19 Free and Cheap Online Summer Camps in 2021 - Mommy Poppins (2023)

Need to fill a week or two of summer camp this summer? Or, not ready to send the kids back to a full-time day camp? Good news: There are a number of FREE online summer camps from top-notch organizations and nonprofits that still have open weeks!

These virtual camps from the likes of 4-H Club and UNICEF are open to kids all over the US, from Boston to Los Angeles, so kids in cities thousands of miles apart have a chance to meet and connect with kids they might otherwise never have known. We love that most won't cost you a cent and might just help fill a few hours of your kid's day with some really fun summer activities. Find more virtual summer programs in our Camp Directory, or check out our local Summer Camp Guides for in-person options.

1. Virtual 4-H Camp

Grades pre-K through 12
At your own pace
The 4-H Club's online summer camp offers kids a variety of fun learning activities based on the natural world, including animal study, gardening, and the environment, as well as additional resources and gear to help campers continue growing and learning all summer long. The online at-home activity guides provided on the 4-H camp website provide a variety of hands-on projects with free printables and activity guides.

2.Virtual Summer Camp with the NY Library

Ages K – Middle School
Weekly modules at your own pace, but starting June 27
The New York Public Library offers families six weeks of virtual summer camp activities that can be done both at home and in your community. Programs emphasize STEAM learning and literacy skills. The library is also hosting its annual writing contest and summer reading challenge, as well asa number of FREE educational downloads.

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3. Camp Khan Kids

Ages 2-8
Weekly but at your own pace
Every week in July, parents who are signed up for the Khan Academy Kids app (available for smartphones, and tablets) will receive an email with a self-paced schedule of suggested activities for reading, learning, playing, and creating. Families can use what works best for each child, with weekly themes including dinosaurs, space, animal adventures, and more.

4. Camp Khan

Ages 8 and up
At your own pace
Older Khan Academy kids (and newbies) can have their own free math-focused summer, with grade-level programs for grades 3-8 and special math programs in geometry, algebra 1 and 2, and pre-calc.

5.Wide Open School Virtual Summer Camp

Grades pre-K through 12
Weekly, at your own pace
Wide Open School provides camp-like activities and learning support for kids in grades pre-K through 5 and 6 through 12, including plenty of emotional support options and digital citizenship. It also provides printable worksheets to help with planning and scheduling.

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19 Free and Cheap Online Summer Camps in 2021 - Mommy Poppins (1)
Power up with UNICEF Kids. Photo courtesy UNICEF USA.

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6.UNICEFKid Power Virtual Summer Camp

Ages 6-12
At your own pace
Camp@Home with UNICEF Kid Power features 75+ short videos (sports, crafts, cooking, campfire songs, and more) that inspire kids to "press play" on-screen, then go play "off-screen." As kids have fun and learn new skills, they’ll also make a global and local impact because the more they play, the more they unlock donations to help other kids.

7.Microsoft Free Virtual Summer Camps

Grades K-12
At your own pace; new programs daily
Microsoft teams up with Smithsonian Museums to add a little natural history and regular history to the STEM stream. Participants in this online summer camp receive a "digital passport" and can collect digital badges when they complete a workshop—so they can document their summer learning journey with accomplishments as they "travel" through each theme.

8.Camp Wonderopolis

Any age
Ongoing at your own pace
STEM-loving kids will love all there is to explore at this virtual camp run by the National Center for Families Learning. Options include "Mission to Wonder," "Build Your Own Wonder City," and more topics—with skills focused on music, math, health, fitness, and lots of other topics.

19 Free and Cheap Online Summer Camps in 2021 - Mommy Poppins (2)
Hang out with new friends at Camp Bonkers. Photo courtesy Camp Bonkers

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9. Camp Bonkers

Ages 6-12
July 2021 (more details TBD)
Pack your bags, grab the sunscreen, and report to… YouTube!? Camp Bonkers is an irreverent digital twist on summer camp, offering kids a safe and creative space online in the comfort of their own homes. Focused on Roblox, updates for 2021 are still coming—but you can sign up here to stay in the know.

