What it is: Summer time always seems to be a much-anticipated time for a little rest and relaxation. Over the years I’ve heard from hundreds of parents how much they enjoy the summer months with their kids…until they reach July. This is when the “I don’t know what to do” sets in and boredom can take over. Common Sense Media is here to help with those in-between moments when it is too hot to play outside and you prefer that they do something more meaningful than plop in front of the TV for a few hours. Send them to virtual camp! The virtual camp is a library of apps, games and websites that will help your kids retain all of the skills they built up over the school year and even build some new ones in anticipation of the new school year. Recommendations are broken up by age (2-17) and have been further divided by categories including: Outdoor Exploration, Scavenger Hunt, Arts and Crafts, Campfire Friends, Indoor Activities, and Talent Show. Each recommendation is rated with books. You are looking for 3 books for an engaging, exceptional learning activity!
How to integrate Camp Virtual by Common Sense Media into the classroom: Camp Virtual is a great way to keep kids learning throughout the summer. Parents will be extra appreciative of the recommendations for worth-while and safe places for their kids to play while they are at home. Each activity includes a learner rating and gives a great description of the activity as well as the learning that is tied to it.
Camp Virtual has a guide that can be downloaded and sent home with students at the end of the school year. Too late for that? Send a “hope you are having a wonderful summer” email with the guide and a link to the site.
When the weather is nice, I am a HUGE fan of kids getting out and enjoying experiential learning. However; I know that like all of us, they hit the point of no return when they are hot, tired, crabby and just need a change of activity in a cooler location. These recommendations of games and activities is a great reprieve for those moments!
Tips: I love that at the bottom of each page there are some recommendations for parents to continue the learning beyond the game or activity. Things like “Encourage kids to come up with as many different solutions as they can with each game. Ask them which solutions are most efficient.”
Are you using Camp Virtual? Share your experience in the comments below!