Discover the best virtual summer camps for kids in 2023! As we approach the summer season, we encourage you to look into fun online summer camps for your children to get involved with.

In this post, we will discuss the process of picking the perfect virtual camp for your child and give you some ideas of camps that would be fun to get involved with this summer. You will never believe the limitless options that exist for online summer camps, especially free choices. Don’t wait too long, because these camps have limited openings!

Discover the best online summer camps for kids

We will cover various STEM camps, summer coding camps, free camps, and camps by age bracket. Depending on your child’s interests and age, you will find that certain camps are more suitable than others.

For example, if your child loves coding but does not have prerequisite experience, you would want to pick a camp for their age range where there is no prior knowledge required. Selecting the right camp for your child can be challenging but we are here to help you make the best decision possible! Let’s check out some awesome kids online summer camps.

Explore online STEM summer camps

Check out STEM camps that cover science, technology, engineering, and math.

1. Scratch Ninja Camp

Scratch Ninja is one of the most popular Scratch coding camps with kids and parents alike. It's an entry-level coding camp that teaches kids essential computer science concepts with an easy to understand drag-and-drop coding language designed by MIT. What's unique about it is that very quickly kids are able to create cool animations and games. This small-group camp is led live by an expert using an inquiry-based instruction style, and hand-on projects that unleash a world of creativity. Students not only begin their coding journey in a collaborative environment, but also build their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

For grades: 2-5 (for younger students K-1 try Scratch Junior, and for older students in grades 6+ try Accelerated Scratch)

Reviews: “These virtually taught camps are so engaging, my son really enjoys them and is so excited to show us the coding projects he has completed on all 3 levels of Scratch Ninja.”

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor. There's even a free intro camp so your child can give the subject a try!

2. NASA STEM Camp

From Mars and aliens, to galaxies and rockets, space fascinates many kids and adults alike, and is the source of powerful imaginations. In this series of classes, your kids will learn a wide range of topics related to space science, NASA, and practice other STEM skills. All classes are project based to encourage curiosity and develop problem solving skills. In each session, they will learn cool new things about space and science, then build small projects and play games sometimes to make it fun and strengthen the learning.

For grades: 1-4

Reviews: "This camp did an excellent job teaching a breadth of fun and relatable space topics. My son loved it."

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor.

3. Atom Secrets & The Periodic Table of Elements

Join a fun and engaging introduction to the fields of Chemistry and Quantum Physics! The Atom Secrets Camp explores atoms, subatomic particles and the Periodic Table of Elements, over four 50-minute sessions meeting Monday-Thursday. The course introduces students to 54 atomic elements, while exploring advanced concepts such as electron orbitals, covalent and ionic molecular bonds, and the structural organization of the Periodic Table.

For grades: 2-6

Reviews: "I dare say this was my son’s favorite class ever! Wonderfully knowledgeable teacher. Excellent communication and materials."

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 50 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor. The course materials include 54 full-color cartoon Atom Flash Cards, emailed to students as printable PDFs, designed by Pixar animation artist Glenn Kim (whose film credits include The Incredibles, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc). A full-color illustrated Periodic Table of Elements is also provided. In addition, Review Handouts are provided for each class session. These printable resources are included with course registration.

4. Minecraft Modding Camp

Minecraft is one of the most popular games in the world! So why not learn coding by using the game you already love as a platform? In this cool camp you get to learn core coding concepts, while building cool structures, spawning animals, mini-games, and even multiplayer experiences. In the free intro session you'll save a village. With an inquiry-based learning approach led by a live expert, your student will have fun while building lifelong skills.

For grades: 2-5

Reviews: "My son loves the coding camps offered by Create & Learn. Small groups and lots of attention. The instructor is a wonderful teacher. My son has learned so much about coding and making his own games. He always looks forward to his next [camp]."

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor.

Discover free virtual summer camps

Explore free virtual camps that your child can try to explore technology and computer science.

5. Coding with Roblox Camp

Create your own Roblox world and games using Roblox Studio with coding. Through a combination of configuring and scripting, your child will create their own game world using a built-in 3D design tool and coding the interactions with the world. The Roblox camp starts with simple coding concepts such as loop and conditional to get students familiar with text-based coding, and gradually goes deeper to more advanced concepts such as variables, arrays, and more.

For grades: 4-8

Reviews: “I am very impressed with Create and Learn. The teacher is wonderful and is so patient with my son. Thank you for a great experience!“

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor. There's even a free intro camp that features one 55-minute session so your child can give the subject a try!

6. Minecraft Code to Mod Camp for Teens & Tweens

Learning to code games, stories, and cool buildings, and find out how to bring them to life in Minecraft. Students will master important programming concepts like function, loop, variable, just to name a few, taking a big step forward toward developing computer science skills. Students will also learn more advanced modding techniques in Minecraft and build both single player and multi-play games.

For grades: 5-9

Reviews: "My son tried the free class for Minecraft and loved it. We decided to sign him up for the summer camp and he looks forward to the class every week. The teacher is awesome and she makes it fun!"

How it works: The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor. The free introduction class includes one 55-minute session.

