Skip to main content

Mendo Lake Family Life

11 Online Clubs That Help Kids Make Friends

By Kimberly Blaker

For children, social interaction during childhood is more than just fun; it’s a vital part of their development. Engaging in social situations teaches kids cooperation, collaboration, compromise, problem-solving, teamwork, and so much more.

Yet, not all kids have access to sufficient in-person socialization opportunities, especially during the pandemic. Fortunately, kids can connect via online clubs or activities like these:

Activity Hero is hosting a site where various groups and instructors can list activities for kids of all ages. There’s a section with live online classes, after-school programs, and even holiday camps. Options include Legos, science, cooking, art, music, coding, and more.

Child & Adolescent Anxiety Practice’s Virtual After-School Clubs are particularly beneficial to kids struggling with social isolation and related anxiety. Dr. Shelley Avny, a clinical psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent anxiety, leads the clubs, which emphasize social interaction and collaboration in a structured environment. Six-week sessions feature one 45-minute class per week and serve two age groups: 10–13-year-olds and 14–17-year-olds. Interests covered include cooking, arts and crafts, video games, sports, and more.

Clubba, for ages 6–12, offers an online club series with small (up to 5 students), interactive classes taught by college-student club counselors. Icebreakers and other activities support peer interaction and developing friendships.
Connected Camps offers online programs and camps for kids who want to learn about digital entertainment, such as coding, Minecraft, esports, digital arts, and game design.

Connected Camps has small group classes that offer kids opportunities to interact with others and collaborate on projects or games in a fun environment. It also hosts a free moderated Kid Club Minecraft server for kids ages 8–13. Counselors mentor kids using a research-supported approach, and enforce a code of conduct.

Destination Science offers summer camps and after-school clubs for ages 5–11. Participants receive science kits with the materials needed to participate in live instructor-led sessions.

FunClubs offers live, online, instructor-led 45-minute classes for kids in grades K–8. Larger classes are broken down into groups of 6–8 students, allowing kids more time to interact with the teacher and each other. Subjects include drama, piano, guitar, Spanish, filmmaking, coding, cooking, and more.

iD Tech hosts technology classes and camps for kids, ages 7–19, who want to learn or develop their technology skills. It offers weeklong online sessions of no more than five students, combining instruction time with opportunities for classmates to collaborate and socialize.

Lavner Education offers technology camps with a STEM focus for kids in grades 1–9. A selection of more than 40 classes feature 4–8 students per instructor and provide opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning, collaboration with classmates, social interaction, and opportunities to progress through skill levels.

Open Tent Academy caters more directly to homeschool students but offers some “after-school” classes for kids. These classes focus more on learning material than socializing, yet provide opportunities for student discussion and interaction.

Outschool is a small-group learning platform for ages 3–18. It offers more than 100,000 classes, so it caters to practically any interest your child might have. Kids learn from teacher experts while interacting with classmates who share the same interests.

Playcrafter Kids Club is a 6-week program for younger students, ages 3–7, and features two hour-long classes per week. Children work with four teachers trained in the arts and participate in drama, music, yoga, and dance. Kids are split up into small groups, and during parts of the lesson they can unmute and interact with their classmates. 

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance family writer and also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an Internet marketing agency: