How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at homeOne of the great things about summer camp is the spontaneity of some of the activities. [Photo Credit: Unsplash] If you are reading this article, chances are that you are searching for fun and practical ways to keep your kids productively engaged this summer holiday.

Not to worry, we have got you covered. Here’s how you can create a summer camp experience at home!

1. Talk To Parents And Children Who Might Be Interested

Before you go ahead to organise a summer camp at home for your kids, you may want to do a survey to get other children (in their close circle) involved.

The whole idea of the camp in the first place is to prevent your children from getting bored during the holiday; for things like this, it’s really “the more, the merrier.”

Maybe not a multitude, however, but just enough to make the socializing and learning new stuff from their peers happen.

In all, do your best to choose the right campers.

If all camp attendees are relatively close to the same age, they’re much more likely to have fun over the camp session.

It’s even preferable that all of the attendees already know each other from school, as family friends, etc.

After this is done, depending on the age and number of attendees, make arrangements for other adults to help supervise during each day of the camp.

2. Decide On The Duration Of The Summer Camp

Once you have gotten your list of interested participants for the camp, you can use that information to decide on a length for the camp.

Say ten kids want to join, and five parents are each willing to host for one day; you can easily set up a five-day long camp session with one parent handling supervision duties each day.

3. Select Summer Camp Activities

It will help to create a full list of potential activities for your campers. Think of creative ways to incorporate your camp’s theme (if you have one) into the camp.

Make sure to also pick activities appropriate to the age of your campers.

Have the kids write down what they want to do on slips of paper, then decide on 5-7 activities from the suggestions that they would like to do.

It might also help to work with a theme.

For camps with younger campers, focus on easier crafting projects and games, colouring activities, less structured events, and plenty of space to run around.

While for an art camp, consider letting students sculpt with clay, design their own t-shirts with stencils or markers, learn about a specific artist or style, visit an art gallery, etc.

4. Gather Supplies For Your Summer Camp

Organising a summer camp at home is not for the faint-hearted.

With your schedule in place, figure out exactly what you need as far as supplies for the camp.

This will include food for all of the campers and inexpensive decorations to match your theme. Keep games handy.

There is bound to be plenty of downtime between activities, while waiting for food, for example.

Keep cards, board games, colouring books, and other toys on hand to keep the campers entertained while the adult oversees transitions between events.

You can also come up with items that each camper will need to provide—such as a sleeping bag or enough cash for lunch during a field trip—then make sure to communicate this list to all of the parents in time; the more notice they have the better.

And please do not forget the first aid kit in the general supplies, just to be safe.

5. Have Contact Information Available

In addition to having a list of who will attend summer camp each day, you/the adult in charge should also keep a list of emergency contact numbers for each camper, as well as a list of any relevant allergies or dietary restrictions.

6. Ditch The Schedule When The Occasion Calls For It

One of the great things about summer camp is the spontaneity of some of the activities.

Don’t get worked up about sticking to the schedule at the possible cost of other fun.

Let your campers get creative and even improvise some of their own fun in the moment.

They are there to have fun, remember?

Do your best to keep everyone at camp involved, engaged, and happy. If this means changing plans at the last minute in the name of fun, take the leap.

7. Create A Set Of Rules

If you don’t set the rules, you’ll spend a lot of time everyday on questions about what you can and can’t do.

To avoid this, list them out on a chart; make sure you even cover the simplest rules.

In fact, separate into do’s and don’ts; that seems to be the easiest to understand.

It will also help to type out a schedule of all the things you are going to do each day.

Also read: How to choose the right summer school for your child

Take into account the attention span of some of the campers—depending on their age range.

If you are dealing with little kids, between 4-9 years old for instance, ensure the activities time span of a maximum of 25 minutes per activity.

Give extra time for lunch and naps, etc.

Also, make visible all necessary signs. You need to make a sign on each door so they know what each room is.

If it is a room that they are not allowed in, tell everyone, then put a sign on the door that says so.

Get more resources on parenting here .

How to create a summer camp at home

In my house, on a magnetic whiteboard, there is a countdown – a countdown to SUMMER. For some of you, the fear and panic is starting to set in and you may be wondering – “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY KIDS ALL SUMMER?” You may be checking out summer camps and buying coffee in bulk.

That is not me. Call me crazy but I love having my kids at home all summer! I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a school teacher which means- I get my WHOLE family to myself for 11 weeks! I soak it in! It’s like Christmas for me! It works for us because I’ve created a fun summer camp schedule to keep my kids busy and my sanity intact.

I’ve always been a planner! I live by schedules (with wiggle room). A few years ago I started a summer schedule that included some extra school work to prevent the summer slide. We didn’t have a family vacation planned so I added crafts, activities, and outings because I really wanted the family to enjoy the summer. The plans were similar to a summer camp and called it my “Home Summer Camp.” My plans were successful and I’ve been doing it ever since!

I try to stick to budget-friendly activities but occasionally include a fun splurge. Last year, I added chores and themed weeks to our schedule. My children are ages (almost) 10, 6, and 3. I am excited about this year’s summer schedule. This schedule seems to keep us on a semi-normal routine with chores, learning time, creative time, fun time, and family time.

I’m going to make your summer a little easier and share my summer plans with you so that you, too, can have your own Home Summer Camp! Here is what our daily schedule looks like (You can adjust the times to fit your lifestyle but this is what works for us):

Home Summer Camp Schedule

9:30 AM- Breakfast

11-12 PM- Learning/ Reading Time

1-4 PM- Fun/Creative/Reading Time

4:30-5 PM- Screen Time

5:30-6:30 PM- Dinner

7-10 PM- Family Time

10:30 PM- Get Ready for Bed

11 PM- Lights out

Learning Time- workbooks and online learning resources for math and language arts and required summer reading.

Fun/Creative/Reading Time- This time will be filled with our weekly themes

Family Time- Movie night, family game night, go somewhere together, or mom and dad date night

Weekly Themes:

Week 1- Health and Hygiene

How to create a summer camp at home

This week is an introduction to our summer schedule. We will do activities and crafts to cover good hygiene, safety, and self-esteem. This includes the importance of chores and manners.

  • Weekly Movie- Inside Out or The Princess Diaries

Week 2- Beach and Ocean

How to create a summer camp at homeThis week requires a trip to the beach. We will do activities teaching about the ocean and the creatures that live there (including mermaids and pirates). We will do crafts using collected shells.

