We obviously love books in our house, but books aren’t all we do. My boys get screen time every day (if they finish their checklist!), and most of that time is devoted to gaming, particularly Minecraft. I am amazed at all the things they’ve been able to build, and just how creative they can get in this digital interface. I’m even more impressed when they ask me to play and I can barely move my character around. I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but it’s definitely a different world than the King’s Quest games of my youth.
Our family was recently invited to a special preview of the Create and Play Camps Technology Summer Camps, and it was basically heaven on earth for my gamer guys. My kids viewed our visit as “playing video games,” but the Create and Play Camps are designed to teach coding to kids starting at age 8. While my kids were playing they were also problem solving, thinking critically, and learning the basics of video game design.
Our short preview got me really interested in how the camps work. I learned that there are six day camps, each focused on a different aspect of game design. Kids can attend:
- Intro to Game Design (Ages 8-10)
- Video Games and Graphics (Ages 10-14)
- Modding With Minecraft (Ages 12-16)
- Mobile Phone Game Creation (Ages 12-16)
- Computer Creation and Coding with Kano (Ages 8-16)
- Camp Unity (Ages 12-16)
Each camp lasts from 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Mornings are devoted to creating, and afternoons are devoted to playing! Before and after care is available at an additional charge, and snacks are provided. This year, the camps are being held at the gorgeous Grand Park Fieldhouse in Westfield, which is the perfect spot to blend gaming, learning, and movement.
These camps are awesome for girls and boys who aspire to a career in coding or game design, but I think all kids can benefit from a week of Create and Play Camps. The teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving focus builds skills that are valuable in any career or academic area. Plus…the camps are fun! So much fun, your child may not even realize they’re learning.
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