With cancellations, disappointment and all the long days, we’re all looking for something to keep these kids entertained. We had the opportunity to try out Code Ninja‘s popular camps – offered both in person or virtually. Camps are offered into August so give yourself a break and your kid a fun, educational experience. Our team had the chance to try out both class formats.
We have just entered the world of Minecraft. To be honest, I was just happy to send my kid off to talk Minecraft with someone else for a few hours a day… moding, pandas… I just don’t get it! Code Ninjas’ Minecraft Camp was our first step into a classroom setting since mid-March, so I was nervous.
Each morning Henry, 9, arrived in his mask, had his temperature checked at the door by his Sensei, and washed his hands. He brought his own bottle of hand sanitizer and water bottle with him each day – proud member of the COVID generation. Stickers are the floor reminded ninjas to stand six feet apart, and parents are not allowed in the classroom.
We left our week with a new confidence of the safety of camps in a COVID world, the healing that socializing can bring, and most importantly, passion for the Minecraft world. Henry brought a flash drive on his last day and was able to download the parts of his world he built during camp and can now integrate them into our game at home.
He also brought home the phone number of a new friend who he can call and chat all things Minecraft with because mama still doesn’t understand the pandas.
- Check the requirements for software/computer so you can continue the learning at home. For example, we recently purchased Minecraft Java Edition to continue building Henry’s world.
- Both full and half day camp options are offered. Half day was a great options for us based on mask tolerance.
Henry: “It was the best! I liked doing Minecraft Create because I liked learning to build new things. I liked going there in-person because I wanted to meet new people in person. People used masks and we stayed like, seven feet apart. But I still made friends!”
My boys have been begging me to try Code Ninjas camp since they played with the robots at Kansas City Mom Collective’s Noon Years Eve. Since we live in the Northland, the daily drive for a week long camp didn’t seem feasible to one of their Johnson County or Lee’s Summit locations. (Dear Code Ninjas: please add one in the Northland!).
Luckily for us, Code Ninjas started hosting virtual camps this summer, and I knew we had to give it a try. The hardest decision was choosing which virtual camp (Roblox or
Minecraft). Michael (10) and Joseph (8) picked Minecraft Create and were so excited they drove me crazy for a week waiting for it! The Minecraft virtual camp ran from Monday-Friday from 9am-11am. Each day, they would hurry up to get dressed, eat breakfast and hop on the computer waiting for camp to start. We had one laptop to use for the Zoom call where Sensei Simon and Jayden guided them through each lesson and then another laptop to access the gaming software. The boys looked forward to it each day, and I was relieved they had some productive screen time to focus on for a few hours!
- Make sure you have a laptop for the software and another device for the Zoom call. Headphones are a plus as the Zoom calls got a little rowdy at times!
- Be patient. Day 1 was a little rough as we had trouble logging in and accessing all the software. Boys seemed frustrated as they didn’t expect this, but noted it got “way better” as the week went on.
Michael: “I thought it was very cool to make creations and see them come alive in Minecraft. It was really fun especially the last few days where we picked a theme (Star Wars) and built around that. The instructors were always nice and helpful. I loved learning how to play Minecraft PC version and edit/export Minecraft worlds. Overall, it was a really fun Minecraft camp for anyone who plays Minecraft and likes to code and build.
Joseph: “I liked learning how to use Tinkercad. I really liked showing others my creations at and see what everyone in the virtual class built at the end of the week.”