  • Weekly Movie- Moana or Finding Nemo

Week 3- Art and Music

How to create a summer camp at homeThis week we study great artists, music, and theater. We will create our own masterpieces, make pottery, and put on a performance. It would be a good idea to check out an art museum.

  • Weekly Movie- Sound of Music or Newsies

Week 4- Animals and Dinosaurs

How to create a summer camp at homeThis week requires a trip to the zoo. We will research caring for a pet, animals, and their habitats, and doing a backyard safari. The crafts will include a DIY bird feeder.

  • Weekly Movie- We Bought a Zoo or Jurassic Park

Week 5- Outer Space and Superheroes

How to create a summer camp at homeThis will require a night under the stars- stargazing. We will study our solar system, planets, and constellations. We will create our own superhero and make balloon rockets.

  • Weekly Movie- The Incredibles or Megamind

Week 6- AmericaHow to create a summer camp at home

This week should include the 4th of July. We will study the pioneers, the states, and the presidents. Our crafts and activities will include making 4th of July shirts, homemade butter, and learning to hand sew. We will also go to a baseball game.

  • Weekly Movie- Sandlot or Little Rascals

Week 7- Nature and Science

How to create a summer camp at homeThis week we will do science experiences and study nature. We will go on a nature walk, make flubber, paint rocks, and plant a flower.

  • Weekly Movie- The Lorax or Flubber


Week 9- Christmas in July

How to create a summer camp at homeWho said Christmas only comes once a year? This week is going to be all about being charitable and doing good deeds. We will send cards, decorate, make ornaments, and have a snowball fight.

  • Weekly Movie- Elf or The Grinch

Week 10- Around the World

How to create a summer camp at homeThis week we will learn about other countries, cultures, and cuisine. Each day we will travel to a different country (without ever leaving the house) doing crafts and trying new foods.

  • Weekly Movie- Beauty and the Beast or Book of Life

Week 11- Week of Fun

How to create a summer camp at home

This is the last week of summer vacation. Make it as fun as possible! Have friends over and celebrate with fun games. I’ve got glow in the dark Hide and Seek, water gun war, chalk art photos, and a mystery dinner planned.

  • Weekly Movie- Diary of a Wimpy Kid or How to Eat Fried Worms

I also plan daily schedules but keeping in mind, I have to be flexible. My children don’t ALWAYS get their chores done on time (which affects the rest of the day). They can earn rewards and get more screen time or lose it as a punishment. We visit the library weekly and get a few books to fit our themes. We go to parks, playgrounds, and have playdates.

I hope this schedule helps you plan out your own home summer camp!

Summer camps are great experiences for kids.В They give kids a chance to participate in fun activities, play sports, meet new people, learn new skills, develop their talents, and experience nature.В However, the cost of summer camp for just one child can be steep, let alone for multiple children in a family.В Plus, sometimes, transportation and summer schedules can be an issue.В MaybeВ you would love the summer camp experience for your child(ren), but you are unable to send them.В Maybe the long, unstructured summer stretches out before you and you feel overwhelmed by activity.В Maybe you are looking for ways to encourage reading and discovery throughout the summer.В В Hosting your own summer camp can be fun for the entire family.

For a great resource for your summertime, be sure to check out 100 Days of Summertime. В ListPlanIt.comВ also has many resources to help you plan a terrific summer camp experience for your children in our Student ePlanner and more specifically in our Home Education ePlanner.В Here are some ideas to get you started.

How to create a summer camp at home

    • Choose Dates
      Take a look at your summer calendars (ListPlanIt members can start by printing out Summer Planner) and decide which dates/weeks to devote to your summer camp. Plan around summer vacation and swim lessons.
    • Choose a Theme (or Themes)
      Choose a theme per day or really delve into a subject by spreading it throughout the week.В Choose both topics that your children are interested in and topics that you would like to introduce or explore with your children.В Here are some great resources for choosing themes.
      • 100 Summer Camp Themes from Summer Camp Program Director website – jackpot!
      • Tropic Home & Family has some great ideas for 10 weeks of summer camp at home.
    • Expand on your Theme
      • Explore historical context.
      • Cook it! (doubles as a snack)
      • Do an experiment.
      • Play it
      • Make it music to your ears.
      • Get out of the house.
      • Dig in the dirt.
      • Introduce new people.
    • Create a Schedule
      Depending on you and your family’s personality, this can be as structured or as flexible as you choose.В Some people plan their day out in blocks of 15 minutes.В Others might block the day by morning and afternoon.В (ListPlanIt members can start by printing out Summer Camp Schedule in Student Planning)

How to create a summer camp at home

  • Research Activities
    • Bargain Babe has a great list of 100 frugal and fun activities.
    • Ultimate Camp Resource is a website devoted to all kinds of camp activities: art, songs, games, skits, campfire stories, ice breakers, and team-building
    • Amy Clark of created an amazing board on Pinterest called 100 Days of Summer – a summer feast for the eyes!
  • Gather Materials
    • This is where it could get costly. Look around the house for materials that you can use. Create a list of supplies that you might need and begin to scour the dollar stores and secondhand shops. Borrow from the library or friends.
    • Keep your materials in one convenient location that you can pull out for camp and put away when camp is done. Designate a tub or rolling cart for summer camp.
    (Members, be sure to check out ListPlanIt‘s Resources, Resource Tracker, and Supply Inventory in Home Education.)
  • Set Goals for Yourself and Your Children
    • Organizing a summer camp experience at home will require you to do quite a lot of planning: activities, materials for crafts and games, snacks and meals, etc. Set planning goals for yourself to ensure a successful camp experience.
    • What would you most like you children to get out of summer camp – reading practice, self-confidence, social skills, a new skill?В Consider these and plan accordingly.

Do you plan to have a summer camp for your children?В What ideas have you used in the past or plan to use this summer?

Members to ListPlanIt will find the lists they need in Student PlanningВ to plan a fun summer camp at home. В Not yet a member? В Join today for just $5 and get organized for summer.

In the summer of 2013, I had to leave my camp of five years and go home. The change was hard on me, but it also taught me a valuable lesson about how to recreate that sense of belonging for anyone who misses their favorite childhood memory by going through old pictures or writing letters.

The “summer camp at home ideas 2021” is a list of 5 steps to recreate the summer camp experience at home. These are good ideas for those who want to create their own summer camp experience.

June 21, 2021 Categories: Activities, Kids, Tips/How tos

It’s easy to see why kids and their parents love summer camp. While children spend hours outdoors with their pals, parents can rest certain that their children are remaining active and engaged throughout the months when they are not in school. However, if you chose to spend this year at home for any reason, we’ve got you covered. Here are some ideas for keeping your kids occupied (and you sane) as you recreate summer camp at home.

