The Truth About Online Kids Clubs
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The Truth About Online Kids Clubs

7 min read
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A Different Year

2020 was a year of new normal. A year where Zoom became a household name with people of all ages adapting to a virtual way of life. A year where children (and their parents) were no longer getting a break in the evening for clubs, camps or play dates. No more rushing from school to home to the next activity with bags hanging from every arm! The hustle bustle squealed to a halt.

Each home, in their own way, worked to establish alternatives to the time they once spent with hobbies, clubs and teams. We found new ways to keep ourselves occupied. Family games nights were a winner for some, hiking for others and for many, long hours of video games and social media!

We are all seeking a sense of normality in the new world, and for the most part, getting quite good at it. Our children now more than ever, need to remain connected, stimulated and inspired. Right now, we can’t return to traditional group clubs. With this, we spent lots of time considering the possibility of virtual online clubs – but can these work?

Tried and Tested.

We’re seeing a growth of in-person events migrating to the digital realm. Virtual music lessons, STEAM clubs, fitness classes, you name it! As with many parents and educators, we asked ourselves… will these offer the children the same amazing experience as being there in real life?

To answer this question, we did what any scientist would do…. an experiment! We enlisted the help of some very honest little guinea pigs to conduct our investigations! (Not real guinea pigs, we can’t trust those guys, we asked our kids!) Our subjects got to work, enlisting in a variety of our online clubs. Our objective was to understand if the beauty of the Designer Minds clubs could still exist in a virtual world. Would we see the same level of excitement, social stimulation and shared discovery that Designer Minds members know and love.

A Big Thumbs Up From Our Guinea Pigs

One of the benefits of children taking part in clubs is the social aspect. Working and learning with like-minded individuals creates a buzz of excitement like no other. Our biggest worry was that this social aspect would be lost in the online clubs. Thankfully, our guinea pigs were just as social when given the chance. With a little bit of extra time allotted, our leaders would encourage discussion and integrate activities focused on social interaction.

What about the technology? It's quite fair to wonder if your child will be able to manage a virtual online environment while remaining engaged in the club material… our Guinea Pigs showed quick adaptation to this element. Let’s not forget, the Gen Z mind seems much more equipped to handle new technologies.

 While we wouldn't have anticipated it, we now even see virtual clubs bringing us added benefits! No travelling! A big range of activities to choose from (it doesn't have to happen in your town). Parents can get on with their household chores while children are learning and interacting.

Another great positive coming out of virtual clubs is that there are no geographical limits. There are many children around Ireland, who may never have been able to attend a club with friends or cousins due to distance and travel. With virtual clubs, there are no boundaries or limitations. Children can sign up to the same course and play together, grow relationships and learn about different areas or even cultures.

Our little Guinea Pigs are most definitely eager to get back to regular after school activities with their friends. For now, virtual clubs are a fantastic replacement, if done well and in small groups. Soon, when life returns to normal and our children can once again play and learn together in the same physical space, virtual clubs will still be a valuable supplement to the old routine. You might travel to football training, piano lessons and science class but maybe that extra coding club or LEGO group will be best completed on a Saturday morning from the comfort of home?

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"With virtual clubs, there are no boundaries or limitations. Children can sign up to the same course and play together, growing relationships, learning about different areas or even cultures."

See For Yourselves

Of course, after learning this, we had to try it for ourselves here at Designer Minds. Our STEAM Clubs are loved by children all over the country and we are excited to bring them back! We have developed a series of online Clubs tailored specifically for the virtual environment. Children will dive into one topic over the course of five lessons. As always, we aim to make them just as engaging and exciting as ever before! This is why there will be just eight kids per group to one leader. Who knows, maybe some children will opt to stay virtual once in-person clubs return. Check out the courses and sign up now!

Designer Minds Online

The launch of Designer Minds Online Clubs is a leap forward for the educators and students of Designer Minds. Adapting to the new social structure of the world is crucial not just for Designer Minds as a brand, but for the kids and leaders who Designer Minds have inspired through its years of educating.

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