Updated on 6/12/20 to include Cratejoy's Summer Camp!
Summer camp is a magical time for learning through play, for crafting and creating, and for the source of fond memories that often stick with us well into adulthood! If your kids (and, let's be honest, you as a parent or caregiver) are bummed that summer camp is canceled this season, we have good news for you. Some of your favorite kids subscriptions are offering an at-home camp experience filled with science experiments, art projects, and other fun activities, making campers out of your kiddos even while they hang at home. These special edition subscriptions are intended to keep your young ones busy for a few hours at a time, for a week straight, by providing them with fun challenges and new skills. And, to make lunchtime easy for all you parents-turned-camp-counselors, visit this list of the best meal kits for kids and families!
Curious about online learning materials for keeping your kids busy? Check out our article featuring the best free learning apps for kids.
Kids Subscription Boxes Offering At-Home Summer Camps
The Cost: Videos, printables, and DIY activity how-tos are available to all for free. Physical crates containing more activities cost $24.95 per box, or $99.95 for a full week (5 days) of boxes. Buy your boxes here!
KIWI CAMP Start Date: June 22, 2020. Four weeks worth of content will be available on that date and accessible through the summer. Sign up to save your spot!
About KiwiCo: KiwiCo carries eight monthly crates targeted toward kids (adults) of every age. Each monthly box is filled with all the materials needed for your kid to complete 2-3 age-appropriate DIY projects to encourage learning through play, and as they grow and mature, through science, experiments, and problem-solving.
About KiwiCo's Camp Boxes: As a separate offering from their monthly subscriptions, KiwiCo is holding a virtual summer camp for free! Their innovative team has designed four weeks of five-day sessions all centered on different themes. Anyone at all can access the DIY activity ideas, fun educational videos, exciting printables, and more online. But, for those wanting even more developed summer programs for their children can purchase any or all of the coordinating boxes filled with camp activities. If you're already subscribed to one or more of KiwiCo's monthly crates, some of the boxes may look familiar. If you're new to this company, here's an idea of what to expect from their high-quality crates:
- Koala Camp (for kids ages 3-4) provides preschoolers with a week of fun adventures and introductory science ideas. Topics covered are colors, music, birds & nature, experiments, and camping.
- Kiwi Camp (for kids ages 5-8) is a discovery day camp, taking children through concepts like arcades, flight of all types, the deep sea, building DIY launchers, and science & biology in sports.
- Atlas Camp (for kids ages 6-11) sends kids on an around-the-world excursion right from their living room with exciting lessons about the continents and specific countries including India, Brazil, Australia, and Thailand.
- Tinker Camp (for kids ages 9+) is an out-of-the-box STEAM experience, covering hands-on explorations into robotics, hydraulics, stop-motion movies, tinker toys, and constellations & comets.
Here are some sample projects you can look forward to seeing:
Plan Ahead: KiwiCo advises that crates typically take 4-10 days to get from their warehouse to your home, so be sure to order ahead!
Shipping: Ships to the US for free, Canada for $3.95 per month, and worldwide from $4.95-$6.95.
We review some of KiwiCo's regular subscription boxes each month! Check out our KiwiCo reviews to learn more about the monthly subscription.
The Cost: $150.65 for the World Edition kit, $155.70 for the Science Junior kit. Buy your box here!
Summer Camp in a Box Start Date: June 15, 2020. You can purchase your box now, but shipments begin on June 15. Your child can start their summer camp experience as soon as it arrives! Buy your box here.
About Little Passports: Little Passports was founded by two moms who wanted to expose kids to the world from a young age. It's a globally-inspired educational subscription for curious kids. Each month, the boxes focus on a different culture around the world and within the US by way of papercraft projects, reading, and other fun activities. Choose from Early Explorers (ages 3 to 5), World Edition (ages 6 to 10), or USA Edition (ages 7 to 12). They also have a Science Expeditions box (ages 9+) focused entirely on science experiments, and a new Science Junior box (ages 5 to 8) to try as well.
About the Little Passports Summer Camp Boxes: Little Passports has condensed their monthly subscription experience into two fun and age-inclusive options for stay-at-home summer camp! Each day camp is 6 days duration, with 3-4 hours of activity per day. Here are some of the details:
- Science Junior (for ages 5-8) is a series of STEM kits that takes your child through kitchen science experiments on the topics of Weddell Seals, Volcanoes, Sound & Music, Chimpanzees, Deep Sea Exploration, and Wetlands. The activities come in the Little Passports signature green backpack and are rounded out with stickers, trading cards, badges, comics, and an online component for supplemental ideas.