1. Discovered a Family Camp

Create a camp name, logo, and songs to mimic your kids’ typical summer fun! These creative ideas to customize camp at home will show your camp pride:

  • Come up with a camp name. A name, whether it’s based on your family’s surname, your street name, or your children’s favorite animal, can help at-home camp seem more authentic.
  • Show off your camp’s logo. Once you’ve decided on a camp name, use your kids’ doodling talents to create a camp logo. To increase camp enthusiasm, paint the emblem on a camp banner, flag, or clothing.
  • Make a camp song. To make a camp chant, use famous camp shouts or make your own rhythm! Incorporate your camp’s name and the names of your campers to make everyone feel proud.

How to create a summer camp at home

Create a “Campground” in step two.

It’s time to build up a campsite once you’ve established your camp! After months of being cooped up inside, a place dedicated to all forms of outdoor activities can alleviate cabin fever.

  • Set up a tent. Grab your camping tent or make your own as a fun project! Allow the kids to decorate with their favorite blankets and toys, as well as your camp flag.
  • Dine outside. Bring your dining area outdoors to mimic camp picnic tables! Set up beach blankets and cushions in the yard and install string lights, or take a picnic to a nearby park.
  • Screen time should be taken outdoors. Set up a flat sheet against your home, spread down blankets, and use this inexpensive projector to turn your backyard into an outdoor “theater.”

3. Participate in camp games

Even while huge summer camp games like capture the flag aren’t possible with an at-home summer camp, there are still methods to be active at home. Here are a couple outdoor games that are just as entertaining even if there isn’t a large camp crowd:

  • Make a four-square competition. Four square may be played in a variety of ways. Chalk, a bouncing ball, and a few players are all you need. The game may also be adapted for people of all ages.
  • Water balloons are tossed. This game just requires two participants (as well as clothing that may get wet). Fill water balloons of various sizes and see how many times you can throw them without getting drenched!
  • On your front sidewalk, go imaginative. Make a hopscotch challenge for your neighbors to tackle on your sidewalk!

4. Be resourceful

While sports and games may reign supreme at camp, leisure activities provide opportunities for youngsters to be creative and learn while school is out. These ideas for kids of all ages can help you recreate camp crafts at home:

  • Create camp tees. Keep the messiest projects for the outside! Kids of all ages will enjoy making their own camp shirts. After the shirts have dried, keep your camp spirit alive by painting on your camp logo!
  • Make friendship bracelets by weaving them together. Bring camp-favorite friendship bracelets home with the older kids. Allow them to experiment with various designs and patterns for hours of entertainment.
  • Make a natural history diary. Make nature your school for younger children! Bring a sketchbook to the park and have them draw any flowers, trees, or animals they come across.
  • Experiment with science. This summer, you don’t have to stop learning! Set up basic outdoor science activities for older children.

5. Prepare easy-to-prepare outdoor meals

Make the most of your outdoor dining space by serving camp meals and goodies. These easy-to-prepare nutritious child meals and snacks will keep your kids energized for their at-home camp activities:

Even if you don’t send your kids to camp, they can be healthy, active, and happy this summer! Get out there and start camping!

How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at home

Katie Klepek is a writer.

Katie gets to combine her passions—family, cuisine, and healthy living choices—with designing a tailored experience for Nurture Life’s brand as director of marketing. She co-founded the successful event production firm Reinventing Events and has over 18 years of expertise in business, communications, marketing, and event planning. Katie’s diverse background enables her to develop, plan, and deliver results by effectively combining communication and organizational skills. Katie was born and reared in the Midwest and studied English and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Katie runs marathons and co-hosts a horror movie podcast with her husband when she’s not spreading joy (and eating cookies) at Nurture Life. She has a 3-year-old daughter who has grown up on Nurture Life, and she is expecting another girl!

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Summer Camp is a time for kids to get away from the pressures of school and enjoy some fun activities. To recreate summer camp at home, try these 5 steps. Reference: summer camp game ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a summer camp at home?

A: If you find a structure that holds up, like the steps in your house or maybe an old deck chair from outside your home, go ahead and cut it down into four equal pieces.

How do you make a camp at home for kids?

A: Create a fort, dig out a cave and make it cozy for them.

How do I make a summer camp schedule?

A: This is a question that I am not equipped to answer.

It’s clear why kids and their parents are crazy about summer camp. While kids spend hours playing outside with friends, camp provides parents the peace of mind that their little ones are staying active and engaged during months without school. But if for whatever reason, you decide to use this year for stay-at-home fun, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to keep your kids entertained (and you sane) while recreating summer camp at home.

1. Found Your Family Camp

Replicate your kids’ normal summer fun by establishing a camp name, logo and songs! Show your camp pride with these fun ways to personalize camp at home:

  • Brainstorm a camp name. Whether it’s based off of your family’s surname, your street name or your kids’ favorite animal, a name will make at-home camp seem like the real deal.
  • Represent your camp emblem. Once a camp name is established, break out your kids’ doodle skills to make a camp logo. Paint the logo on a camp banner, flag or clothes to boost camp spirit!
  • Make a camp anthem. Use classic camp cheers or drum up your own beat to create a camp chant! Weave in your camp name and campers’ names to make everyone feel the pride.

How to create a summer camp at home

2. Create a “Campground”

Once you’ve founded your camp, it’s time to set up a campground! A space for all types of outdoor activities will cure cabin fever after months of being stuck indoors.

  • Pitch a tent. Grab your camping tent or create an activity out of making your own ! Let the kids decorate with your camp banner and their favorite blankets and toys.
  • Dine al fresco. Replicate camp picnic tables by bringing your dining room outside! Lay out beach towels and pillows and hang string lights in the yard or bring a picnic to a local park.
  • Move screen time outside. To continue the fun after dark, set up a flat sheet against your house, lay out blankets and create an outdoor “theater” with this affordable projector .

3. Play Camp Games

Although large summer camp activities like capture the flag may be out of the question with an at-home summer camp, there are still ways to get active at home. Here are a few outdoor games that are just as fun without a big camp crowd:

  • Create a four square tournament. There are endless ways to play four square ! All you need is chalk, a bouncy ball and a few players. The game can even be adjusted for all ages
  • Toss water balloons. You only need two players (and clothes you don’t mind getting wet) for this game. Fill up water balloons of all sizes to test how many times you can toss them back and forth without getting soaked!
  • Get creative on your front sidewalk. Create a hopscotch challenge on your sidewalk and invite neighbors to try!

4. Get Crafty

Although sports and games may rule camp, downtime activities give kids the chance to get creative and learn while school is out. Recreate camp crafts at home with these projects for kids of all ages:

  • Design camp shirts. Save the messiest of crafts for the outdoors! Kids young and old will love tie-dying their own camp tees . Keep your camp spirit going and paint on your camp logo after the tees dry!
  • Weave friendship bracelets. For older kids, bring camp-favorite friendship bracelets home. Let them try different designs and patterns for hours of fun.
  • Make a nature journal. For younger kids, make nature their classroom! Bring a sketchbook to your local park and have them make drawings of flowers, trees or animals they find.
  • Conduct science experiments. Learning doesn’t have to stop this summer! Set up older kids with simple outdoor science experiments .

5. Make Low-Stress Outdoor Meals

Take advantage of your outdoor dining setup with camp food and treats! These healthy kids meals and snacks are low-prep for you and will keep your kids full of energy for their at-home camp activities:

  • Serve frozen treats. Is outdoor play getting too hot? Make snack time cool with these healthy homemade popsicles .
  • Explore Nurture Life meals. Missing summers when sleepaway camp handled mealtime? Skip food prep with one of Nurture Life’s nutritious delivery meals . Easy meals for kids like Chicken Bites or BBQ Pulled Pork will keep your kids happy and mealtime easy.
  • Toast s’mores. Finish off dinner with a camp classic, or try a healthier twist! No campfire? You can still indulge in this treat with indoor s’mores.

Even without camp, your kids can stay healthy, active and happy this summer! Get campin’!

How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at home

Katie Klepek

As the director of marketing at Nurture Life, Katie gets to combine her passions—family, food and healthy lifestyle choices—with crafting a personalized experience for Nurture Life’s brand. She has over 18 years experience in business, communications, marketing and event planning, having co-founded the successful event production company Reinventing Events. Katie’s diverse background allows her to effectively combine communication and organization skills to develop, plan and deliver results. Born and raised in the Midwest, Katie attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, specializing in English and Communication. When she’s not spreading her cheer (and eating cookies) at Nurture Life, Katie runs marathons and co-hosts a horror movie podcast with her husband. She has a 3-year-old daughter who has grown up on Nurture Life with another girl on the way!

We’re happy you care about the successful development of children. Let us help!

Thinking about starting a camp? Have a lot of questions? Watch this video to help you make your idea become a reality!

Essential Decisions and Considerations

Consider the following before you start a camp:

  • Create a comprehensive business plan – consider elements such as clientele, day or resident camp, environment, risk management, financing, staffing, summer or year-round
  • Determine the philosophy and culture of your camp
  • Plan your program
  • Consider how you will structure and build your staff – Recruitment, screening, supervision and training
  • Know the state laws and regulations affecting your camp
  • Determine your site and facility needs
  • Determine your food service needs, staffing, and costs
  • Consider elements related to transportation of campers (including on site traffic and other transportation)
  • Understand your market and create a plan
  • Understand and plan for risks
  • Determine your insurance needs
  • Consider finances (including cash flow, investors, realistic budgets)
  • Determine how you will evaluate success

How to create a summer camp at home

Summer. This one word has so many different meanings to everyone. For children, summer means holidays, fun, no schedule, waking up at whatever time they please among other things.

However, for parents, summer means kids at home, daily planning of their activities while trying to complete their own errands and what not! Urvi Sheth, Educator and Founder, Beyond Books share a few suggestions that make life easier for parents while making it fun for the kids!

The Art challenge

Make a set of cards. These cards will include different topics to illustrate. Every day, the child will pick up one card and use the art supplies to illustrate the topic. This is a great way to develop thinking, creativity and fine motor skills.

The child can use his/ her own imagination and creativity to draw their interpretation of the topic and the use of various materials such as crayons/coloured pencils/ paintbrushes (holding), cotton balls (dabbing), scissors (cutting) help in strengthening one’s fine motor skills.

When the child makes a larger arm and wrist movements, it also results in gross motor movement. You can make a picture book of a summer holiday by binding all the illustrations.

Topic ideas

  • My favourite part of the day
  • My favourite/ memorable holiday
  • My favourite food
  • My favourite animal
  • If I were a superhero
  • My dream house
  • My favourite festival
  • When I design my own car in the future, it will look like
  • The next Marvel/ DC superhero
  • My favourite season
  • My family tree
  • When I grow up, I want to be

The art fiesta

Cover one wall with plastic and then stick art sheets all over it. Alternatively, you can also stick a white chart on it. Various materials such as paints, paintbrushes, water, balloons can be used. Use the materials to splash a rainbow of colours all over the wall. Children are free to use brushes or even their hands to do this activity.

If you feel adventurous on that day, don’t forget to include water guns in this activity too! Children can use water guns to spray the colours of their choice on the wall. The splashing and hand painting movement will strengthen their arm muscles and lead to gross motor development.

A day in the lives of others

Often, in our busy daily lives, we forget about those less fortunate than us. Unfortunately, they do not have the luxuries the way we do. First, choose an institution that helps the less privileged. Speak to a few other parents as well and get more children involved.

They can perform dances, sing songs or even put up a play. Let children take the lead in making decisions for that day, such as the food and drinks to be distributed on that day. Make sure you give the children enough time to prepare and plan for the day, minimum being a week. This activity targets children’s social and 21st Century life skills. While developing various other skills, life skills are often overshadowed by other skills.

However, human beings are social animals who need to survive in this world with other living things around them. Therefore, it is important to ensure that values such as empathy, kindness, care for each other, respect, are not forgotten in the tech-savvy, fast-paced world. This activity will have a long-term impact on the children wherein they will grow up with holistic development.

These activities may seem simple but they are effective and can be tweaked to make it age appropriate. It is always the simplest of things which serve the biggest purposes.

You don’t have to spend a lot to keep kids of all ages entertained with these five days’ worth of activities.

Summer camp is a great way to keep your kids active and entertained. But not all of us can afford the luxury. The average sleep-away camp costs $690 a week per child, according to the American Camp Association, and some camps can exceed $2,000. Even a typical day camp runs $304 a week, with for-profit day camps averaging $571. So what do you do if you are on a budget but want to prevent your kids from spending hours in front of the TV all summer? Create your own camp.

