Five At-Home Summer Camps to Bust Quarantine Boredom

In the midst of coronavirus cancellations, these five summer programs for kids have gone virtual.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of most traditional in-person children’s’ summer programs, that doesn’t mean your kids have to miss out on all the educational fun they’d usually get to have during their months off school. As all aspects of our lives are being adjusted, local summer camps have also adapted by creating virtual programs that can be enjoyed even from the comfort of home. Here’s a roundup of five Cincinnati summer camps that your kids can attend online.

Photograph by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

The weeklong programs from Cincinnati Shakespeare take all the best parts of the theatre’s traditional camps—expert instruction from pros, self-expression through the works of William Shakespeare, and creative community among students—and bring them directly into participants’ homes with virtual meetings, electronic masterclass materials, and plenty of offline activities that allow campers to stay engaged while stepping away from the screen. Programs are offered for “tots” (kids who have completed 1st or 2nd grade) all the way up to recently-graduated high school seniors., (513) 381-2273

Art Academy of Cincinnati

The Art Academy of Cincinnati’s award-winning arts education programs are now available virtually, with six themed weeks of creative assignments that utilize easy-to-find materials and are specifically tailored to be practical for the home-turned-studio. Projects are updated daily by AAC instructors and counselors, and allow campers to develop skills in self-expression and artistic technique while gaining knowledge about art history. The program also includes virtual artist visits and field trips to art galleries and museums, culminating in an online gallery show of students’ work at the week’s end. Programs are available to campers ages 5 to 12., (513) 562-6262

World of Spanish

The Passport Series summer program from World of Spanish allows students to travel some of the world’s Spanish-speaking countries—right from their own homes. Weeklong programs take campers on journeys through Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, and Peru, with crafts and recipes to try, as well as lessons on each country’s history, culture, geography, and more. Pre-recorded lessons and online classes supplement a packet mailed to each camper that contains a passport, the country’s stamp, a color-your-own flag, and surprise souvenirs that come into play throughout the week. The Passport Series is open to campers from ages 5 to 12., (513) 739-9516

Kennedy Heights Art Center

Kennedy Heights Art Center’s at-home summer programs are led by local artists and keep kids engaged both creatively and with their community, all from their own homes. Creative challenges, indoor and outdoor exploration, and other activities encourage campers to use their imaginations. Virtual meetings allow campers to participate in creative activities together, while pre-recorded instruction videos allow individual campers to engage with projects at their own paces. Each camper is provided with a bundle of art supplies to jumpstart their creative projects, which are shared with other campers and families in a virtual gathering at the week’s end. Programs are available for campers ages 5 to 13., (513) 631-4278

Cincinnati Zoo

Virtual Cincinnati Zoo Camps bring the traditional camp experience home with animal encounters, Zoo hikes, and lessons that all occur online. Through live video conferencing with Zoo Educators and fun online activities, campers develop the important skills, values, and knowledge that they would gain from an in-person Zoo Camp adventure. Program topics include animal families, animal communication, “Zoo Scene Investigation,” and wildlife conservation, all of which encourage campers to be more curious and knowledgeable about the natural world around them. Programs available range from age 4 to rising eighth graders., (513) 281-4700

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