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Art&Seek Jr: Out-of-the-Ordinary Camps for Kids

Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Today was Rose”s last day of school, and while I”m glad she”s getting a break from the books, like a lot of parents, I want her summer to be as productive and (memorable) as possible. If you”re a kid, there”s nothing”s worse than waking up on the last day of summer vacation and realizing the only thing you have to show for your time off is a high score on the XBox.

Short day camps are a great way to break up the summer and add some enrichment. There are a whole slew of summer camps out there (check out the kids and family category on the Art&Seek calendar for ideas). But this week I decided to highlight a few unusual camps that caught my eye.

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Ta-Dah! Check out Junior Players” theater camp. Photo: Junior Players

For those kids wanting to try a little bit of everything this summer, the Irving Art Center”s Kids Arts camps are just the ticket. In the Windjammers & Joeys camp, children get to experience a different art discipline every day. They can paint their own abstract masterpiece on one day and sample the violin the next. The grab bag of activities gives kids the opportunity to learn and appreciate art in a variety of ways and also come home with some artwork for the frig.

If you”ve got a budding thespian, check out the . These free camps are open to kids 7 to 14 from the residential neighborhoods near participating Dallas recreation centers. During the two-week sessions professional artists from the Dallas community work with the students in daily two-hour classes. Kids learn about the various aspects of performing and theater arts specifically. Children will play theater games, learn improvisation techniques and develop a presentation for The Festival of Plays, a culminating production at the end of the camp.

Not to sound like an old person or anything, but this camp for teens at Dallas Contemporary really is too cool for school. DC Teens: Summer Street Art Camp lets kids explore their creativity while guided by professional street artists. Students can try various techniques and materials while learning about famous street artists from around the world. And just in case you were wondering, participants are encouraged to create artwork via responsible and legal methods only.

opera

Opera, anyone? Photo: Oil and Cotton

Oak Hill Academy and Capers for Kids are teaming up this summer to provide day camps for children diagnosed with learning differences. The camps are designed to build self-confidence and skills, but they”re also super fun. My favorite is the Gold Rush camp, during which young prospectors step back in time in search for gold.

How about a little opera? Or rather, opera for little ones? I swear the nice people at Oil and Cotton must have had my child in mind when they came up with the Carmen for Kids camp, because she LOVES to sing opera style – particularly at 6 a.m. before I”ve had my coffee. In this camp for kids 5 to 12, children will explore opera with a real singer from the Dallas Opera! The kiddos spend the week preparing a scaled-down production of Carmen the opera, (starring the girls as gypsy dancers and the boys as soldiers and bullfighters). At the end of the week family and friends get to watch the performance.

So much for the lazy days of summer!

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at tpowell@kera.org.