10. Camp Creatology

Ages 4 and up
July 12 – August 6
Crafting store Michaels is hosting weekly activity sessions for kids for four weeks from mid-July to early August. The sessions start at 4pm central and follow a weekly theme, such as yarn or "play with paper."You can download project instructions too and the store, of course, supplies materials lists. Register ahead of time for FREE.

11. Camp OshKosh

Ages 3-10
At your own pace
Molly Simms is cooking up virtual camp activities for kids with the folks at OshKosh B'Gosh, and the result is a curated list of summer fun activities parents can do with younger kids, or older kids can try on their own.

12. NBC Sports Camp

Ages 7-12
Weekly, at your own pace
No more slouching on the couch! A cool roster of excellent coaches (lots of Olympians, including Johnny Weir) teamed up under the auspices of a partnership between NBC and Chelsea Piers in NYC in 2020, and the result is an arena-full of videos designed to get kids up and breaking a sweat. Soccer, basketball, cardio, gymnastics, and sportsmanship all come in to play. It's all available on-demand now for some summer sweat sessions.

13. GoNoodle

Ages 3-10
At your own pace
GoNoodle has a mass of great dance videos curated just for kids. A number of them include downloadable activities, crafts, or lessons to go with the dancing brain break!Check out the "Don't Read Like a Robot" video. Think of these as camp day interstitials, just a little fun break between coding and saving the world.

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14.Girl Scouts Virtual Summer Camp

Ages 4-18
At your own pace and various live sessions
In addition to some very reasonably priced virtual summer camp options, the Girl Scouts' website is packed withactivities for all agesthat can be molded into a summer camp experience. From creating banana boat snacks (pre-K) to creating an underwater museum (grades 11-12), the Girl Scouts have some fun ideas to share. And you don't have to be a Girl Scout to join.

Inexpensive Virtual Summer Camps

15.Camp Kinda

Grades K-8
June 7-August 13 but at your own pace
Camp Kinda sets campers up with 1-2 hours’ worth of activities each day, all connected to a weekly theme. Options range from exploring the weather to jumping into the world’s craziest sports. There’s also ajunior campavailable for ages 3 to 6. The virtual summer camp launched brand-new content for 2021, so if you participated last year, there's no fear of repeats. Just $25 per family to access the entire season of activities.

16. Virtual Camp Kennedy Space Center

Ages 7-10
Three-day sessions:Aug.17-19; Aug.24-26; Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Sign up for a three-daySTEM and space-focused nearly freevirtual camp from the venerable Kennedy Space Center. Kids join Space Center educatorsvia Zoom for hands-on activities and learning that varies by session. Topics include launching, moon landing, deep space, Mars, and plenty of science, physics, and chemistry. After registration, campers receive an activity kit in the mailto use during camp. Kits cost just $65 each; $25 for additional kits.

17.

Grades 2-9
Various summer sessions
Kids can log on to learn Scratch, robotics, and other coding programs with this online summer camp. Programs and pricing vary but one example is a four-day, hourlong Scratch Ninja class that is currently discounted to $84.

18.New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Ages 9 and up
Varies, but starts July 5
This performing arts center is offering a number of weeklong musical theater, poetry, and performance-based virtual camps this summer. Prices start at $75, but there is also a FREE summer camp option for serious teen musicians that begins in August (register by July 1).

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19. Soccer Stars@Home

Ages 3-12
Weekly, begins June 30
Kids can join a weekly soccer session for the whole summer season with the virtual camp from Super Soccer Stars United. Join teammates virtually and coaches will take kids through the day's lesson right at home or wherever they may be camped out this summer. Prices start at $155 for preschoolers for the entire summer season and $180 for the big kids.

Find more virtual camp options, many with live instructors, happening in summer 2021.

A version of this article first ran in 2020 but has since been updated. Additional reporting by Marisa Iallonardo.