7. Intro to Python Camp

This free Python coding camp is a great starting place for teens who've already done some prior coding, such as Scratch coding. In this small-group camp, students take their first dive into coding with a real-world programming language. Students will see how to animate and draw with Python, and will build their own story project to create a cool animation!

For ages: 10+

Reviews: "The teacher was very clear in his expression and provided help when the students needed it. The content of this Python class series looks attractive to me. After the class I asked my kid's feeling about the class, who told me it was so much fun. I will consider registering for a camp or online course."

How it works: Camps are offered daily, weekly, and bi-weekly. Just pick the time that works best for your schedule, and then log into the Zoom to enjoy the class.

Bonus: Meta's Engineer for the Week with Create & Learn

Have fun learning how to code, and design your own project in Scratch for social good in this free camp! Meta’s Engineer for the Week (EFTW), designed by Meta team for students ages 11-18, introduces learners to the power of STEM and provides a pathway for them to create real impact in their communities. Students have fun learning beginner-friendly coding and build a final project for a social issue they care about. Plus, they'll get their project reviewed by Meta employees, and receive a Certificate of Completion!

For ages: 11-18 and we are especially excited to serve historically underrepresented learners in STEM who identify as Black, LatinX, Native/Indigenous, Female-Identifying, and students who are in low-income communities. No prior coding experience is needed.

Reviews: "We had never used Scratch before, which was the platform we had to make the game. Seeing the growth in me and my team members and being able to witness such a change in a short period of time was really really astronomical for me."

How it works: The live online class program includes 15 hours of fun learning and hands on coding/game creation. Just enroll at the time that works for you, and look out for the Zoom via email.

8. National Geographic At-Home Camps - Build a Tent

National Geographic’s camps are family-based and allow students to explore their creativity from home for free. The Build a Tent camp has students build a tent from materials they find at home to foster the ideas of design and engineering.

For ages: 6+

Reviews: Large collection of approachable, fun multimedia resources about animals, habitats, countries, and cultures.

How it works: Log into the National Geographic site and begin the steps with your child to design their tent.

9. #CampYoutube

Youtube has compiled tons of videos regarding STEM that are free for families to use.

For ages: 6+

Reviews: The #CampYoutube experience caters to children of all ages, even prompting you for content if you have kids above 13 years old.

How it works: Pick a STEM camp that you are interested in and start watching the youtube playlist! Your child can go through the activities with you at their own pace.

Online summer camps for elementary students

Here are some popular virtual camps for kids in grades K-5.

10. Budding Digital Artist

In this series of classes, kids learn a wide range of digital art topics and basic techniques so your child will get a chance to try many different things. In each of these hands-on activities, we guide students to observe and understand the artist elements in life such as patterns and symmetry, explore emotions and feelings, and learn about art basics such as color palettes. Do art with AI, make your own emojis, learn color theory, paint with music, and much more.

For grades: 1-4

Reviews: "My kid had so much fun. She loved making the comic!"

How it works: Camps are offered weekly. Just pick the time that works best for your schedule, and then log into the Zoom to enjoy the class, of four sessions of 55-minutes each.

11. Junior Hackers: Internet Safety

Learn all about computer security and how to use the internet safely. Do your children know what information they should or shouldn't show on social media or video games? When students join this introductory class they'll explore a wide range of topics related to computer security, modern computers, and the Internet. This will be the most exciting cybersecurity class for kids with real-world applications, delivered through a combination of project and inquiry-based learning. We'll enjoy fun videos, games, and security tools, as well as building projects of our own.

For grades: 2-5

Reviews: "My daughter had fun learning ways to be safer online, and that helps me feel better, too! Engaging teacher. Highly recommend."

How it works: Camps are offered weekly. Just pick the time that works best for your schedule, and then log into the Zoom to enjoy the class, of four sessions of 55-minutes each.

12. Smart Devices for Kids Camp

We are surrounded by electronics: smartphones, computers, TVs, robots, and more! While lots of students have learned to code, few have had the opportunity to build a physical system, which opens up a brand new world. In this virtual camp, students are introduced to circuit and Arduino, one of the most popular single-board devices. This small group camp is a great way to learn all about coding smart devices!

For grades: 4-6

Reviews: “Cutting-edge programs and excellent teachers”

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor.

13. Coding with Kids’ Little Coders Camp

From learning basic computer skills to making animations, there's sure to be an option your child will love. These weekly camps are five days each week for one to three hours. And include instruction on Java and more.

For ages: 5-7

Reviews: “We had a great experience with Coding with Kids. Gave us all the help we needed leading up to the camp so my son was prepared.”

How it works: Our Little Coders camp is an opportunity for young children to develop their computational thinking skills, build their first programs, and have fun with new friends!

Online summer camps for middle school students

14. CalColor Academy Design and Illustration camps

Discover the most beloved kids art camps! CalColor Academy is the largest professional art school in Silicon Valley, with 5 campuses, serving 1700+ students. They encourage and nurture creativity in all of their classes covering subjects such as character illustration, family portraits, virtual reality, how to set up your own online art store, and much more.