There are several ways to give your kids a camp-like experience at home, says Liz Snyder, assistant director of Eagle’s Nest Camp and Foundation in Pisgah Forest, N.C. And the cost can be next to nothing, depending on what supplies you already have. Here are Snyder’s tips — along with some activities from Eagle’s Nest Camp — that you can use to help your kids spend a week getting in touch with nature, having fun and staying off the couch.

Day 1: Learn survival skills

Show kids how to use a compass and a map. Then send them on a scavenger hunt that requires them to use their new skills. If you have older children, teach them about animal tracking (this resource can help) and head to the woods to see if they can find and identify tracks. You also can spend time sitting quietly to watch wildlife in action.

Day 2: Pick berries

Take the kids to a pick-your-own berry patch early in the day before it gets hot. When you get home with your bounty, you can make jam with this recipe for a small batch. Or make scones or muffins with your berries. Then celebrate your hard work with a tea party that includes what you and the kids made. Snyder says you can do this in one day or spread the activities (the picking, cooking and eating) out over a week.

Day 3: Take a hike

Bug hike. You can do this in your own yard, which makes it an easy activity for younger children. Gather a magnifying glass, jars and a paper and pencil to examine, collect or record the bugs you see. The National Wildlife Federation has a great bug hike guide to help you and your kids get the most out of this activity.

Wild edible hike. Many things found growing in fields, forests and even your backyard can be eaten and have great health benefits, Snyder says. Sites such as Eat The Weeds and Wildman Steve Brill can help you identify edible plants that grow in the wild. Even if the kids aren’t brave enough to eat what they find in the yard or woods, they’ll still have fun searching for things in nature that can be consumed.

Go on a creek hike. Many state parks and even city and county parks have waterways that are accessible to the public. Snyder suggests hiking upstream through a shallow creek, stopping along the way to turn over rocks and discover what lives under and around them. If fishing is allowed and you have a license, take along rods — you can even make your own — to see what you can catch. Perhaps you’ll bring home dinner.

Day 4: Create a wildlife habitat or garden

Show kids that it’s okay to get their hands a little dirty by planting vegetables and herbs they can eat or flowers and native plants to attract wildlife. You can even do this in a few large pots if you don’t want to dig up your yard. Here are several tips on gardening for food and wildlife. You can add a craft element to this project by building a birdhouse (either from a kit or on your own) and letting the kids paint it and decide where to hang it.

Alternative activity: Build a fairy house. Snyder says that this activity is very popular with younger kids at Eagle’s Nest. Gather bark, sticks, leaves, moss and other items to make a fairy house. You can take it a step further by building an entire village. Then let the kids have fun making up stories about the fairies that live there. You can even have them draw pictures of the fairies or a map of their fairy land.

Day 5: Camp out

Show your kids how to pitch a tent — either in your backyard or at a campground. Teach them how to build a fire, and bring along food that you can cook over an open flame (don’t forget s’mores). And the kids can make instruments (here are nine easy ones) to accompany them while they sing songs around the campfire. When it gets dark, look up at the stars and try to identify constellations. Hint: Smart phone astronomy apps can help.

How to create a summer camp at home

Do you remember going to summer camp as a kid? When I found out my sister was going to camp this year, I couldn’t resist creating a nifty summer camp survival kit for her to take along on her adventure.

How to create a summer camp at home

Summer Camp Survival Kit

This post may contain affiliate links. This just means that if you click on a link and buy a product, I receive a small commission with no expense to you. Read my full disclosure here.

My favorite part about themed gifts is going out and buying the goodies! I could have bought so much more but I had to stop spending at some point. Most of these items are pretty inexpensive and you can find them at Walmart or

How to create a summer camp at home

I found the cutest make up case at Goodwill and it was pretty much brand new! After filling my bag with fun goodies, I added a gift tag and wrote a little note to my sister. If you love to shop on Amazon, I’ve included links to most of the items below.

Items you need:

How to create a summer camp at home

If you know someone who is going to summer camp, this kit is so easy to put together! Have a great week!

Be sure to stop by my Summer gift bucket idea for kids for more gift ideas!

What are your themed gift ideas? Let me know in the comments!

How to create a summer camp at home

Pin on Pinterest:

How to create a summer camp at home

This post may contain affiliate links. This just means that if you click on a link and buy a product, I receive a small commission with no expense to you. Read my full disclosure here.

W ith over 14,000 camps in the United States and access to those camps just a Google search away, your camp needs an irresistible online presence if you want to attract new campers. That’s where a camp virtual tour comes in. Show new parents and campers what your camp is all about with a virtual tour that will make them want to experience it for themselves.

Plan Ahead

Make a Camp Virtual Tour Checklist

Before you start, make a list of the spaces and activities you’d like to show in your tour. Think about what you’d show someone in person and how you’d want them to feel when they’re there. For example, if you’d want someone in your camp kitchen to see it as clean, lively, and healthy, then make sure your photos and videos show it that way.

More than anything, include aspects of your camp that make it unique and that your campers love the most.

Establish a Routine

Keep it consistent with the same types of content from each space. It will make the tour feel complete and thorough. Ideally, you’d want a series of photos or a 360-degree photo that shows the space and then a video that shows campers having a blast doing the activities that take place there. Quotes and testimonials are also great ways to enhance a virtual tour.

Check out Tripp Lake Camp’s virtual tour. Each part contains a 360 photo and a video. It’s easy to navigate and feels complete. Also notice how each part shows the space as well as campers enjoying it. The shots are intentional, as things are not overly cluttered and appear to be candid. Most shots are likely staged, but they are staged in a way that makes them feel natural.

Make a Timeline

Create a timeline and prompt your photographers and staff in advance so that they know what needs to get photographed and when. Coach your photographers to not be shy about directing and staging when necessary. If they are taking a 360 degree photo of your arts and crafts room, then they will want to make sure each angle of the room is presentable. The doesn’t mean it has to be perfect; that just means there shouldn’t be

Your virtual tour should show your camp as it really is and at its very best. The last thing you want to do is stage content that isn’t realistic and will lead to disappointment and negative comments.

It will take at least one full program to get enough content for your summer camp virtual tour. Ideally, you’ll want to get photos and videos from a few different programs to show campers of different ages doing different activities. The earlier in the season the better so that supplies are fully stocked and your audience will see your camp at its cleanest and best.

Build the Ultimate Camp Virtual Tour TeamHow to create a summer camp at home

Creating an awesome camp virtual tour requires three key players: a logistics person, a creative person, and a technical person.

You’ll need someone to capture all of your audience-engaging content and someone to put it all together and make it work online. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find someone who can do both.