FAQs

How much does summer camp in America cost? ›

Rosenberg says that the average cost of summer camp per day in the US is just shy of $180 for day camps and almost $450 for overnight camps.

What is a co ed summer camp? ›

In general, co-ed camps are split into boys' and girls' sides of camp. Bunks do their regular activities together throughout the day and sit together at mealtimes. In addition to bunk activities, evening activities are typically split between all camp activities and girls/boys camp activities depending on the night.

How much is summer camp in Charlotte? ›

UNC Charlotte Summer Camps

Cost: In-person, weeklong camps range in price from $275 to $395.

How much does summer camp cost Canada? ›

Just as the types of camps vary, so too do their fees. In general, traditional overnight camps can cost $300 to $1,000 per week, and day camps will run about $35 to $500 for the same period. This covers access to the camp's facilities, meals, accommodation, medical services and supervision from a trained staff member.

How much is camp keep? ›

-Camp KEEP is scheduled for March 14th-18th, 2022 and is currently going to be held in person. -The cost will be $400. We will, of course, do as much fund-raising as possible.

Why are camps so expensive? ›

Some factors that influence camp price include location, meal services, facilities, transportation, and more. Specialty summer camps, meanwhile which focus on such things as soccer, STEM, or art, are in a league of their own, with costs starting around $270 per week.

How old do you have to be for Camp Canada? ›

We accept participants who will be between 19-30 years old by June 1st. Participants who are 31 - 33 can also apply if they have a Working Holiday Visa. Do I have to be a student to apply? All new applicants for the 2023 summer must be students or intending to study within one year of your travel to Canada.

Do I get paid for Camp Canada? ›

Most staff are hired for 8 - 10 weeks, and paid a minimum of $1500+ CAD for that period. It's all smooth sailing - Camp Canada helps you make sure that you're ready to work in Canada for the summer.

How long does Camp Canada last? ›

How long does camp last? Camp starts in June and ends in August - the specific dates will depend on which weeks your camp is in operation. You'll be at camp between 8-12 weeks, and your work permit will be valid for the duration of your contract.

What grade is camp keep? ›

The Kern Environmental Education Program (KEEP), opened in 1968, provides a five-day residential environmental education program for Kern County's fifth and sixth grade students. Operated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, KEEP's two campuses serve over 7,000 students each year.

What to bring to camp keep? ›

Camera, binoculars, sunscreen, sun glasses, 1 cap/visor for sun protection, backpack, flip-flops or sandals for shower, earplugs if you are a light sleeper, and a watch.

What does the adjective camp mean? ›

Definition of camp

1a : something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing This version of the play is camp: outrageous in concept and wild in its execution with double entendres flying every which way.

How do you become popular at summer camp? ›

Use these ten easy tips to master the art of making friends at camp.
  1. Don't be Afraid to Say Hello. First impressions go a long way. ...
  2. Be Genuine. ...
  3. Ask Open-Ended Questions. ...
  4. Be Open to New Things. ...
  5. Prepare Some Fun Activities. ...
  6. Don't Go Alone. ...
  7. Roleplay. ...
  8. Ask People to do Things.
24 Apr 2018

How old do you have to be to be a camp counselor? ›

Frequently asked eligibility questions. Is there an age limit for summer camp in America? No, there is no upper age limit to work at camp as a counselor. The only age requirement is that you must be 18 by June 1st.

How old do you have to be for camp America? ›

You must be 18 years or over before the 1st June of the summer you want to take part in. This is due to visa and insurance regulations that we must strictly follow. You can still start your application and be interviewed before you turn 18 though!

How long is camp Thailand? ›

At Camp Thailand 12-Day Adventure, you can marvel the sunset during BBQ's on the beach, experience fire shows and take a dip in the crystal pool.

Does Camp America pay you? ›

Your camp will pay you directly as a reward for all your hard work. Camp America will organise and book your flight and make sure you get to camp when needed and help you get back again! Your camp will also pay you directly as a reward for all your hard work and efforts over the summer.

