Sunset Heights Art Studio Camps Nurture Students’ Creativity as Artists

Camppedia was founded by parents for parents, and one thing we have heard over and over again while talking to other parents was that they want to know more about the camps they are sending their kids to, and there isn’t a third-party rating system for camps. We took this request to heart and decided to interview representatives from as many camps as possible in the Houston area to learn more about the camps and start developing a rating system that parents could rely on.

Our goal with these interviews is to showcase the transformation of kids going through a camp’s program, as well as provide parents with extra information that isn’t always available on the camp’s website.


Students learn a variety of art techniques and develop new skills through hands-on learning experiences in an intimate, small-group setting at Sunset Heights Art Studio’s summer classes. The classes each run as five-day summer camp sessions, and topics vary each week and according to students’ age groups. During these sessions, students meet daily for two and a half hours and participate in a mix of indoor and outdoor activities.

Children from 6 to 8 years of age may choose from camps that explore nature, portraits, bugs and creepy crawlies, and art through literature. Activities for this age level include things such as exploring famous landscapes, sketching in an outdoor garden, molding animals out of clay, making collages, and exploring shapes and patterns.

Camps for children from 9 to 13 years of age feature drawing, using mixed media, color expression through painting, and elements of design. Activities for this age level include wet and dry drawing techniques, making handmade paper, learning color psychology in painting, and exploring the underlying structure of objects to use them in their artwork.

The structured curriculum focuses on building vocabulary, developing an art skill-set, and learning to appreciate drawing and painting. As students have fun creating art, they learn observational skills, critical thinking, and creative expression, and they improve their confidence in their abilities as they become more comfortable with painting and drawing. By the end of the camp, each student leaves with two or three pieces of finished art.

The art instructor and owner of the studio is an experienced, practicing artist and has taught students, from elementary to college, for 30 years, so you can be confident that your children are learning from a professional who is experienced in working with children and teens.

In addition to these weekday camps for children, the studio offers Saturday classes for teens and adults.

Unique things about Sunset Heights Art Studio camps include:

  • The camps are run by a highly skilled professional who is a practicing artist and educator with 30 years of experience who has had her work displayed in various galleries. She currently teaches at an Episcopal high school in the area, and she started these camps during the summer to encourage students who love art and want to be creators.
  • The 1:10 teacher-student ratio means that students learn in an intimate environment, which provides them with the attention and individualized instruction they need to develop their skills.
  • Students with disabilities or conditions, such as ADD, ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities are welcomed at these camps.
  • Students learn to tap into their creative genius as they develop their skills in a fun and structured learning environment.
  • At the end of the week, students participate in a fun paint-throwing activity. They throw paint onto a large canvas, and each student gets to take a piece of the finished product home with them.

Check out Sunset Heights Art Studio for more information.

Children Learn How to Be Responsible Pet Owners at Houston Humane Society Camps

Camppedia was founded by parents for parents, and one thing we have heard over and over again while talking to other parents was that they want to know more about the camps they are sending their kids to, and there isn’t a third-party rating system for camps. We took this request to heart and decided to interview representatives from as many camps as possible in the Houston area to learn more about the camps and start developing a rating system that parents could rely on.

Our goal with these interviews is to showcase the transformation of kids going through a camp’s program, as well as provide parents with extra information that isn’t always available on the camp’s website.


Children who participate in the Houston Humane Society’s camps leave with a deeper appreciation for animals, greater empathy, knowledge of how to treat animals humanely and be a responsible pet owner. Children from the ages of 7 to 13 can choose from Companion Camps during the summer and a Winter Holiday Camp during students’ winter breaks from school.

The summer camps are one week long and run throughout the summer months. During this camp, children learn about animals through interactive show-and-tell sessions with expert guest speakers, observations, veterinarian lessons, crafts, and games, as well as hands-on interaction and free-play with the shelter animals for two hours each day. Topics and speakers change each week and may include therapy dogs, animal cruelty investigators, dog trainers, wildlife rescue, horses, or reptiles.

The structured curriculum is designed to provide children with opportunities to learn about, appreciate, and love animals. This includes outdoor games and activities in the morning and indoor games and activities in the afternoon. The two hours of play time are split up with one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, and they encourage children to learn how to interpret cues for animal body language. Children may choose to watch a spay or neuter surgery at the end of the week.

The Humane Society has offered summer camps for more than 20 years. According to the camp director, children often want to stay longer when their parents come to pick them up.

During the Winter Holiday Camp, children learn about animals, just as they do in the summer camp. The difference is that the Holiday Camp is one day shorter, and the children use some of that time to make holiday crafts. You can choose to sign your children up for all four days of the camp or individual days, so it is flexible enough to fit into busy holiday schedules.

Unique things about Houston Humane Society’s camps include:

  • There are multiple opportunities for learning through interactions with animal experts and hands-on play time with shelter animals.
  • Students may choose to watch an actual spray or neuter surgery.
  • In addition to summer camps, there are camps during winter breaks that offer flexibility to accommodate busy schedules.