Someone who knows your camp and your virtual tour goals well should manage the logistics of the project to make sure you’re getting the content that you need when you need it to create a virtual tour that truly represents your camp. The ideal person will know what’s going on and when, and they will also have the leadership and management skills to direct the others on the team.


If you can afford it, hire a professional. Find someone with experience creating virtual tour content, and make sure they have the right equipment. The best tours include photos and videos with many wide and aerial shots. A pro worth hiring will have a drone and a 360-degree camera.

If you hire a pro, make sure you arrange to have rights to all of the content so that you can use it in other ways like on social media or the Campanion app.

If you can’t afford a pro, give your staff photographer extra time and resources to check out other camps’ virtual tours and learn how to get the footage they will need to make your tour amazing. Provide them with the right equipment and time to learn how to use it.


This is where you definitely want to find someone who knows what they’re doing. Even with incredible content and logistical support, if you don’t have someone behind the scenes with the right technical skills to edit and build your virtual tour, you’ll have wasted a ton of time and money. A great way to find a pro with the right skills and experience is to reach out to camps with virtual tours to see who they hired.

You can also reach out to local colleges and universities to see if they have any internship programs that require their students to gain practical experience. Working with a student is a bit of a risk; however, a student will be less expensive than a pro and will likely have access to the latest programs.

Make Your Camp Virtual Tour Easy to Find and Share

Your entire virtual tour will be on your website, which is where you want new campers and their parents to ultimately land and stay to register for your camp. To get them there, you’ll want to show all or


On your website and above the fold.

Social Media


Use Campanion to easily create and share a virtual tour of your camp by creating an album with photos and videos of each part of your camp.

Improve the Wheel

There’s no need to reinvent the camp virtual tour wheel. Many camps have awesome virtual tours that you can use as inspiration and then strive to make yours even better. Do what works best for you and your audience.

by Julie Finn May 13, 2022, 10:49 am

How to create a summer camp at home

Whether or not you actually feel nostalgia for the summer camps of your youth, I think you’ll agree that there is something special about a casual, simple handwork project conducted en plein air. The day is fine. The birds are singing. The wasps are only very occasionally invading your space, and even then generally only if you’ve got a cup of bug juice at your side. And the project you’re working on feels good in your hands.

This DIY yarn tassel is the perfect outdoor craft when it’s beautiful outside, and also a pretty terrific indoor craft when outside sucks. It’s simple enough for a young kid, but the endless possibilities for variety and material make it a great craft for anyone with an artist’s eye, as well. And here’s how to make it!

How to create a summer camp at home

You will need:

  • yarn. This project thrives on scrap yarn–even pieces less than 6″ long are useful. Since tassels are entirely decorative, you can also use yarn that you wouldn’t want against your skin (Hello, random old acrylic yarn that I obtained who on earth knows where!). If you’re buying new, however, I recommend cotton yarn.
  • cardboard. Scavenge through your recycling bin for corrugated cardboard.
  • scissors.
  • additional embellishments (optional). I don’t get into it here, but you can add all kinds of cute embellishments to your tassels. Consider beads threaded onto the yarn, or ribbons, twine, or rope worked into the tassel.

How to create a summer camp at home

Step 1: Cut corrugated cardboard to size.

Cut the corrugated cardboard to a width of about 3″, and a height of about double the desired finished length of the tassel plus 1″.

How to create a summer camp at home

Step 2: Wrap the yarn.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard SO many times. If you’re going for a specific look, you’ll probably want to play around with a couple of practice tassels to find the number of wraps that works best. On my first try at these specific tassels, I wrapped my yarn 50 times. It gave me an adorably fat and fluffy tassel that wasn’t what I wanted, although it IS the cutest tassel in the world.

Next time, I tried wrapping the yarn only 25 times. I got the perfectly streamlined and leggy tassel that I was wanting. But my tassels are only 4″ tall when finished! A larger tassel will need more wraps to make it look proportional.

Material choice also affects the thickness of your tassel. The cotton yarn I’m using is worsted weight, so go lighter or heavier than that and you’ll have to make more adjustments.

How to create a summer camp at home

Cut the yarn, then slide the loops together off of the cardboard. Cut another length of yarn at least 12″ long, and tie it around the middle of the gathered loops. The tails of this piece of yarn will become your tassel hanger, so adjust as needed to get the hanger length that you desire.

In the photo above, you can see that I made some of my tassels using three separate colors of yarn. Treat multiple strands as if they were one, wrapping and cutting them together. Use your division skills to adjust the number of wraps that you make; I wrapped these three strands of yarn 9 times instead of 25, because 9 times 3 is 27!

How to create a summer camp at home

Step 3: Form the tassel.

Once the middle is tied securely, cut all the loops.You get bonus points if you can cut all the loops in one go, because I always find a couple of loops that I missed the first time around and I have to go back and cut them later.

How to create a summer camp at home

That middle tie is actually going to be the top of your tassel, so fold the tassel in half, then adjust the yarn pieces that are folding over the top of your tie so that they cover it completely and are evenly arranged. Bring the tails of the hanger yarn up to the top, and readjust the yarn pieces to hide the places where they poke through.

How to create a summer camp at home

Cut another piece of yarn about 2.5 times the length of your tassel. Use it to tie off the top, securing the yarn and maintaining the tassel shape. I tied my 4″ tassel off about .5″ from the top, but where you tie your tassel will depend on how long it is. You’ll probably want to eyeball it to make sure it looks proportional.

Wrap the tie snugly around the tassel a couple of times, then secure it with a square knot. The tails of this tie can hang down to join the other tassel pieces.

If any pieces of yarn don’t look even at the top, you can gently pull on individual pieces from the bottom to tighten them up.

Step 4: Trim the tassel and finish the hanger, if necessary.

Give your tassel a haircut so that all the cut ends are even, because they definitely won’t be after folding half of them over that tie!

How to create a summer camp at home

How you finish the yarn hanger depends on what you want to do with your finished tassel. Leave the hanging pieces as they are, or use a tapestry needle to thread more yarn through the top so that you can braid a thicker hanger.

Next, go decorate for summer by hanging tassels on everything that you can reach!

Mailing freshly-baked cookies is a great way to send a piece of home to the kids.

There’s no place like home! And, after the initial excitement of going away for summer camp has faded, homesickness can sometimes creep in for campers. With the help of FoodSaver, seal and send a piece of home to the kids. Here’s a few tips to create the coolest (and most delicious) summer camp survival kit.