For grades: 4-9

Reviews: “Both my kids love their teachers. CalColor offers a wide variety of projects and the teachers are highly qualified artists and passionate for art, and most importantly, very good at working with young kids. We love seeing their class projects every week and the progress they’ve made as young artists.”

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 5 sessions of 180 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor.

15. Python for AI Camp

Explore more advanced programing elements of Python such as dictionaries and files, and learn how to employ Python’s powerful modules to build games, stories and real-world data projects. This Python coding camp for teens is led live by an expert, and was designed using real-world applications that make the material very fun.

For ages: 10-18

Reviews: "I'm so glad we signed up. This class was so much fun."

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor. There's even a free intro camp so your child can give the subject a try!

16. Mobile Coding for Apps

Every year, billions of apps are downloaded to mobile phones. However, building high-quality mobile apps has been beyond reach to younger coders. But not any more! In this camp students learn event-driven programming and how to create fun mobile apps from scratch. Students will also practice their computational thinking skills and do a deeper dive into Computer Science concepts such as loops, events, conditional logic, and much more. The camp uses a block based programming platform, however, the coding concepts and environment are very sophisticated.

For grades: 4-7

Reviews: "Our teacher was wonderful and so supportive. She moved at a great pace and was very knowledgeable. My daughter had a great time! Thank you!"

How it works: Students sign up for the camp, which includes 4 sessions of 55 minutes each. The sessions are delivered live via Zoom video with an expert instructor.

17. TechKnowHow Online LEGO® Engineering Camps

Join an enjoyable online experience in LEGO® engineering.

For ages: 5-17

Reviews: “This is by far the best coding program! My kids learned a lot in their coding camps and developed further interest in coding. They ran the camps in a way that the kids were completely independent, not needing my help.”

How it works: Enjoy teacher-led Zoom STEM sessions. Three days for an hour each day.

Online summer camps for high school students

Looking for a fun way to challenge your high schooler this summer? Here are a few summer camps for designing apps and games.

18. Java Primer with Android Camp

This Java class is focused on getting results and building the type of skill set that will enable further exploration in Java. Master the language you need to know for the AP exam. Students will learn the basics of Java syntax, before moving on to mastering important programming concepts such as ArrayLists and Object-Oriented Programming and building fun projects. Plus, learn advanced Java concepts such as 2-D Arrays and Sets, and create games and Android apps for their games.

For grades: 6-12

Reviews: "Great instructor."

How it works: This Java for kids camp is 4 classes focused on getting results, and building the type of skill set that will enable further exploration in Java. Each class session actively engages students in developing real-world programs. Students will not just be learning about concepts, but also applying them to actual solutions. The small class size of just two to three students max, means that students will receive the kind of individualized attention and support that is so critical to success in computer science.

19. Unity Game Development Camp

Unity is the most popular game engine in the world, and is behind many of the most popular games such as Crossy Road, Among Us, Angry Birds, and a lot more. It has also become a powerful tool for VR and AR development. This series of Unity camps teaches high school students the core techniques of developing both 2D and 3D games in Unity. It covers a wide range of topics from character control, coding (in C#), to asset management, all in a small group setting led by a live expert instructor.

For grades: 6-12

Reviews: "Both the course and the teacher are beyond EXCELLENT! My son is truly inspired! This topics is quite complex and advanced, and the teacher has made it really fun and easily comprehensible."

How it works: This camp runs across 8 sessions of 70 minutes per session. It's held live online via Zoom video, and led by an expert instructor. There are just two to three students max in the camp, so you will enjoy a semi-private experience.

20. Computer Science Principles

In this Computer Science Principles camp, we introduce students to a wide range of important fundamental topics in computer science such as binary, encryption, networking, and more. It is a great step for learning more about system and architectural aspects of computers.

Developed by expert AP computer science educators, the class also meets the requirements for the APCSP exam as defined by the College Board. APCSP is a fairly manageable  exam to pass for high school, and even middle school, students who have done a couple of years of coding and have a solid foundational understanding about computer science principles.

For grades: 6-12

How it works: This camp runs across 12 sessions of 70 minutes per session. It's held live online via Zoom video, and led by an expert instructor.

How to pick the best virtual summer camp

To get started, here are a few tips to help you select the right virtual summer camp for your child.

  1. Match your child’s interests.
  2. See what their friends are going to.
  3. Ensure instructors are good.
  4. Be sure the curriculum uses the inquiry-based learning method.
  5. Make sure it’s live!
  6. Check prerequisite requirements.
  7. Look into the tech requirements.
  8. Read reviews of past experiences.

Here are more ideas to help you pick a summer camp.

Join the best virtual summer camps for kids and teens

Now you know tons of summer camps to engage your student in STEM concepts and computer science. Hopefully you found the right fit for your child. Save their spot quickly, as many camps are filling up.

If you're still not sure where to begin, Scratch Ninja, designed by experts from Google, Stanford, and MIT is an excellent place for elementary and middle school students. We'd highly recommend high school students begin with the Advanced Scratch camp.

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Written by Lauren Mauel, a Create & Learn instructor with 8 years of teaching experience. She also has a BS in Mathematics, an MS in Analytics, and is a PhD candidate. She loves seeing kids' creativity come alive.