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Kids' Extended Summer Sports Camps in Chicago, Illinois

by Carissa Laracy

Most kids look forward to summer, but as the weeks go by, their excitement can quickly turn into boredom. Sports camps are a great way to keep your kids off the couch and give them the opportunity to make new friends. Most sports camps only last one or two weeks, but if you want to keep your child active throughout the summer, Chicago has several extended options.

Multi-sport Camps

An extended sports camp is an excellent opportunity to expose your child to a variety of sports. The University of Chicago and Hi-Five Sports Camp both offer eight-week camps for boys and girls grades K through 8. The University of Chicago camp offers morning, afternoon and full-day options, and sports include basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball with additional options for archery, track, tennis and swimming. Hi-Five Sports Camp is a full-day camp in the west loop that teaches a variety of team sports as well as golf, tennis and tae kwon do.

Camps for Girls

Although most sports camps welcome boys and girls, there are often only a few girls in a group, which can be intimidating for girls who are new to sports. Game On! Sports Camp 4 Girls offers a different option. Campers learn a wide variety of sports, from basketball and soccer to yoga and martial arts. Camp is all-day and can run from three to six weeks. Another camp, Girls in the Game, runs four-week summer camps for girls aged 7 through 18 and focuses on leadership and health in addition to teaching various sports and fitness activities.

Choreographed Athletics

Gymnastics and cheerleading are a lot of fun and can also be highly competitive and teach your child about discipline. Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics runs a half-day camp, morning or afternoon, one to even five weeks. The camp also features a rock-climbing component and is open to boys and girls aged 5 to 12. Chicago Xplosion Allstars has a six-week, all-day cheerleading camp on the south side for boys and girls grades pre-K through 10. The camp runs academic lessons in the mornings and has extended childcare options.

Alternatives for Kids Who Aren't in to Sports

If your kids shy away from athletics, think outside the box for ways to keep them active. Martial arts are great as a fitness option and also emphasize nonphysical alternatives to handling conflict. HealthKick Kung Fu holds a nine-week morning summer camp in Lincoln Park, and TAC Karate on the south side has an all-day camp for kids aged 5 to 13 that runs up to eight weeks and includes field trips and outdoor activities. For adventurous kids, CircEsteem runs a circus camp for ages seven and up. You can enroll your child for individual weeks or for the full seven-week session.

About the Author

A displaced Kiwi currently based in Chicago, Carissa Laracy has spent most of her adult life working as a nanny to support her writing habit. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in linguistics from Massey University in New Zealand. Laracy has written a children's book and is currently writing a young adult novel about time travel.

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