June 17, 2020

Virtual Camp: Q+A

What are Child’s Play NY’s summer 2020 online options?

We have reinvented our award-winning theater camp to be a virtual experience that brings kids together though play!  

We’re also running Make A Movie programs if your child wants a completely customized experience.

What is the schedule? Is some of it optional?

Our goal in camps is to give daily live dynamic instruction, and have time each day for kids to be creating on their own – and taking a break from structure and screens.  

Each morning, small groups of campers will meet for interactive games, story creation and rehearsals. There are 2 blocks of 45 minute LIVE classes. The middle of the day has a suite of optional self-directed activities – like movement stories, crafts, partner rehearsals and writing exercises (ages 7+) that can be done at the camper’s own pace. We finish the day in the late afternoon, with another double-set of live classes. 

You can see example schedules here.

What’s the culmination like?

Each week will culminate in the creation of a movie montage!  The camper’s favorite games, scene work (Players Series for ages 7+) and original material will be turned into a film that you will be sent and they can keep as a memento of their experience.  While we are always process-oriented, the excitement of working toward a finished product builds an incredible community that is intrinsic to the camp experience and to artistic creation! Whether practicing dance moves, or writing a scene with a friend, there is plenty to work on in the off-hours, and there is also time to relax! 

What is the cost?

Camp is $200 a week. With 4 live classes a day that comes out to $10/class!
There is a sibling discount also – and siblings can enroll for $150. 

Our Make a Movie program is $250-$500 per child depending on how many friends (2-4) are producing with your child. This process is at a schedule that works for you, but you can anticipate 9 live sessions over 6-9 weeks. 

How many kids are in a live class?

We love our small live classes – that’s where the magic happens! We have a 1:7 ratio of teacher:camper and kids are grouped by age and within our classes. 

Who are the teachers?

We have a diverse roster of extremely talented teachers. Check out our summer teachers on our slideshow here. Kids will have 2 consistent teachers who they learn from in live sessions. Their optional asynchronous  videos will include lots of other teaching artists to learn from – yoga stories, Hip-hop Shakespeare, mindfulness journeys or movement Mad Libs. All that curriculum is led by our award-winning Child’s Play NY staff. 

Will my kids be with their peers?

Although we have groups that range from ages 3-6 and 7-11, we further divide up those sessions into smaller sections by age. Kids are creating work, rehearsing scenes and devising with kids their peers.

Will there be in person camp this summer?

We are able to send one teacher to a group of up to 4 children. They would meet in a designated outdoor space of your choosing and lead socially-distant games and play for up to 75 minutes.  Please reach out if this is something you’d like to learn more about. 

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May 18, 2020

Dear Families,

We continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our families and teaching artists throughout this pandemic, and hope that you and yours are safe. 

Our latest summer camp updates are as follows:

  • – We are working with a coalition of other camps in the NY metro area surrounding a safe reopen for late summer. Collectively, we are reaching out to local representatives to support us as we plan for the possibility of gathering.
  • – We are offering online camps every week we were scheduled to meet in person, even if we are also safely able to gather. The camp day is flexible, with both live and asynchronous components. There are hours of content available to your child daily for $200 a week.
  • – In addition, we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to offer in-person programming during August, in tandem with the online components. These staggered sessions will take place with a small number of children, led by one teacher throughout the day. These Play Pods will support the mental health of our children who are longing for connection, while also following rigorous health and safety protocols. During the Play Pod, there would be 4 children with 1 adult. The meeting duration will be limited to one hour, either in our cleaned and well ventilated studios or in a safely cordoned-off area outside.

Our ethos has always been: Acting on Imagination! Our work is improvisation based, and therefore we are not reliant on materials to make the magic of theater that we love. Ultimately, whether online or in person, we believe we will be able to provide children with the opportunity to engage creatively and socially, while still being safe.

It goes without saying, that the camp structure will be very different than our pre-pandemic expectations. However, this reimagined summer will still nurture our campers’ emotional and artistic development during these unprecedented times. 

If you have not yet registered, you can enroll for virtual camps here. You will be notified when and if the Play Pod option becomes available. 

If you are already enrolled in a camp session, your spot is saved in the virtual program, and the difference in cost will be credited to your account for use in the Play Pods or a future Child’s Play NY experience.

Please be in touch with any questions or concerns.

In solidarity,
Jocelyn Greene & the Child’s Play NY Team

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April 29, 2020

Dear Families,

First and foremost, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe during this tumultuous time. 

Because of the pandemic, our business has been hit very hard. We are not a summer operation, exclusively, but rather a year-round program. Dozens of our classes and contracts with schools were cancelled in the spring due to COVID-19 and it has taken a toll on our operations. Summer camp rents and staff had already been paid through August. Without the support of our summer camp families, we will be in serious danger. We are counting on the generosity and trust of the community who has valued the work we do for over a decade. Please continue a little while longer and see us through this crisis.

We are keeping up with the newest developments around COVID-19, and will let those developments determine how we respond. It is our deepest hope that we will be able to meet in person again by the time our sessions start on August 3rd. We are basing our decisions off of guidelines from the State of New York and the CDC, and will communicate those to you via email when a clear conclusion can be reached. 

Should we be unable to gather in person, we will be offering robust virtual programming starting in July. We have grown expert in teaching online since transitioning to remote learning this spring. Whether working remotely or in-person, our mission remains the same: to help kids activate their imagination and use theater to bring joy and connectedness. Especially in times of social distancing, our work feels more important than ever.

Just like in our regular programs, Child’s Play NY virtual camps get kids playing games with each other, creating original material, and learning new acting skills. Please see a sample schedule for reference. After camp, kids will receive a movie montage showcasing their original work and games.
You can read testimonials from teachers and parents about our online work here.

Our cancellation policy remains as follows: if your cancellation request is made more than 72 hours after registration, you will be issued a credit in full towards a remote class or camp, or a future program. You can review our policy here.

Should we not be able to meet in person the options will be:

  • – Participate in our virtual programming and receive a credit for the cost difference.
  • – Receive a full credit for a future Child’s Play NY experience. 

Credits can be used towards holiday camps, summer camps, after school classes, custom group classes, birthday parties, and one on one coaching sessions. Feel free to contact us to schedule as soon as it is safe to meet. 

We are striving to be as transparent as possible while also doing what is best for our families and community.  As always, we are available if you have any specific questions. Please call or text us at (347) 759-6313 or send an email to Jocelyn@childsplayny.com. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you to all who have reached out to us during this challenging time. To everyone who has joined our online classes and participating in our movie productions, we are immensely grateful for your support and affirmation. We are honored to serve our families and communities.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we certainly hope to see you all in August.


Jocelyn Greene, Executive Director

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