LOOK: 5 virtual summer programs for kids this school break

With what's going on now, our children still can’t go out yet to enjoy this year’s summer. But this doesn’t mean they’ll spend more time watching and playing with their gadgets. Why not enroll them in online summer camps that can make their "quarantine" more memorable and meaningful? Check out these programs that will keep your children busy while staying safe at home.

This little girl turns pages for leisure

1. Book Club

Ages: 4-11

Dates: May 3-28

Make kids read books for leisure this summer. You can have your children join the Book Club of Center for Reading Assessment and Intervention Philippines (CRAIN), which provides a venue for future leaders to express themselves and share their ideas after comprehending books appropriate for their age.

With a team of teachers who are reading intervention specialists that attend to kid’s literature enrichment, CRAIN assures that every session is surely educational and enjoyable. “And to make it more exciting for the younger ones, we have activities like acting and fun games related to the book they read,” said teacher Deana Q. Izon, CRAIN’s center manager.

According to teacher Deana, they have a summer writing program where kids get to write what they think. They offer alternative activities this summer that triggers kids’ imagination, eventually instilling in them a love for reading and writing.

A young boy learns karate online

2. Multi-sports

Ages: 3-12

Dates: May 3-28

Before you give your kids a ball or enroll them in a specific active sports camp, let them discover the sports they love in this multi-sports program organized by Game On Sports PH in partnership with Milo. With sessions learning the basics of basketball, football, rugby, volleyball, muay Thai, karate, penchak silat, and more, children will build a solid foundation in sports and can become all-around athletes.

They can accommodate 10-15 players per age group, where a coach and an assistant will look after the kids’ participation and safety. According to Lia Calingacion, one of the coaches, they make their activities household-friendly as possible. They also find ways for players to interact and get additional practice beyond their schedules. And parents can track their children’s improvement through the coaches' remarks in the report card they provide.

Game On Sports also offers specific sports training, but why invest first in multi-sports? “Aside from discovering their interest, multi-sports, upon our research, helps overall physical conditioning and therefore prevents physical injuries. Also, young athletes develop good coordination, balance, and agility across different sports,” explained Lia.

A kid successfully built a model out of lego bricks

3. STEM Robotics

Ages: 6-12

Dates: May 3 onwards

Want your children to learn while playing? Your kids can do that at the Young Engineers robotics program. But before they get their hands on the lego or lego compatible bricks to form robots, they provide a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) foundation so that they could have an in-depth level of understanding of how the technology works.

Young Engineers conducts lessons in a fun and easy way to help them properly understand how to apply the concepts in the models they’ll build. Also, they use the method of spiral learning where they teach the same context but applying it in more complicated models as they progress.

Esperanza Espino, the CEO and franchise owner of Young Engineers Manila, added that their program also imparts 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, among others, which they can use to become successful innovators someday. “The mindset we instill in our students is to be inventors and scientists in the future, who can put the Philippines on top again in Asia,” she said.

Learning how to play the piano through virtual class

4. Dancing, Singing and Playing Music

Ages: 7-15

Dates: May 10-June 4

Summer is also a perfect time to boost your young artists’ talent in dancing, singing, and playing music. Rediscovering their natural aptitude in Smart Enrichment Hub’s activities could bring more enjoyment while confined at home.

According to Luigi Conti, Smart EHub’s marketing and business development officer, their programs on piano and voice lessons, ballet, and hip-hop keep students more engaged. "And by joining our activities, we make sure that children grow holistically even online. This talent camp ends with a final presentation where friends and relatives here and abroad can watch virtually," he said.

You can have your talented kids enjoy too the benefits of thinking and moving in their sports enrichment classes that include chess, arnis, and kickboxing. Older children can also explore their master classes that offer filmmaking, game design, social media management, and entrepreneurship.

This girl learns to code while at home

5. Coding

Ages: 6-17

Dates: May 17-21

If you can’t get your kids off their gadgets and computers, might as well, have them spend their time on the screen to learn about digital technology and how to do it. You can check the coding virtual class by Junior Academy for Coding Knowledge (JACK) that offers appropriate coding courses that are designed to develop the skills of the students relevant to their age group.

“In our highly digital world, it is imperative to kids to know about coding or how technology works around them,” said JACK’s managing director Kariza Monte Alegre. “Coding teaches the next generation the basic yet valuable skills in problem-solving and logical thinking.”

JACK’s summer program, although virtual, provides hands-on training and project-based learning. They don’t just introduce contexts but also guide future coders to create them. Who knows your “dot com kids” will be the next to design the most downloaded social relevant app, the most played e-games, or the most visited website.