Apple Camp 2017 is in the books. We all want our sanity during the summer months and between child care, camps and what have you – things can get pricey quick. Thankfully one week of the summer we were able to enjoy a FREE activity for our son. If you are an Apple fan, you won’t want to miss learning about Apple camp!
What is Apple Camp?
Apple Camp is a free camp put on in the summer months by various Apple stores. There are usually a few options on topics to choose from. The camps are available for ages 8-12 years old and last 90 minutes, 3 times during the week. BONUS! The kids are given a free Apple shirt!
This year, we had 1 kid eligible for Apple Camp. Not familiar with Apple Camp – keep reading. He went, he learned and now he won’t stop playing with his Sphero collection!
This is our second time doing camp with Apple. The first time, our son learned all about Garage Band and iMovie. This time around it was all about robotics and baby stepping into learning code. My husband is a software engineer and has taken our son to several of coding club meetings – so he has a general interest in coding.
Our son spent his time at camp learning in more detail how to program Sphero. We have a few Spheros at home. The Apple Genius taught him a whole new array of tricks and gave him some tips for maximizing his play with the device.
Now he is obsessed. He has hooked the Sphero app up on his sister and brother’s devices and showed them how to play. We have these robotic devices flying thru our house like it’s nobodies business!
2017 Apple Camp Choices
In 2017, Apple is offering 3 different camps.
Creating Characters and Composing Music
Kids ages 8-12 will create their own stories through drawings and sounds. Campers will start their session by sketching characters and scenes with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, then they’ll explore the basics for composing a track using GarageBand. They’ll bring their story to life by adding vocals and finishing touches.
Stories in Motion with iMovie
Future filmmakers ages 8-12 will explore the creative process of turning their ideas into real movies. In this three-day session, Campers will learn how to brainstorm and storyboard. Then they’ll get hands-on with movie-making techniques like learning camera angles and editing with iMovie. On the final day, they’ll present their masterpieces.
Coding Games and Programming Robots
In this three-day session for kids ages 8-12, we’ll introduce programming through interactive play. Kids will learn visual-based coding by solving puzzles with Tynker. Then they’ll learn how to program Sphero robots, and even create fun stories starring Sphero as the main character.
One caveat I should note – while Apple Camp is free, parents must stay in the Apple store while camp is in session. So no leaving. This is such a smart move on Apple’s part. I mean, come on – leaving me in the Apple store for 15 minutes is dangerous, let alone 90 minutes on 3 different days. On the first day I made the mistake of bringing our 2 younger sons with us. It was hell. I don’t recommend bringing small children for your sanity and their’s.
An Apple Genius called my kid Darth Vadar so he turned his shirt around and told him he was talking to the wrong person.
Something new this year, for 2 of the sessions they offered a “parent camp” while the kids were in camp. An Apple Genius walks the parents thru what the kids are learning. He or she also talks about setting up iTunes for family sharing, setting perimeters on your Mac and more.
I was able to attend on the second day of camp and the Genius was super helpful in answering my questions and suggesting various apps and configurations that would help with certain issues.
Sign Up Early!
If you are wanting to sign your child up for Apple Camp, SIGN UP EARLY! Every spring, I sign up on apple.com to receive a notification when camp registration opens. Last year we went on an epic road trip that spanned the course of the whole vacation. This year, we vacationed early and was able to get our son in no issue.
If the camp is full at your local store, I suggest giving the store a call and seeing if there by chance any openings or perhaps a wait list. OR wait, have you heard of Kids Hour?
One thing I learned about at Parent Camp was another free opportunity for kids at Apple. Various Apple stores offer Kids Hour. This is an hour where an Apple Genius teaches your child on subject. This varies by stores and appears to be offered once a week, but looks like this could vary as well.
The closest Apple Store near me this week offers Garage Band Kids Hour and Making Movies Together Kids Hour. Again, you will need to stay in the Apple store, but this gives your kids a chance to learn and BONUS – IT IS FREE AND YEAR ROUND! So if you missed out on this year’s camp, at least give the Kids Hour a try!
