myself, and his classes rock. For real. Plus, he adds new classes every month. If you want to see this guy’s style, he does live streams most Fridays. You can view his videos here.
At the moment I’m writing this, you can get a year membership to Craftsy for $3.00. It’s full of art, crafting, and cooking classes. The art classes, especially the drawing ones, have been pretty good.
This is another good one for teens (and advanced tweens) who are really into learning about digital art. This is $29.00 per month, which is a little on the pricey side, but there’s a lot of solid instruction here. This is legit art school quality stuff. So if you’re kiddo is into this, this is great career guidance!
- School of Game Design Life Time Membership
If you have someone in your life who is interested in video game design/creation, this is worth a purchase. For $49.00, you get lifetime access to the site and its courses. The courses on here are pretty good, but the only downer is that they don’t update things very frequently. I’ve been a member for over a year, and I’ve only seen 1 or 2 new courses added since I joined. Still, worth the price!
- Humble Bundle
If you want to get into some summer learning or gaming, check out this site. This is a great place that sells game, e-book, and software packages at incredible prices. It’s especially worth checking out for software, as you can often find software that retails for $500 on there for under $50. The e-book packages are often pretty stellar as well.
There’s so much stuff on here that there’s literally something for everyone. Plus, they do offer the occasional live class as well. This main link above gives you a 14 day free trial, but if you search around, you can sometimes find promos for up to 2 months free. The bummer is that they did, however, recently raise their rates. I’m locked in at $15 a month, but I think they’ve ballooned it up to $32 a month now for new members.