What is Camp American? ›

Camp America is a cultural exchange programme that gives you the chance to spend your summer living and working on a summer camp in the USA. We'll support you from start to finish to make sure you have the experience of a lifetime!

Can I do Camp Canada with a friend? ›

Unfortunately, we are not able to place friends or couples together at the same camp.

Do I need a visa for Camp Canada? ›

IEC visa not required for Camp Canada. All of Camp Canada's international staff members are visa exempt. This means that you can work in Canada this summer, with just a work permit. We know applying for work permits can sound daunting.

How long is USA summer camp? ›

Most Summer Camps start between mid-May and late-June and run for about 9 weeks. You'll spend 9 to 12 weeks out in America as part of your Summer Camp experience.

Why do American kids go to summer camp? ›

They learn amazing skills. From basic camping skills to independence, kids who attend Summer Camp all come away with new skills and knowledge that will help them grow. – Specialised camps are ideal for children with a career in mind.

Is there an age limit for camp America? ›

Before you get started on your Camp America application, take a minute to check that you fit our requirements. If you're not sure about any of them or have any questions, then please get in touch! You must be 18 years or over before the 1st June of the summer you want to take part in.

What is summer camp in USA? ›

A summer camp or sleepaway camp is a supervised program for children conducted during the summer months in some countries. Children and adolescents who attend summer camp are known as campers.

What is the best age for summer camp? ›

What's the Best Age for Camp?
  • 5 or younger. This is too young for overnight camp alone. Go to a family camp together or try a day camp. ...
  • 6 to 8 years old. For young kids, focus on whether your child is ready. ...
  • 9 to 10 years old. If she is excited to go, sign her up. ...
  • 11 and older. If they want to go, let them.
26 Dec 2019

How old do you have to be to be a camp counselor? ›

Frequently asked eligibility questions. Is there an age limit for summer camp in America? No, there is no upper age limit to work at camp as a counselor. The only age requirement is that you must be 18 by June 1st.

Are there summer camps in UK? ›

While summer camps have been around for more than a century in the USA, their popularity in the UK has only started rising over the last four decades. Summer, however, is as popular with kids in the UK as it is anywhere.

Is Kikiwaka a real camp? ›

Camp Kikiwaka is a fictitious summer camp, set near the town of Moose Rump, Maine. It's actual filming location for the Disney sitcom, Bunk'd, is a studio lot in Los Angeles.

Why do parents send kids to summer camp? ›

Camp offers a unique experience to children – the chance to be away from their parents for a short period of time and learn to handle more things on their own. Without parents to step in and assist, or rescue from mistakes, kids develop confidence in their own ability to make decisions and solve problems.

Is 24 too old for Camp America? ›

Is there an age limit for summer camp in America? No, there is no upper age limit to work at camp as a counselor. The only age requirement is that you must be 18 by June 1st.

Can you do AmeriCamp with a friend? ›

The only way to get #plACed with a friend, relative or partner is to attend one of the AmeriCamp Camp Fairs. However, please be aware that this is not guaranteed, as it is the Camp Director's decision to hire more than one person at a time.

Do Camp America pay you? ›

Your camp will pay you directly as a reward for all your hard work. Camp America will organise and book your flight and make sure you get to camp when needed and help you get back again! Your camp will also pay you directly as a reward for all your hard work and efforts over the summer.

How do you do summer camp at home? ›

Summer camp activities are popular ways to keep kids busy during the summer.
...
The following are some of the activities to entertain kids while camping:
  1. Going for a nature walk.
  2. Cooking on a bonfire.
  3. Watching animals.
  4. Tell stories by the fire.
  5. Playing board games.
  6. Make leaf prints.
2 May 2022

What can children do at summer camp? ›

Most summer camps focus on a theme, or incorporate aspects of learning, exploring, character building, and personal growth. If you are looking for fun summer activities for your children, there are many different camp types to consider, such as sports camp, cooking camps, art camps, science camps and many more.

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