Check out Humane Society’s camps on Camppedia or their website.

Challenge Island: Children Ditch Their Screens for Hands-On Learning

Camppedia was founded by parents for parents, and one thing we have heard over and over again while talking to other parents was that they want to know more about the camps they are sending their kids to, and there isn’t a third-party rating system for camps. We took this request to heart and decided to interview representatives from as many camps as possible in the Houston area to learn more about the camps and start developing a rating system that parents could rely on.

Our goal with these interviews is to showcase the transformation of kids going through a camp’s program, as well as provide parents with extra information that isn’t always available on the camp’s website.


STEAMtastic Challenge Island Camp immerses children in hands-on learning activities that are completely screen-free. This device-free learning environment allows students to use their imaginations as they develop critical thinking, engineering, and problem-solving skills through creative projects using a variety of common materials. For example, students work together to build a tower of a particular height using marshmallows and sticks as building materials.

Children will enjoy the party-like atmosphere of these unique camps, which are structured around a variety of pop culture trademarked themes, such as Super Hero Camp, Emoji Camp, American Girls and Dolls Camp, Minecraft Camp, Space Wars Camp, Wizardry Camp, and many others.  These fun themes are used to create an environment where children learn teamwork, collaborative thinking, and leadership skills as they engage in challenging, action-packed activities and learn 21st Century STEM/STEAM skills.

In addition to programs during school breaks and summer vacation, Challenge Island offers year-round programs for children from ages 4 to 14, including after-school enrichment classes, in-school field trips, preschool programs, fun family challenge nights, and birthday parties.

Challenge Island also is a corporate partner with Girl Scout Councils across the country, so they offer badge workshops for Girl Scouts of all ages. Boy Scout programs are also available.

Established in 2018, this franchise serves more than 150 children over the summer and has a small-sized camp capacity of 20-25 children. The staff-student ratio is 1:9, which means that students get the attention they need to stay focused on activities and learn new skills.

There are currently eight locations in Montessori and private schools in the Houston area, including Fort Bend and Katy.

Unique things about STEAMtastic Challenge Island Camp include:

  • Children leave their phones and devices at home while they learn critical skills through fun hands-on activities.
  • The camp provides a whimsical atmosphere with fun pop-culture themes to create a high-energy mini-vacation environment for children.
  • Activities focus on opening the creative mind and using any type of common materials to build a variety of projects.
  • Children are grouped into “tribes” to encourage them to bond and build friendships while they learn to negotiate, compromise, and accept each other.

Challenge Island’s website

Smart Core Labs: Teaching Kindergartners Coding

Camppedia was founded by parents for parents and one thing we heard over and over again while talking to other parents was that they wanted to know more about the camps they are sending their kids to and there wasn’t really a third party rating system of camps. We took this request to heart and decided to interview as many camps as possible in the Houston area to learn more about the camps and start developing a rating system that parents could rely on.

Our goal of these interviews is to showcase the transformation of kids going through a camp’s program as well as provide extra information to parents that isn’t always available on the camp’s website.


There is only one facility in Houston that is teaching kids as young as 4 years old coding, and it’s Smart Core Labs. Smart Core Labs is a family owned business established 2 years ago that has set out to equip children with the skill sets needed for jobs of the future. When we interviewed the owner he said he saw that schools weren’t teaching the skills that children will need for future jobs, many of which he believes haven’t been created yet.

The skill sets Smart Core Labs focuses on developing are critical thinking, problem solving skills, coding, engineering, and robotics. Smart Core Labs has developed a unique curriculum used through their fall, winter, spring, summer, in-school, and after-school programs. The curriculum focuses on science, machines, art & animation, robotics, and technology. 

The days are highly structured and the kids will come out of camp with tangible skills that they can continue to build upon through the rest of the year. During the first day at camp, a child’s custom curriculum is developed based on their particular skill set to ensure they receive the most out of their time at Smart Core Labs. 

Because there is a lot of screen time in the programming at Smart Core Labs, kids are not allowed to use screens during their break and are encouraged to play board games with fellow campers. We felt this was something unique about the camp experience that parents would love to know about!

Over Smart Core Labs’s 2 year existence they have worked with over 1,800 children, many of which love the program so much they keep attending after summer is over. Smart Core Labs believes the transformation a child experiences through their programming is the development of a skill set that will set them up for success.

Unique things about the camp experience at Smart Core Labs:

  • Every program is hands on and interactive
  • Instructors are all full time teachers that go through a 5 day training to be qualified to teach at Smart Core Labs
  • Smart Core Labs collaborates with other local organizations to do special programming such as film making and art animation
  • Smart Core Labs is working with schools to do programming 1 day a week during class time
  • On weekends Smart Core Labs offers private lessons for kids and their parents

See Smart Core on Camppedia | Visit the SmartCore website