What will your kid’s summer break look like? It’s right around the corner. It could be filled with TV, video games, text messages, and other electronic distractions. Or, you can get them to put down the phone, smell the fresh air, and pick up a paintbrush or a spatula. There are a variety of summer day camps that may just spark a lifelong interest — and perhaps have you wanting to join them.
The World’s a Stage
Does your kid aspire to be an actor? The Mosaic Youth Theatre offers expert training and mentoring to get them started at its First Stage summer camp. Mosaic’s program introduces young artists ages 7-14 to high-energy and inspiring performance art, ending with a showcase for family and friends. No audition or experience is necessary. The three-week camp will teach students to sing, act, and dance. mosaicdetroit.org; 313-872-6910.
Play With Clay
Pewabic Pottery’s summer program incorporates several classic children’s book series, such as Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Kids ages 6-12 will learn basic clay hand building techniques and mixed media arts projects from teaching artists and ceramic technicians. Children can spend a full week that also includes story-based games and activities, culminating in an art showcase. pewabic.org; 313-626-2000.
Get Art Smart
Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center offers kids of all ages the opportunity to be creative at summer art camp. Preschool and kindergarten students use their imagination as they create, design, and explore art. For kids in grades 1-5 and middle school, classes for drawing, painting, sculpture, and mixed media are available. Camp faculty members are experienced art educators who provide hands-on activities. They can also help high school students get one step closer to college art programs. bbartcenter.com; 248-644-0866.
A Place at La Table
Sur La Table’s highly regarded cooking program includes options suitable for kids and teens. Led by experienced chef instructors, the classes cover all the basics including plants, dairy, and proteins. They’ll make “mad-delicious” food experiments and learn the scientific fundamentals behind the food they love. Baking Around the World will teach how to make international deserts and goodies. surlatable.com; Troy (248-283-1051) or Novi (248-319-0025).
Climbing the Walls
Let some of that energy out and give your kids a chance to challenge themselves on walls up to 5 stories high. Planet Rock has half- and full-day camps for kids ages 8-15. Campers will learn climbing safety, build confidence, improve teamwork and communication, and use different muscle groups while in a safe environment. Extended day camp includes silk climbing, knots, and other activities. Fees include gear, instruction, and a T-shirt. Those who show significant skill and drive may be invited to join a competitive program. planet-rock.com; Ann Arbor (734-827-2680) or Madison Heights (248-397-8354).
It’s Easy Being Green
Children learn that dirt doesn’t hurt at the Greening of Detroit’s summer camp. Camp Greening — the nonprofit’s nature program — shows children how to interact with the environment in a positive way. Greening of Detroit’s mission is to expose as many citizens to city parks and “provide a greener tomorrow for our Detroit.” Environmental activities include building seed boxes, planting seeds, and taking part in scavenger hunts led by Detroit Public Schools students overseen by Greening crewmembers. This free, drop-in program takes place at various Detroit city parks. greeningofdetroit.com; 313-237-8733.
Where the Wild Things Are
The Detroit Zoo’s Safari Day Camps offer activities for kids in K-8 that entertain while educating about animal welfare and endangered species. Zookeeper Camp is an opportunity to learn about the health, behavior, and nutrition of different animals. Interacting with a zookeeper will give them an authentic experience and insider knowledge. Eco Camp demonstrates the role kids can play in conservation by helping the animals in their backyards — and around the world. detroitzoo.org; 248-541-5717.