Active Kids Guide

Whatever your kids are into, there's a camp or program to inspire them

Scientists & Inventors

Science camps turn science, technology, engineering, and math into kid-friendly activities, says Michael Wilcox, program manager for Lifelong Learning Programs at the Science Museum of Minnesota. “We approach kids using art, literature, drama, imagination, sports, and nature,” Wilcox says. The programming appeals to lots of children, but kids who get the most out of science camps tend to be curious and inquisitive, he says.

To find out if that’s your kid, “See what they’re doing at home if you just kind of let them loose,” says Wilcox. Does your child like to explore, ask questions, try new things, experiment, and tinker? Does she beg to take apart your old cell phone? “We have one camp where kids take apart toys . . . and recombine them into these cool Frankenstein toys,” he says. Does your child spend hours in front of the computer? “Instead of seeing that as a negative, we channel that into something positive.” There’s a camp that’s great for kids who like to build things from Legos; another is for kids who like to hang out in the kitchen.

Afterwards, you can keep your budding scientist engaged with books, technology, a supply of odds and ends for tinkering, and outings to science-based museums and even entering science competitions.

Where To Explore Science And Math

Science Museum of Minnesota

Camp-ins, on-site summer camps, and learning sessions. Ages 3 and up, St. Paul, 651-221-4511, smm.org

The Bakken Museum

Inventor’s Club, Summer Science Day Camp, LEGO Robotics, and other programs. Ages 7 and up, Minneapolis, 612-926-3878, thebakken.org

Computer Explorers

Project-based classes on rocketeering, robotics, programming, video game design, and other subjects. Ages preschool and up. St. Paul, 651-730-9910, computerexplorers.com

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