If you’re still trying to find engaging activities for children this summer, the following may help you fill in the gaps. Check out the following details about these educational and entertaining programs including virtual summer camps and safe outdoor activities for children:
Washington, D.C.’s Explore! Children’s Museum Launches Explore! Sandbox: A New Engaging, Online Play Resource
Explore! Children’s Museum, the forthcoming museum inspiring children to be curious thinkers, creators, communicators and collaborators, has launched Explore! Sandbox. The online resource for parents compiles the best activities and experiences from top children’s museums, art and science museums and more across the country. During a time when more families are home together, the Sandbox helps to inspire creativity, play and connectivity while catering to children’s individual interests.
Curated for children through age 9, the Explore! Sandbox has aggregated more than 100 activities for the website’s launch including art videos, science experiments and even cooking how-tos featuring young chefs. The Sandbox will continue to be updated to be a resource for families who are looking to engage their children further while playing at home.
Activities featured on The Sandbox help visitors reimagine what meaningful, at-home experiences look like and guide parents to connect with their children in new ways. Experiences are divided into seven different categories – Arts, Food, Movement, Performance, Science & Nature, Storytime, and Explore! More – and range from interactive activities and play to hands-on projects. In line with the museum’s mission to inspire children to be curious thinkers and communicators and challenge children to ask questions about the world around them, the Sandbox also includes resources for parents to talk about difficult topics, such as racism and COVID-19, at home.
While a brick-and-mortar museum is being built, the vision of Explore! continues to exist via a digital community before a physical museum. In 2015, Explore! launched Mission Mobile, a traveling simulator for schools in D.C., Maryland and Virginia that teaches students problem-solving, collaboration and critical-thinking skills through various themed “missions.” Two years later, Explore! with the National Portrait Gallery launched in downtown Washington, D.C. The Explore! Sandbox fills the void of these live experiences while the exhibit and Mission Mobile remain closed in the wake of COVID-19.
For more information on the Explore! Sandbox, Explore! Children’s Museum and more, visit www.exploremuseum.org.
Girl Scouts Offers Virtual Camp and Safe Outdoor Activities to Girls Nationwide
From the city block to the suburban backyard to the backcountry, Girl Scouts has a long and storied history of getting girls outdoors. This summer, when kids and parents are faced with limited safe, accessible and affordable camp and outdoor options due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is launching three outdoor initiatives to keep girls entertained and engaged in virtual and in-person environmental activities all summer long. Offerings include virtual summer camps, free online experiences tied to the outdoors, and exciting virtual events to ensure girls across the country have access to a variety of fun, challenging, and experiential activities so they can continue to develop essential skills and behaviors that will help them become effective leaders in the outdoors and beyond.
When girls spend quality time outdoors and increase their exposure to nature, they thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually. According to a 2019 Girl Scouts Research Institute (GSRI) study titled “Girl Scouts Soar in the Outdoors,” 86% of girls agree they learned more about nature through Girl Scouts, and 80% state that they participated in outdoor activities through Girl Scouts that they never would have done otherwise. With the launch of the Girl Scout Camp Adventures at Home Marketplace, members and nonmembers can access a one-stop shop to sign up for any of the hundreds of virtual summer camp sessions taking place nationwide. For the first time, girls can meet and participate together in virtual camp sessions offered by any of the 111 councils across the country. They can find a camp based on their interests and grade level on the Marketplace site. Camp sessions include more familiar Girl Scout camp experiences as well as some newer offerings that range from skill building in wildlife education to activities in environmental stewardship, astronomy, STEM, imagination exploration, and even the culinary arts. For more information, visit www.girlscouts.org/athome.
Virtual Summer Cooking Camp and Classes
Raddish Kids‘ virtual summer camp themes kick off in mid-June and include “Restaurant Camp,” “Around the World” and “Summer Fun.” The week-long camps are suitable for kids ages 8 – 13.
In addition to its virtual summer cooking camps, Raddish is also offering free recipes and learning activities on its website alongside a free downloadable guide that lets kids create their own in-home cooking camp. They’ll learn key skills such as cracking eggs and kneading dough while they make staple recipes like pizza dough and crepes. Parents can help kids avoid the summer slide with free Raddish Recipe Connections, which teach science, math and literacy as they learn to make a delicious recipe.
Traveling might be limited this summer, but kids and families can still explore the globe from their kitchen through Raddish Kids‘ kits. They introduce kids to other cultures, including Morocco, through flavors, aromas and immersive activities.