Amazon, Apple, and More Offering Virtual Summer Camp Programs for Kids

All the talk may be about heading back to school, but before we get to debates over homeschool pods and virtual classrooms, summer 2020 isn't over for many students -- and families.  

Although many kids are spending their vacation days close to home, they can still enjoy summer camp activities that range from do-it-yourself mini construction projects and exploring opera to reading challenges and crafts. Enter Walmart, Apple and Amazon, among others. These companies, not usually in the business of pitching summer camps, are offering their own versions of virtual summer camps amid the coronavirus pandemic.

AmazonThrough Camp Handmade, customers are provided with arts and crafts workshops, a panel discussion and shop Handmade’s selection of offerings from crafting experts. 

AppleKids can participate in Apple Camp at Home for coding, filming and other workshops provided every week. 

MichaelsCamp Creativity is offering Zoom classes featuring different kids' craft each day. 

Barnes & NobleThe bookstore launched the Summer Reading Program for kids between first and sixth grade. Kids can earn one free book at Barnes and Noble if they read any eight books this summer and record them in this Summer Reading Journal. 

Best BuyThe Geek Squad Academy from Best Buy gives students a chance to develop tech skills with workshops related to gaming, 3D design, photography, and more. 

Book-a-MillionReaders can take on the Summer Reading Challenge by Books-a-Million. Kids must read four books and reports on them for a chance to win a Dog Man Logo baseball cap. 

Book It!Parents must track their kids' reading for the summer (June, July and August) in Book It's digital dashboard. When they meet their monthly reading goal, they will receive a free one-topping Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut.

Half Price BooksThe bookstore is providing reading logs, printable coloring sheets, online story times and mystery book recommendations for ages ranging from preschool to teens. 

H-E-BWith the H-E-B Buddy Reading Club, kids must read 10 books and record them on their reading log. Each time they log a book, have an adult initial by the title so they get credit for reading. Once the log is complete, they can mail the form and receive a free T-shirt. 

The Home DepotExpert associates can help customers take on projects and 

learn how their home works through The Home Depot’s free live-streaming and digital

workshops. Workshops are available for children as well. 

The Met Opera: Kids can get to know the opera through weekly activities. Each week, the Met will publish a new set of activities. 

MicrosoftThe software company is offering participants a "digital passport" and can collect digital badges when they complete a workshop that teaches them about a new country. 

Museum of Art and DesignMAD summer camp and teen workshops are virtual immersions in art and design. MAD’s artist-educators will lead activities and each week, an artist-in-residence from the Museum’s Artist Studios program will welcome participants for a virtual studio visit and lively talk about life as a working artist.

National GeographicThe nature publication intends to re-create camp experiences with eight weeks of at-home activities posted every Wednesday. 

PBSWith Camp PBS KIDS, parents can explore ideas, tips and activities around different themes with PBS KIDS characters. The activities involve arts and crafts, science projects, reading, among others. 

Photo: Getty Images

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