Running out of ways to keep the children preoccupied during social distancing? Fortunately, there are several online resources and programs designed to provide enriching opportunities, capture imaginations and engage young minds. Here are five digital ways to keep kids entertained this summer from organizations around Florida.
Let's Create Art
Lakewood Ranch's family-run art studio Let's Create Art offers multiple online opportunities to stimulate your child's creative side. Their Kids Online Art Class program offers access to instructional video content and new weekly features for $27 a month. Through learning basic painting techniques, these approachable sessions will have kids playing Picasso in no time. Additionally, the studio carries “Take and Paint Kits,” where for $20 parents can pick up everything needed to complete a finished masterpiece at home. Each kit, from mermaids to dinosaurs, is linked to an online video to help guide young artists as they paint along.
This summer, Mote Marine is offering occasions for young Scouts from around the world to earn merit badges together online. Each virtual workshop, led by a Mote Marine educator, will encourage learning, provide hands-on activities and complete the requirements for earning a new badge. Current workshops include the Environmental Science Scout Merit Badge on July 11 from 1–3 p.m. and an Oceanography Scout Merit Badge on July 25 from 1 – 2 p.m. Visit Mote's website to learn more about the workshops and how to register, and to keep tabs on upcoming badge opportunities!
Sarasota's Southern Atelier is hosting week-long summer art immersion programs for students ages 13-18. Focusing on art, journaling and discovery, attendees will take a multi-disciplinary approach to the artistic world. During the week, students will learn drawing and painting techniques, create a journal/sketchbook, conduct research into master artists, experiment with different mediums and have fun exploring their creativity. Sessions run July 13-17, July 20-24 and July 27-31. Cost is $250 per week. For registration and scholarship opportunities, visit Southern Atelier's website.
The Ringling's ROAR program, also known as the Ringling Order of Arts Readers, has moved online. Designed to engage toddlers and pre-schoolers in art and literacy, families can join Ringling's free Family Programs Facebook Group to tune in for live story time and activities every other Thursday. By registering with ROAR partner Forty Carrots, parents also gain access to bonus activities on Wednesdays and Fridays. Find more resources on The Ringling's Learn From Home page, including read-along videos, a wide variety of artistic projects and virtual family tours.
Todd Bright, of Orlando's Bright Animation, is leading a week-long Art of Animation Summer Camp July 13–17 geared towards artists ages 10 and up. Bright, who has worked as an animator for Disney and Warner Bros., will cover subjects such as traditional techniques, character design, story structure and gesture drawing. Attendees will have the opportunity to draw a costumed model from life, create their own mini-flipbook and learn how to successfully pitch their own stories. Perfect for kids with visions of a Ringling College of Art and Design degree in their future. The camp costs $125 plus materials; reservations can be made online.