The best place to find information on Apple’s Kids Hour is https://www.apple.com/today/program/kids-hour-sessions/
In 2011, I created a Year in Review Printable that was downloaded thousands of times. It’s 2016, let’s update this free Year in Review printable and give it an update with a FAVES twist.
2016 Year in Review Printable
This New Year’s printable was created with your kid in mind. Download, print this out and let your kids fill out (or fill out for your kids.) This is a fun year-end keepsake.
When I originally created this in 2011, I filled one out (see below.) 5 years later, I chuckle and a bit of sad reading my answers. My fave pet, Bobo passed away the following year. He was our first baby – a fur baby, but one of our’s. I had just had our fourth child – he is now *cry* FIVE YEARS OLD. Instagram was fairly new – but still love me some Insta! Green is my fave color. Poke the Box (my fave book of the year), I just had the pleasure of seeing Seth Godin speak – he’s a long time favorite author of mine – so not surprised by that answer. Chips and salsa will forever be my fave food.
Here are the questions to answer about 2016:
- Name (at the top)
- Favorite song
- Favorite pet
- Favorite food
- Favorite book
- Favorite color
- Favorite hobby
- Favorite memory from 2016
- Goals for 2017
Don’t forget to fill out one of these 2016 FAVES in Review! You, yes YOU! You won’t regret it! And have your kid fill out one too!
And here is the 2011 year in review that I was chuckling about:
2011 Year in Review and New Years Resolution for Kids free printable. Hey and sometimes when you get a creative inspiration at like 4 in the morning and do a blog post about it, you make mistakes like see the above photo? Chip and dip? REALLY?!
Happy New Year! 2017 will be amazing, it has to be.
COMMENT: What are you looking forward to in 2017?
Summer bucket list ideas – because summer and what in the world are you suppose to do with your kids each and every day? Keep it new and fresh and FUN with these ideas. We’ve updated the list from 50 to 75 summer fun things to do with kids – bonus, these are almost all screen-free activities.
You snuck up and welcomed us with open arms and we are vowing this year to fully embrace it. Of all summers, this year I am most excited for what’s ahead. The kids have a few camps and the toddlers still have preschool a few days a week, so I will still be working – but there are a number of days where we have no obligations.
Those words are sweet to my ears. No obligations doesn’t mean we won’t do anything, it just means that we don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time and with 4 kids – that’s a very wonderful thing. While I love nothing to do days, the kids hate them. They scream “I’M BORED!” despite the playroom full of toys.
For those down days, we are creating a summer bucket list of things to do. Not sure what to put on your bucket list? Here’s a few ideas you can steal from our summer bucket list:
Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
Have you downloaded our summer bucket list printable? Fill it out and brainstorm some fun ideas for you and your family to do this summer.
- Weekend get-away (Check out this family-friendly guide to Austin, TX)
- Dress up in capes and be super heroes
- Have a water balloon fight.
- Choose a night each week for family movie night (we are watching the Harry Potter series together – in anticipation for Universal Studios!)
- Let the kids get out the hose and wash your car
- Make homemade pizzas – let the kids make it by setting up various pizza topping stations
- Go to the park
- Make cookies for a neighbor
- Dance in the rain (here in Texas anytime it rains, we dance in it and be thankful for it!)
- Vacation bible school tour
- Take a nature walk
- Make and take sandwiches for the homeless
- Unplug all the televisions during the daytime hours
- Fly a kite
- Visit a local community garden
- Host a impromptu barbecue
- Make puppets out of socks
- Go to a concert (Did I mention I am going to see GEORGE STRAIT in DALLAS? #goverizon)
- Plant a tree
- Make cinnamon roll waffles
- Take lots of photos – make a summer photo book
- Wake up early and enjoy coffee on the porch
- Institute one day of not saying “NO!”
