Camper follows a digital guide to create a LEGO EV3 Mindstorm robot using LEGO building blocks and components that control robot movement.
Camper learning to build a LEGO EV3 Mindstorm humanoid robot

Summer is the ultimate vacation for school-aged kids. They get to take a break from school and spend time with friends. However, parents know that being away from school in the summer can have a substantial effect on your elementary school children. While it is good for them to get some time away from school to relax and refresh for the next school year, it can also have a negative effect on what they remember and the social skills they developed from the last school year.

Parents can reduce learning loss, while also providing a chance to learn new skills and keep your child socially engaged with their peers, by signing your child up for summer activities, such as on-site camp or online programs. These are some of the must-try summer camp activities for elementary school students. 

Makerspace

Makerspace Project: Light-up Baby Yoda

Makerspaces are a popular way of helping kids learn in an interactive environment. They grew out of the need for schools to go beyond the traditional classroom and provide more interactive ways to help students learn. Schools and enrichment programs are expanding their STEAM offerings by creating makerspaces, hands-on labs and workshops where kids are given resources to build projects around a specific theme or subject. Students are encouraged to develop their own strategies and approaches for solving the challenge, with minimal guidance or restrictions.

The whole goal of makerspace is to present kids with opportunities to solve problems their way and provide them the needed materials to make their ideas come to life. Kids love the fully interactive and mostly self-led nature of makerspace. They get a fun experience where they can form their own strategies, design and build a project using their own ideas and plans. It is a much more flexible way to facilitate education than a traditional classroom.

While makerspaces are gaining popularity within the public school system, there are still many schools without makerspace labs. Schools are partnering with enrichment providers like KidzToPro to offer on-site makerspace programs. These programs provide a hands-on experience and let kids explore under the guidance of a skilled program leader. The experience is not only engaging and fun, it will help keep the learning gains from the previous school year and prepare your child for the upcoming school year.

Makerspace camps also allow kids to practice fundamentally important skills. Critical thinking, teamwork, leadership, communication, planning, and project management skills can be developed. Participants often work in groups, with guidance from instructors in bringing their vision to life.

Enroll your child in a makerspace summer camp and allow them to explore a variety of topics, such as vehicles and structural engineering or games and toys, with limited restrictions and plenty of resources. Camps are available for kids ages pre-k to 11.

Game Design and Coding

Group of 3rd grade students learning Scratch coding & game design

Game design and coding are becoming increasingly important in education. Technology is at the center of every major industry. Nearly every job involves technology on some leveI – understanding the basics and logic of coding improves the chances of being successful at a job. As well, there is a rapidly growing demand for game design skills. These skills are valuable not only within the games industry, but provide value in app development, architecture, graphic design, manufacturing and other industries. Give your child the chance to learn coding and game design now and get ahead of the curve. 

There is an ongoing debate in the academic community regarding when kids should begin to learn to code. Coding, in its most basic form, is a method of problem-solving complex problems. Professional coders and engineers believe that coding teaches kids how to think through problems in both logical and creative ways, and provides an appreciation for how things work. If learning to code can teach kids new problem-solving skills and provide a method for practicing those skills, then it is something worth investing time in every day.

Game design is about creating an imaginary game world and bringing it to life. Game design turns children into creators. Popular video games like Minecraft and Roblox allow kids to design their own games and experiences in a fun and exciting manner. It can also be a great introduction to coding.

Fortunately, coding and game design programs have become more accessible to kids of younger ages. There are many fun activities that kids can enjoy that involve coding, including learning Scratch and robotics (few things bring kids more enjoyment than being able to create a robot that is capable of many fun and entertaining movements). Alongside coding, learning game design can be an entertaining, challenging, and engaging way to teach kids about future job skills.

Structural Engineering

When people think of structural engineering, they probably don’t think of elementary school-age kids. However, it is possible to teach the fundamentals of structural engineering at an early age. Rather than being taught how to able to calculate complex equations, kids learn about what makes a good design and how structural designs work, through hands-on projects.  

Learning about structural engineering at an early age teaches more than just science and math to kids. It serves as a way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills with a hands-on application of the subject. Kids learn structural engineering best through building things such as a humanoid robot with LEGO. The hands-on activity trains motor skills and helps them learn to address problems with a process so that they can more easily handle tough situations. There is also a major focus on design thinking, specifically how to form ideas and how to put them to the test in safe and engaging ways. Subtly, campers also learn about project management and how to coordinate processes to reach the end result that they want. 

Although engineering can be tough for younger children, being challenged does not mean that the activities are not enjoyable. Throughout the process, campers are continually challenged to find the best answer to structural problems and to come up with solutions on their own. It requires a lot of effort in putting possible solutions together and thinking about problems in a rational way. Your children will love the experience and begin using those skills in their daily lives. 

Sports

KidzToPros Soccer Camp
On-site Soccer Camp for kids ages 7 to 14 years old

Sports camps have been a constant in our lives for years and for good reasons. Through sports, your children can learn a variety of critical skills that are important to their social development. These skills can include leadership, teamwork, strategy, and sportsmanship. Parents believe that playing sports can be the foundational event that shapes their kids for the rest of their lives. The research into the effect of sports on child development supports the idea that sports can fundamentally shape who kids grow up to be.

Sports camps have been a go-to option for parents for decades. Not only do they teach skills that parents value, but they are fun for kids as well. Many kids willingly choose sports camps for the fun of it without realizing that they are going to learn other skills in the process. Take advantage of this and enroll your child in a sports camp that will make everyone happy. There are plenty of options to choose from, and many camps integrate sports into their programs in some way. For younger children, this can be a benefit since it gives them a break from doing physical activities all day.

Finding the Right Camp for Your Kids

Finding the right camp for your kids is a matter of research (location, offerings, ages) and importantly knowing your child’s interests and passions. Finding a camp that will accommodate their interests will help your child stay engaged and excited about the opportunity. If chosen well, you can ensure that your child has a positive experience and a strong learning experience all at the same time. 

If you are looking for a summer camp to enroll your child in, then consider partnering with KidzToPros. We offer a broad array of STEM, Sports and Arts camps that are designed to give your child the chance to develop new skills in a fun, supportive and safe environment. We have camps for multiple age groups from 4 to 14. For younger elementary school kids, we offer camps that combine several focus areas, such as Makerspace and Play It All Sports. For grades 2 to 5, KidzToPros offers both combination camps and camps focused on a single subject (but still provide time for free play). Check out camps near you and enroll your elementary school kids in a program they’ll love!