Sweet Treats
First things first, take a look at the camp’s policy on care packages. Some goodies aren’t allowed. If permittable, these chocolate pinwheels are the perfect sweet treat to pop in the box.


  • 2 cups softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  1. Combine butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix until well-blended.
  2. Slowly add and beat in flour.
  3. Melt ½ cup of chocolate chips.
  4. Separate dough in half.
  5. Add chocolate and cocoa to one bowl until its fully blended.
  6. Separate each pile of dough into fourths. Then, roll in individual balls. There should be eight total balls – four chocolate and four plain.
  7. Use a roller to flatten one plain ball. Place it on a rectangular oven sheet. Flatten a chocolate ball and place it on top of the plain one.
  8. Next, tightly roll the two together to make a log.
  9. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and repeat steps six and seven with the remainder of the balls.
  10. Refrigerate all four logs for an hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and cut the logs into small pieces.
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool before sealing with a FoodSaver Fresh Preservation System.

How to create a summer camp at home

There are plenty of treats out there that your kids will love and the camp counselors will allow. For example, trail mix is another option, and it’s always a great snack for supplying a little energy during hikes or longs days at the lake. Combine raisins, pretzels, granola, dried fruit and more – then seal it with the FoodSaver Fresh Preservation System, and send it on its way!

Along with fresh-baked goodies, use a care package to refill your campers’ necessities such as sunscreen, soap, toothbrushes and more. Also, if there are items that your child absolutely loves, but can’t get at camp, feel free to toss those in! Items such as books, Frisbees, pens, journals and puzzles are great adds to consider.

Something Special
Add a personal touch your child’s care package. Include pictures of the family or pets as well as handwritten letters. You can even use your FoodSaver Fresh Preservation System to vacuum seal your kids’ favorite sweatshirt or pillowcase, so it smells just like home when your camper opens up the package.

“Mom, you know why I like summer?” one of my 6 year old twins asked me the other day. His answer didn’t really surprise me.

“It’s like every day is Saturday!”

Of course, when you are a kid, the #1 highlight of summer break is that school is out. You can sleep a little later, have more free time, and the weather is perfect for playing outside, going to the pool, or heading out on a family vacation.

But here’s the thing: kids thrive on having a routine. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children do best when routines are regular, predictable, and consistent.”

During the rest of the year, kid’s routines generally revolve around their school schedule, along with any activities they participate in. But creating a summer schedule for kids can be a little trickier. You need to find the right balance to help your kids enjoy the freedom of summer with the comfort routines can provide.

So where do you even start creating a summer schedule that works for your family?

I’ve laid out a 5 step plan to help you create your perfect summer schedule, including a brand new toolbox that has everything you need to get it done.

Creating a Summer Schedule for Kids

Write out a routine, but keep it flexible

When you think about your routine, don’t try to schedule out every day to the minute. Think about the important things that need to be done: morning routine, chores, evening routine, summer reading, etc.

Then let your kids brainstorm things that they would like to do each day.

And finally, work together to come up with special summer plans like vacations, day trips, or other fun, out-of-the-ordinary activities.

Using my Summer Activity Planner as a guide will help you work through this process with daily, weekly, and monthly planning pages as well as a summer bucket list!

Remember that you are not writing out a schedule for your kids, but flexible guidelines that will keep them occupied and allow you to accomplish the things you want as well.

Make a List of Essential Household Chores and Assign Them

Everyone in your family should be responsible for taking care of things that need to be done around the house. If your kids don’t already have chores, now is the time to get started. The first step is to create a list of the minimum that you need to do for your home to run smoothly, and assign age appropriate chores to your kids.

If you can’t think of what to put, stick to three main areas: laundry, dishes, cooking. These three things will need to happen each day, so you need to be ready to handle them each day.

Beyond the essentials, you can create a “work for hire” chart to encourage your kids to do bigger jobs around the house. You can use money or the printable coupons in my Summer Activity Planner as rewards.

Create a Flexible Meal Plan

Is it just me, or do your kids eat ALL THE TIME in summer? Unless you want to be serving snacks 24/7, you need to come up with a plan. I’m a big believer in creating an area in your kitchen for self serve, kid friendly snacks and drinks to encourage your kids to be more independent.

When it comes to meals, take advantage of using the crock pot or instant pot to make hands-off meals that won’t heat up the whole house. Creating a flexible meal plan can allow people to come and go throughout the day during busy days, or allow yourself the grace to not have to think about what you need to start the next meal.

Set Screen Time Limits

When we are spending the summer close to home, it’s tempting to let the kids spend all day on screens. But we need to make sure that they are balancing screen time with other fun activities.

Work with your kids to develop a screen time plan for the summer. How that looks is up to you! You may want to set a time limit, or have a list of things kids need to do before they are allowed to use screens.

What matters is that you are clear with your kids on your expectations, whatever they are.

Make Room for Quiet Time

Days at home with kids can be chaotic. Believe me, I have super active twin boys and the noise level in my house can get off the charts! That’s why I make sure that we have some quiet time every day.

My kids are far past nap time, but we can still have quiet time each day to help us all decompress and relax. Whether it’s reading time, watching a movie together, or playing a board game, quiet time is key to keeping a balance in your summer routine at home.

One of our favorite ways to have quiet time is by journaling, which is why I created a summer journal just for kids! Check it out here.

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to offer District families the opportunity to enroll their children in various camps that foster development and create life-long friendships. Browse the links below to find the right camp and location for you and sign up today.

Registration for specialty and traditional camps opened the week of April 4, 2022.

  • Specialty Camps
    • Little STEAM Engine
      An introductory, age-appropriate camp that explores science, music technology, art appreciation, and more. Ages 4-6
    • Full STEAM Ahead, DC!
      Coding, music, technology, art appreciation, and other activities, as well as enriching subjects for campers ages 7-10.
    • Cookery 202, Jr.
      Campers explore the kitchen and practice culinary techniques and apply them to a variety of cuisines and dishes. Ages 7-10.
    • Dance Explosion
      Campers learn different dance styles and explore their origins. No dance experience or background is necessary. Ages 5-8.
    • Verano
      Campers develop and reinforce Spanish language skills through music, stories, arts and crafts, and theatre. Ages 3-5.
    • Aqua Day Camp
      Campers learn breathing techniques, swim stroke mechanics, and water safety awareness. Advanced activities depend on the pace of the group. Ages 6-13.
  • Traditional Camps
    • Therapeutic Recreation
      Fun, engaging, and adaptive programming for campers with disabilities. Ages 5-16.
    • REC
      A theme-based camp that combines all types of recreation with a rotating camp curriculum. Ages 6-12.
    • Sports
      Camp with a fun element of skills and drills for popular youth sports. Ages 5-12.
    • Little Explorers
      Preschool activities and programming with a focus on age-appropriate socialization. Ages 3-5.
    • ​​Discovery
      Grade school-age activities allow campers to “discover” their global community. Ages 6-10.

