Summer camps may be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the fun isn’t! While camp may look different this year, you can still have your own DIY summer camp at home filled with activities, games, and crafts that will keep the kids busy and having fun. We rounded up our favorite tried-and-true summer camp activities that you can do right from home. Try these ideas to create an experience that will give you amazing family memories that will last a lifetime.
Starting a summer camp at home is a great way to keep the kids entertained and busy this summer, but it requires some planning. To create a successful summer camp filled with fun and productive games and activities, you’ll want to follow these steps.
Before planning your at-home camp or gathering supplies, consider your kids’ interests to plan a theme. Ask your kids what type of summer camp they would’ve wanted to attend had the coronavirus outbreak not altered their plans, and incorporate those ideas into your camp at home. Think about how long you want the camp to go for. Whether it’s one week, a few weeks, or only on the weekends, plan so you can give them your undivided attention. If you have older kids, consider how they can help and act as “camp counselors” to their younger siblings.
Add some structure to your day, whether it’s a little or a lot. When planning the camp’s schedule, consider how invested you will need to be. Are the kids are old enough to do the activities without you, or will they need more guidance? If the camp time is during your workday, give them enough structure to where they don’t need much assistance. Plan out a scheduled time for lunch, outdoor time, and any activities they’ll need you to be more hands-on for.
Consider the items you might need to structure your day. Think about the camp’s different themes and what supplies they’ll need for their fun summer activities.
When you’re hosting your own summer camp at home, it’s essential to set a time for camp to end every day. At the end of each day, help the kids clean up after themselves and get them excited for the camp days to come.
A summer camp theme gives character to your camp. A unique theme makes it easier to work out a camp schedule and showcase some of the cool crafts, games, and activities campers will be taking part in. Whether your child is interested in sports or art, you can tailor your at-home camp to align with their interests. Get inspired by these fun summer camp theme ideas.
Explore countries from around the globe with an Around the World themed camp. Take an imaginary trip to a different country each day of camp to expose your kids to different cultures in a fun and unique way. For lunch, let them try different yummy foods by looking up dishes you can make from around the world. Find summer camp games and crafts from other countries to recreate at home, and teach the campers some phrases from each country they “visit.”
Give the kids the feeling of getting away by hosting a backyard camping trip. Set up tents, safely make a fire pit, and teach the little ones new camping activities each day. From campfire skits and scary stories to camp songs, the kids will have a blast right at home with fun camping activities. Do fun crafts together like making toilet paper binoculars or painting rocks. Munch on traditional summer camp BBQ foods like burgers and hot dogs — and don’t forget the s’mores!
Even though your summer vacation plans might have been postponed or canceled, you can host a Hawaiian staycation at an at-home summer camp. Turn your home into a tropical oasis with Hawaiian and beach-themed crafts and outdoor games. Hold hula hoop competitions, play pool noodle limbo, and practice traditional Hawaiian dancing to keep the kids active throughout the day. Work with the kids on crafts like making homemade leis, tropical visors, and surfboards out of cardboard. Creating seashell bracelets and decorating sunglasses are another fun way to get crafty with things the kids can use or wear all summer long.
Give the kids a sports camp experience right from home this summer. Whether you only focus on one sport or practice a different one each day, active summer camp activities are a great way for kids to enhance their skills while having a great time. Form teams and host backyard baseball, soccer, kickball, or basketball games — or set up obstacle courses out of supplies you already have at home. At the end of camp, hold a talent show so the kids can show off their best sports skills, like bouncing a soccer ball on their knee or spinning a basketball on their finger.
Host a camp filled with summer fun while exploring nature. Get creative outside with DIY summer camp activities like decorating flower pots, painting birdhouses, or personalizing garden stones. Go exploring at home with an adventurous scavenger hunt or bring out a magnifying glass to observe the bugs you can find in your own backyard. Don’t forget to ensure that all campers are wearing sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun while spending time outdoors!
Take advantage of the hot summer days with a Splish Splash camp theme. Dedicate your afternoons to summer camp activities like water balloon tosses, slip ‘n slides, squirt gun games, sponge ball (football with a wet sponge), and sprinkler fun. These fun water games are a perfect way to beat the heat and keep the kids outside all summer long.
Let campers explore their choreography creativity with a camp dedicated to dance. Teach different dance styles to the kids — YouTube has excellent videos for dancers of all levels to learn from and enjoy! Host themed dance nights like the Roaring 20s, Groovy 60s, and Disco Nights 70s, or spend the evening watching classic dance films like Singing in the Rain or Shirley Temple movies.
Fill your campers’ days with productive summer camp games and activities to keep them entertained and engaged. Whether you have a large backyard for outdoor play or want to keep the summer fun indoors, there’s plenty of creative and inexpensive activities perfect for your at-home camp.
Explore your campers’ creative interests with DIY summer camp crafts. From slime experiments to tie-dye fun, these arts and crafts ideas will keep your kids busy for hours while making something they’ll be proud to show off.
Starting a summer camp at home is a fantastic way for kids to learn new skills and have fun. Whether you host a summer camp at home for just one day or the entire summer, your campers will love recreating summer camp activities and bonding as a family. To commemorate this unforgettable summer, make a custom photo book to showcase pictures of your special family memories.
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