- Bring a meal to a family who could use some help
- Play cards
- Visit your local library
- Take a family road trip
- Visit the zoo
- Ride a train
- Explore a big city near you with fresh eyes
- Feed ducks (be careful of those mean geese)
- Make cupcakes
- Tie-dye shirts and socks
- Go on a scavenger hunt
- Eat snow cones!
- Go to the movies
- Make a lemonade stand and give the money to charity – here’s a frosted lemonade recipe, here is how to make a lemonade stand sign and tips for a successful lemonade stand!
- Train for a 5k
- Do a photo shoot, but let the kids be the photographers
- Go fishing (my father-in-law swears by hot dogs as bait)
- Have a slumber party
- Make a fort
- Throw a spontaneous dance party
- Stay in your pajamas all day (we do this several days through-out the summer)
- Paint a canvas
- Go bowling (learn how kids can bowl for free)
- Visit a museum
- Run thru the sprinklers (you too, mom!)
- Go on a picnic
- BECAUSE MOM NEEDS A BREAK TOO: Plan a girl’s night out (we’re doing a wine tour in Grapevine, TX!)
Bonus Summer Fun Ideas
52. Write a letter to relatives.
53. Let the kids cook dinner
54. Do a RAOK (random act of kindness) – teach your kids this early!
55. Have a parade, have the kids decorate their bikes and wagon – create a route around the neighborhood
56. Make a fairy garden
57. Read 20 minutes a day
58. Camp out in the backyard
59. Lemonade stand (and give the money to charity)
60. Have a picnic
61. Make playdoh
62. Put together a photo album
63. Go grocery shopping for a food pantry
64. Visit a local national park
65. Play nail salon, at-home manis and pedis
66. Create a chalk art masterpiece
67. Have a color fight – here’s how to make DIY Color Powder
68. Do a kids science experiment
69. Make pet rocks
70. Solve a puzzle
71. Go garage sale shopping (hello, cheap toys!)
72. Read a book – then watch the movie (Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid are ideas)
73. Make smores – here’s how to make homemade fire starters for camp fires.
74. Have a shaving cream fight
75. Cereal for breakfast – easy, peasy, kids will love it and mom will too!
We’re talking about SCREEN FREE kid activities in this blog post, but read more about screen time. We’re talking tips and tricks on all things screen time!
What did we miss? What will you be adding to you summer bucket list?
Looking for DIY Christmas Ornaments you can make with your kids? Look no further! Get ready to get glittery!
Next week all 4 kids will be home. If everything works out as planned, I’ll have the majority of the week off and we can get crafting. We have had our Christmas tree up for a while, but just now got our ornaments down. By far, my favorite Christmas ornaments are the handmade ones.
Mom Tip: Before making Christmas ornaments with the kids – or any other craft, put down a cheap plastic table cloth. I stock up on these every time we go to the Dollar Tree. This helps make clean-up easy and simple, just gather up the plastic table cloth and throw away! This especially is helpful if glitter is involved. Now the floor? I guess you could cover the floors in plastic table cloths as well, but other than that, you are on your own for advice on that mess!
Oh one more mom tip -> Need a grandparent gift? These make great Christmas presents from the kids as well!
Here are 10 DIY Christmas Ornament projects:
Which DIY Ornament is Your Fave?
Enjoy this weather and the season with this fall scavenger hunt for kids!
I don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but here in Texas we can finally say it’s beautiful. Those 100 degree days are brutal. Playing outside can only happen after dark or in the whee hours of the morning. So with fall here, our family is determined to embrace it, because in just a few short weeks though it will still be fall – Christmas season will be here.
Get your kids outside with this fun kids activity: It’s a fall scavenger hunt. Here is what you do.
- Print out our handy dandy fall scavenger hunt printable.
- We’ve supplied a pre-filled hunt, along with a blank list. Choose whichever works best for you!
