Learn about Apple Camp – a free summer workshop for kids at local Apple stores.
Apple Camp 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!
Check out our list of 75 Summer Bucket List Ideas for Kids
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.
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/