Once open for registration, DPR summer camps remain open until full capacity is reached and/or the registration closing date (indicated below). Once at capacity, each summer camp offers a waitlist for prospective families who are interested in sites that have high demand. Reduced rates are available for qualifying families, and before and aftercare is also available at all camp locations.

Camp Dates

  • Session 1: June 29 – July 8, 2022 (no camp on Monday, July 4)
  • Session 2: July 11 – July 22, 2022
  • Session 3: July 25 – August 5, 2022
  • Session 4: August 8 – August 19, 2022

Registration Fees and Before/Aftercare Pricing




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Here is a list of summer camp themes for children. Entertainment and education can be rightly balanced through activities conducted during summer camp for kids. However, one shouldn’t forget that summer camps must also be made interesting with innovative ideas.

How to create a summer camp at home

Here is a list of summer camp themes for children. Entertainment and education can be rightly balanced through activities conducted during summer camp for kids. However, one shouldn’t forget that summer camps must also be made interesting with innovative ideas.

How to create a summer camp at home

A summer camp is an event which allows children to enjoy their holidays and helps them try out new things (participating in games, exploring skills, etc.). No doubt summer camps provide the participants with all kinds of entertainment and fun activities to do. However, putting a little thought behind them can add some value and make them educational as well. Different themes for kids presented in the article should help in making their vacations fun-filled and enjoyable.

Summer Camp Themes and Activities

The activities organized in summer camps should take into account their developmental needs. Such camps must provide the kids with necessary exposure to develop their personality. Themes for preschoolers also incorporate activities that provide them with some entertainment.

Going Green

The programs conducted under this theme include tree plantation, waste recycling, etc. If the trees planted by campers have plaques displaying information, visitors would know them in a better manner. Kids can also think of creating charts on the topic of global warming and educate their fellow campers about the gravity of this problem.


Creating an adventure race is one of the interesting themes for summer camp. In this adventure race, the participants perform many different activities including running, hiking, kayaking, climbing, sailing, swimming, etc. Some of the activities being included are such that team work is necessary. Organizing activities like treasure hunt also proves to be enjoyable.

Ancient Egypt

The ‘Ancient Egypt’ theme can be incorporated in summer camps. By using the ‘Ancient Egypt’ theme, participants can go for activities like building a human pyramid, preparing Egyptian food items like ‘Date Candy’ and participating in similar other activities.

Around the World

This theme can be made interesting by incorporating a variety of activities for children to take part in. While working under this theme, one can think about organizing games played in foreign countries (if possible, traditional), listening to folk music from different parts of the world, etc. Arts and crafts items that display famous monuments (for example, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal) can also be prepared.

Natural Wonders

This theme can be used to collect information, create models and present demonstrations about natural wonders of the world. This way, the campers get to learn more about their surroundings. The ice-covered mountain ranges of Himalayas and Karakoram can be exhibited in the form of models. Making a model of the Grand Canyon would be one such great idea.


All sorts of team-building activities can be arranged under the theme of leadership development. Organizing group skits on a subject or thought that needs to be expressed strongly is one of the ideas to consider. Coordinating the whole process, starting from conceptualizing a skit to successfully presenting it before the audience can be quite challenging. Children can also go for similar other activities in order to discover leadership qualities in children.

Alice in Wonderland

There are many things that one can try out under this theme. Setting up the ‘Mad Hatter Tea Party’ is one such idea. Special features of a mad tea party include setting up a long table and arranging different types of teapots. Apart from teapots, one can also make use of mismatched teacups, chandeliers, saucers, etc. The arrangements in this type of setting also incorporate odd-looking or unusual chairs.

All Ball

The All ball theme is about games played with balls. Few of the games are as follows: football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, golf, tennis, etc. To make this theme even more interesting, one can think of activities with the word ‘ball’ in them. Ballroom dancing is one such activity. The point here, is to make things enjoyable, interesting and fun for children participating in them. Conducting a juggling workshop is also one of the activities to consider.

Toy Constructions

Making different kinds of structures with Lego or K’Nex blocks is considered a great pastime for kids. A variety of structures ranging from toy cars to models of buildings can be made with these materials. One can also think of providing children with a specific plan for construction which guides them through the entire process.


A running race can be made interesting and fun-filled by adding hurdles. Making the race a bit challenging leads to rise in the interest of participants. Time-bound activities can also be included under the ‘racing’ theme. Organizing one-minute events is one of the ways to incorporate the racing theme in summer camp activities.


As the name suggests, the ‘marine’ theme involves different activities related to oceans. A number of games can be played using this theme. For example, you could place plastic sea creatures in a pool of water and ask the participants to retrieve as many of them as possible in a given amount of time. Children could work on models and charts which exhibit the sea life.

The summer camp themes described in this article provide us with a basic idea of how to make such camps interesting. It is important to keep the right balance of fun activities and educational programs. Personality development should be the ultimate goal of such camps. Finally, children should make the most of their summer vacation.

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Camping, Skiing

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How to create a summer camp at home

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Taught by Harvard faculty and visiting experts, our programs offer a challenging, rewarding academic experience.

Study, socialize, and engage with a global community of students and peers.

With so many options to choose from, you can create the summer experience that works for you.

How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at home

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How to create a summer camp at home

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How to create a summer camp at home

Over the years I’ve learned that I enjoy my life so much more when I have established routine and order in my daily schedule and in my surroundings. I thrive on routine! Much of that has to do with my personality – I know there are many people who thrive on spontaneity and flexibility.

However, I believe that most people benefit from some sort of routine in their daily lives. One question I receive often is, “Can you tell me how to establish a routine for my current stage of life?” I believe that those people, while they may not be the type who thrive on routine, realize that it’s a helpful tool for days that are naturally less structured.

Summer is a very important season for establishing routine! Whether you’re a teacher who has the summer “off,” a working mom of children who will be home all summer, a homeschooling mom who takes the summer off from teaching, a student home from college or anyone else with a different schedule than the other nine months of the year, you can benefit from a summer routine. Here’s how to create one!

How to create a summer camp at home

#1 Use A Daily Planner

I recommend using a planner instead of daily to-do lists. