Here is my list of 2013 summer camps for Newport News, VA. I have heard good things about them all, but the ones I expand on are ones I have personal experience with.
- Camp Invention (at Christopher Newport University) - My kids have attended this camp for the last 7 years and have loved it. My son has aged out, but my daughter will attend. I love it because it encourages them to think outside the box, while inventing — and they love it. They come home wanting to take everything apart and create new things. For kids who have aged out of Camp Invention, Menchville High School’s award winning FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, Triple Helix, holds their Robo Camp at the same time at Christopher Newport University. It’s nice to have something for the older and younger children at the same time and same location.
- Triple Helix Robo Camp (at Christopher Newport University) – is run by Menchville High School’s award winning FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, Triple Helix. The funds from this camp support the Triple Helix FRC Team. As a FIRST Lego League (FLL) team coach, I have looked into the costs of running an FRC team and its huge. The Robo Camp uses LEGO Mindstorm robotics.
- The Governor’s School for Science and Technology Summer Camps – include various computer and science camp offerings. Last year a new robotics camp was added and it is put on by the NASA Knights FRC team, another award winning FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team.
- VMASC Summer Camps – are held at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center in Suffolk, VA. They offer a 3DModeling camp, game development camps, and robotics camps.
- VA Air and Space Museum Summer Camps
- Chesapeake Experience Kayak Camps – both my kids attended kayak camps last summer and both loved it. My daughter, who was skeptical, only signed up for the 2-day camp and wished she had done the whole week camp. This year they both wanted to do the week long camps. The camps fill up quickly, so hurry if you are interested.
- Virginia Living Museum Summer Camps
- Jamestown 4-H Camp – another outdoorsy camp we are considering. Kids spend the week away from home at the Jamestown 4-H Educational Center.
- PFAC Summer Art Ventures - Go to the bottom of this PFAC page to see the list of all the Summer Art Ventures camps. These are 1/2 day camps. My kids are especially interested in the clay camps. They have attended other camps here before and really enjoyed them.
- Starving Artist Studio Art Camp – TBA. My daughter attended this camp last year and really enjoyed it. The summer camp information has yet to be posted.
- Hampton Roads Academy Summer Programs
- William and Mary Summer Enrichment Program
- The folks at Chesapeake Experience Kayak Camps sent me this information about the Seaford Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program. I thought it might be worth mentioning, although I have no experience with this camp.
Here is my running list of websites that have wonderful STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) activities & projects for kids:
Want to get your child’s building and engineering juices flowing? Try these wonderful books. I, personally, own each one of these books and use them with my own kids.
Steven Caney’s Ultimate Building Book is one of the best ever building books for kids. It uses very accessible building materials such as q-tips, newspaper, pasta, cardboard, straws, sugar cubes, string, plastic wrap, gum drops, sponges, paper bags, and the list goes on and on. It even contains PVC playhouses and art stands. If I had to recommend just one building book for kids, it would be this one because of the huge variety of projects and the accessibility of materials.
Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare is a great book, for all kids – but especially a Tween Boy! They will learn engineering & physics without even knowing it! It uses readily available items such as paper clips, plastic spoons, clothes pins, etc. My son loves this book! He is always building little contraptions out of household things.
Howtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless! has fun building & engineering projects presented in a comic book format for kids. My kids built the marshmallow gun from PVC pipe and camoflauged their guns with Sharpie Markers. Their marshmallow guns not only work well with mini marshmallows, but also work great with Nerf gun suction darts. Imagine the fun!
Bridges: Amazing Structures to Design, Build & Test (Kaleidoscope Kids) is a great way for kids to learn the engineering & physics behind bridges by trying out different bridge designs and learning the design’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as why.
Since my husband and I are both software engineers by trade, we tend to immerse our kids in lots of techy things. One of my goals is to keep my kids well-balanced, so I try to incorporate artistic outlets into their lives. In preparation for summer activities, I was about to take down their pantry door art canvas and put up a new, clean canvas. However, before I take it down, I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you — since I’ve had so many parents comment on it being such a good idea. It is a little torn from being up for a while in such an active spot, where my kids just love to open the doors and hang there in search of an afternoon snack.
In the past, I would let them to tape their artwork to the door, but that became a tape nightmare – too much tape to peel off the doors. Now, I buy a large roll of white paper from the craft store and cover my pantry doors with it. There is one long strip of tape at the top & bottom on the inside of the each door. I give one door to each kid and allow them to decorate it however they wish. They love it! What kid wouldn’t – a huge canvas to do with as they please? If you don’t have a double door pantry, any door will do. How about their bedroom doors? Here are some close ups of my kids’ art work…
Ben’s tree is hard at work producing glucose…
With a production line that runs all the way to the ground…
Above the tree, in outerspace, is a picture of the shuttle with its rocket boosters and fuel tank breaking away… a satellite… and a visual of a tiny earth and moon.
On a branch of the tree sits a robotic owl… the right half intending to show you what is inside the owl.
Ben also drew a construction site just above the tree…
Natalie drew a pretty nature scene with vining flowers, a coconut tree, a bird… and a sun she did not finish yet.
I will cut out the pieces of art to save and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!!!
This past summer I was organizing our utility closet and realized I had an excess of plain builders socket and switch plate covers because we had replaced so many of them with more decorative plate covers. I knew my kids would love to personalize the covers in their bedrooms, so my mission was to figure out the easiest way to decorate them. After a little bit of trial & error, I found that Sharpie markers are excellent because kids can fix any errors with a Q-tip and fingernail polish remover. Here are the results:
Ben wanted to make “invisible” covers, by drawing what was behind them on the plate itself…
Ben’s “invisible” switch plate cover…
Ben’s “circuit” socket plate cover…
Natalie drew the first one with a nature scene…
but she could not think of what to do on the second one. After a few suggestions, she just decided to draw doodle lines and fill them in with bright colors…
I think they turned out great! And they had a lot of fun!
Take a look at my Pinterest board Fun Gardening for some surprisingly simple ideas. To see my other boards on Pinterest click the red “Follow me on Pinterst” button on the left under RECENT PINS.
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