- World Edition (for ages 6-10) takes kids on a virtual trip around the globe and to specific countries including Brazil, Japan, France, Egypt, and Australia. Activities come in the Little Passports signature blue suitcase and explorations are guided by cute characters Sam and Sofia. In addition to a play passport and wall map come fun extras like squishable stuffed animals, collectible coins, and additional online activities and printables.
Take a look at some example projects you can expect from Science Junior:
And, here are some example projects you can expect from the World Edition:
Plan Ahead: Little Passports offers standard shipping. If you want to receive your summer camp kits ASAP, be sure to order ahead of time! The first boxes will begin to ship on June 15.
Shipping: Ships to the US for free, Canada for $1.50-$18, and select other countries (AU, HK, IL, JP, NZ, SG, KR) for $2.50-$30. Additional customs fees may apply for international shipping.
We review the regular Little Passports subscription each month! Check out our Little Passport reviews to learn more about the monthly subscription.
The Cost: $149.95-$159.95 for a set of two boxes. Buy your boxes here!
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 20% off your first box!
Summer Camp in a Box Start Date: June 1, 2020. In other words, the boxes are available now! Buy your boxes here.
About Club Scikidz: Club Scikidz offers monthly boxes featuring science and technology experiments and DIY projects. Each box comes with the materials needed to complete 3 experiments, a coordinating activity manual, a tech build, a nature project, science-themed quotes and riddles, opportunities to learn about notable scientists, and elements of science fiction.
About the Club Scikidz Summer Camp in a Box: The summer camp experiences offered by Club Scikidz—and there are a whopping 14 pairings to choose from!—come with 2 kits that share a theme. Choose the box duo that matches your kid's current interests and look forward to hours of education-based fun. These kits are recommended for ages 6+, though younger children may enjoy them if adults are prepared to be very hands-on. If you're already a Club Scikidz monthly subscriber, some may look familiar to you.
Here are examples of the themes you'll find among the Summer Camp in a Box selections, and just a small list of projects that come inside:
- Build an FM Radio Box + Sound of Music Box — The FM Radio-building box includes an electronics project, and is great for teaching your kid science vocabulary, whereas the Sound of Music box guides children through building homemade instruments and exploring the sounds they make.
- Spooky Science Box + The Coming Zombie Apocalypse! Box — Bats! Homemade artificial blood! DIY slime with phosphorescent powder! The Spooky Science box is all about sci-fi experiments. The Coming Zombie Apocalypse box combines science and play with a survival compass craft, a build-your-own survival kit project, and more.
- The Climate Change Box + Weather on the Wild Side Box — The Climate Change box teaches kids about greenhouse gases, engages them in a tree-themed nature project, and teaches them how to engineer a solar night light. The Weather on the Wild Side box helps them learn how to ID cloud types, teaches them how to create lightning in their mouth, and gives step-by-step instructions on how to make frost. See our review of the Weather on the Wild Side box here.
Plan Ahead: You can purchase your kits now and expect to start summer camp as soon as it arrives, but if you're coordinating multiple schedules, you may want to plan your kids' camp days using the free downloadable summer camp planner for 2020!
Shipping Notes: When you purchase your boxes, it will look like you're signing your kid up for an in-person camp (you'll see terms like "tuition" and "Who is attending?" and the request to virtually sign a waiver), but there is no in-person component of this experience. There is, however, contact-free local pickup available in certain locations.
Accessibility: Per the Club Scikidz website: "If needed, a full set of supporting videos is provided, and can be accessed with a personal code." Call 678-493-5651 to coordinate.
Check out our Club Scikidz Labs reviews to learn more about the monthly subscription!
Cratejoy Summer Camp Dates: June 22-26, 2020. Buy your boxes here.
About Cratejoy: Cratejoy is an expansive subscription box marketplace that hosts information about hundreds of subscription boxes, customer ratings and reviews, and a safe platform to sign up with any available discounts. You've probably seen MSA linking to boxes through Cratejoy a lot!
About Cratejoy Summer Camp: Cratejoy has curated a 5-day summer camp experience for kids ages 6-12. These full-day camps are comprised of a morning virtual component and an afternoon activity-driven portion using the experiments, crafts, and educational projects contained in kids subscription box from 5 different companies. Each day comes fit with a bonus virtual Get Fit session, encouraging kids to stay active and healthy
- Morning session: Open to everyone, free of charge. This will include online classes run by expert chefs, educators, scientists, and more. It will also include a Get Fit session to encourage healthy movement for your kiddos! Sign up here.
- Afternoon session: This is the paid portion of the camp. When you buy the 5 boxes included in the $165 price of the summer camp Activity Bundle, you'll receive the boxes listed below. You'll also be emailed access to 5 bonus afternoon classes led by experts.
Science & Community: Save the Oceans with kid-friendly marine biology activities from Club SciKidz Labs.
Arts & Crafts: Explore STEAM-themed arts and crafts projects like making DIY Grass-Head Caterpillar with Curiosity Box Kids.
Culinary Arts: Make 7 campfire-ready recipes with the provided instructions and kitchen tool that comes in Little Sous.
Technology: Creation Crate sends two build-your-own engineering projects around sustainable energy for as part of their 2-in-1 Green Energy Kit.
The Arts: Learn how to draw a unicorn (plus a surprise guided drawing project!) with teacher-approved art supplies from Guide Dots.
Plan Ahead: Since Cratejoy's Summer Camp runs on specific dates (technically your kids can explore the activity boxes anytime, but to align with the virtual component for 5 full days of camp, you'll have to plan for June 22-26), you'll want to order your Activity Bundle ASAP! Available while supplies last.
Shipping: Free! Cratejoy has extended their sign-up deadline, but it does not guarantee June 22 delivery, so order ASAP.
The Cost: Free! The lessons are available online and to download as a PDF. The coordinating printables require access to a printer. Subscribe here!
About Start With a Book: This free resource encourages parents and caretakers to be hands-on with their child's learning by identifying topics that make their kiddo come alive, and taking the initiative to teach them through reading, DIY-ing, and in-person discovering of that topic. The Start With a Book website hosts an incredible amount of information for guiding carers to utilize the library with their kids, practice reading aloud, have conversations about what they're learning, and more.
About the Start With a Book Summer Science: Start With a Book emphasizes summer learning, and goes into detail about why here. Their summer camp options offer exciting book-based learning on the topics of space, the outdoors, and more. Each topic includes 5 days worth of materials. Use them all in a row to fill a week with learning, or have scheduled camp days once per week for a longer duration. The books around which each of these virtual camps are designed are available via free PDFs—you can print them so your child can have the reading materials in front of them, or simply download the document and let them fulfill their screen time for the day in an educational way.
- Space Rangers! (for ages 6-10) invites kids to learn about stars and constellations, the solar system, the moon and Apollo 11, Mars, and space exploration through three free-to-download books, coordinating conversation topics, and printable activities.
- River Rangers! (for ages 6-10) offers the option for children to explore rivers around the nation or specific to the DC Metro area. Each covers how rivers are formed, rivers as habitats, ways people use rivers, how we come to drink clean water, and protecting our water. Both include three free downloadable books, conversation topic ideas for parents and caretakers, and print-out activities.
- DIY Science Camp is a way for adults to tailor their kids' summer science learning to topics that interest them. Example topics include being an inventor, flight, the weather, the night sky, archaeology, and bees. Each of these topics comes with five activities such as recipes, printable activities, crafts, and, of course, recommended books.
- Literacy in the Sciences for those seeking guidance on how to teach their kids through day-to-day play, rather than a structured summer session, Start With a Book also offers resources teaching adults how to help their kids make predictions as they read, notice patterns and practice categorization, record observations, prepare for making the most of field trips, and more.
Plan Ahead: Start With a Book recommends that parents read through the summer lessons ahead of time so they can best support their child through reading and learning.
Shipping: This summer camp doesn't ship anything—it's all online and available to print at home for free!
Would you like to see us review Start With a Book? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more monthly subscription boxes for kids?
There are plenty to choose from. Start here:
- The Best Subscription Boxes for Kids
- The Best Toddler Subscriptions
- The Best Art Subscription Boxes for Kids
- The Best Subscription Boxes for Teens - Voted by our Readers
Do you think you'll try one of these summer camp kids subscriptions? Let us know in the comments which one looks best suited to your child!