- Give each kid a digital camera or phone with a camera.
- Send them out in the neighborhood to find each item.
- Check off each item as they find the item.
Download Scavenger Hunt Checklist
Scavenger Hunt Rules
Use common sense… if you have a toddler, don’t send them out alone. Make sure to establish rules in who they can talk to and where they can go to find the items.
Either set a time limit and see who can find the most items within a set amount of time. Or, if you are doing this will a toddler, just enjoy watching them find each item and use this as a checklist.
Enjoy the fall season while it’s here. We are all in a rush with our everyday lives. Find sometime for some family fun. Over on Babble, I’ve rounded up 10 fun fall activities for toddlers. These include outdoor adventures and what to do on a rainy day. Make the most of the season, because remember – Christmas will be here before you know it and fall will just be a distant memory (womp!).
Follow Digital Mom Blog on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
This post brought to you by Cold Stone Creamery. All opinions are 100% mine.
Shark Week this year starts August 10th, are you read? The annual week of non-stop shark action on the Discovery Channel. Even if your kids aren’t old enough or mature enough to handle Shark Week, we have several ways to get your kids involved in the fun (without having to watch all of the suspense).
From yummy shark cupcakes to fun crafts, here are 7 ways to celebrate Shark Week with kids:
Great Blue Shark Cupcakes from Cold Stone Creamery Cold Stone Creamery is a favorite of our family’s! We were given a gift card to try out these cupcakes and 6 people agree, these are the real deal. We took the kids to Cold Stone Creamery to try out these Great Blue cupcakes that they have available from July 2nd to August 17th in celebration of Shark Week. The cupcakes are available in the freezer and come in a pack of 6. These Great Blue Cupcakes come in a chocolate edible cup that is filled with a layer of yellow cake, then blue sweet cream ice cream and then topped with fluffy blue frosting and a gummy shark. Delicious and the perfect treat to celebrate Shark Week with! The cupcakes come COLD so can easily be transported home to eat later. Just store them in the freezer and eat whenever (or can be eaten at Cold Stone Creamery.) Cold Stone Creamery always serves up fresh, high-quality ingredients – all ice cream is made fresh daily in every location. If you haven’t been to a Cold Stone Creamery before, you must! In addition to the great cupcakes and other frozen pre-made goodies – they will make your favorite ice cream on a cold granite slab. Just choose your favorite ice cream and mix-ins and right in front of you, will mix it up and serve it however you like (in a cone, in a cup, as a shake and more.)
You can purchase the Great Blue Cupcakes in-store at their local Cold Stone, or order Great Blue Cupcakes Online at ColdStoneCakes.com
Follow @ColdStone on Twitter and Pinterest
Shark Mouth Paper Plates
With a paper plate, make a shark mouth!
Learn more at Hands On Developmental Preschool
Foot Print Sharks
This is a cute shark craft that your kids will love! Use their foot print to create a shark!
Learn more at Glued to My Crafts
Shark Hat Craft
Take blue scrapbook paper and make a cone resembling a hat. Next, take googley eyes for shark eyes and then make white teeth out of paper. This shark hat craft is quick, easy and super fun!
Paper Plate Shark
This is a quick and easy craft made out of a paper plate!
Learn more at Almost Unschoolers
DIY Shark Costume from Hoodie
How cute is this! Make this DIY shark costume for Shark Week and then reuse for Halloween! This costume is so easy, I maybe even able to do it. The costume just consists of a hoodie and white felt. Easy peasy and adorable!
Learn more at Fiskars
Shark Week Mittens
I know my boys would LOVE these! The base of this project is a blue mitten, you can get crazy with customizations with this craft.
Learn more at A Night Owl Blog
Our older kids are 9 and 11-years old. Typically I’d let them watch Shark Week, but see we are planning a surprise trip to the beach and I just don’t see that trip going well…. So maybe we will just DVR and watch later.
How Will You Be Celebrating Shark Week?