Online summer camp and virtual activities for kids

Summer is that beautiful season when school's out, the days are long, and hearing "I'm bored" can make any parent or guardian cringe. It's natural to wonder if you now need to be a chef, summer camp counselor, and activities director—all while balancing work and other responsibilities. We’ve compiled some resources that include free virtual activities for kids to ease the burden of performing the duty of camp counselor. While this summer may look a bit different than summers of the past, it can still be filled with new adventures and fun for your family.

Photo credit: Imgorthand/E+/Getty Images. Young boy making a plant bottle garden at home.

First things first: Do what works for you.

No one knows your child's needs like you do, so try mixing and matching activities to make a schedule that works for you. This weekly schedule comes filled with activity ideas, and you can customize it to fit your needs. We've also listed some free and paid programs that can help fill the time and keep your kids occupied—but try adding in other activities that are tried-and-true favorites for your family.

Team up for success.

Planning everything can be tiring, so try partnering with other parents and guardians and have each person gather activities for a set day of the week. Then share what you've found, like printables, activity ideas, crafts, and more.

Consider themed days.

Brainstorming activity ideas can be tricky, but picking a theme for certain days can help streamline the process and kickstart your creativity. Need ideas? This customizable schedule has a few to get you started.

Browse free online activities for kids from Microsoft.

From fun learning to creative projects to family activities, these ideas can help keep kids busy and engaged.

Young adult student inside home gaming

Use partner benefits in Microsoft 365

Office 365 is now Microsoft 365, and with the new name come new benefits. Family and Personal subscribers can enjoy more than 300 hours of online creative classes taught by experts from CreativeLive, Adobe's top apps for creativity and productivity, and get 20-minute non-fiction book summaries with Blinkist—all free for 3 months, which is perfect for summer.

Check out online summer camps.

These camp and online learning ideas span age ranges, with free and paid options, all with a focus on keeping summer full of fun.

Age 3-18

Outschool Summer Camp—Feed your kid's curiosity and elevate their summer with a variety of fun classes where they can learn with peers in live video classes that meet in small groups. From subjects like reading, writing, and math, to the history of comics, spy school, hand-sewing, and Star Wars tech, they'll find something to keep them engaged. The inspiring teachers consist of professional educators, artists, scientists, and adults with an expertise to share.
Class prices vary and start at $5/class.

Camp Wonderopolis—Kids get hands-on with cool experiments that exercise their mind and body. Build vocabulary, background knowledge in science, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and other literacy skills along the way. Whether you register as a Camper (kids of all ages) or Counselor (parents, community and library program staff, teachers), you'll find appropriate activities for you.
Free

Age 4+

Epic!—Explore this digital library with resources for kids under 12. Get instant access to over 40,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes, and more, including fiction and nonfiction titles.
Try free for 30 days. Afterward, unlimited access is $7.99/month.

DIY.org—Search this huge library of hands-on projects, how-to videos, and an awesome kid community. DIY.org has a variety of courses for any skill level, across 50 different categories that include photography, drawing, science, Minecraft, music, Legos, cooking, inventions, and more. Kids earn badges while they learn new skills. Activities range from simply watching fun videos to teaching and inspiring other kids.
Try free for 14 days, give as a gift, or buy for yourself. The cost is $15-25/month depending on the number of kids and your billing preferences.

Kanopy—Access Kanopy with your library card for a free way to watch thousands of films, TV series, animated books, and educational content—all without ads. You can check out up to 10 titles per month, with three days to watch each. Plus, get Kanopy Kids for unlimited age-appropriate shows and movies with access to parental controls.
Free. If your library isn't on Kanopy, the app helps you send a request.

Age 8-15

Mother and sons inside home hanging out with child playing games on Surface Go

Spark their curiosity with free Virtual Summer Camps

Make good use of free time with the Summer Passport for Digital Fun: a series of interactive workshops for kids. They'll be so busy having fun, they'll forget they're building valuable digital skills. Free.

Age 14+

BBC micro:bit—Create, learn, and code with the pocket-sized computer that's transforming the world. Do quick projects in MakeCode, Python, and Scratch to help you get the most out of the micro:bit's features or tackle design challenges and work to save the planet with technology.
Micro:bit cost can vary. Free projects and lessons available at microbit.org.

CreativeLive—Browse this collection of educational video courses with content ranging from photography, flower arranging, mixed-media collage, drawing, and music composition to lifestyle content such as business skills and personal growth.
Courses range from $9.99 to $199. App is for iOS | Website is for everyone
Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) subscribers get more than 300 hours of creative classes taught by experts. Valued at $120, free for 3 months, it's perfect for the summer! Learn more about the benefits

No matter what summer activities you choose, we hope the season is filled with fun, new adventures, and learning together.

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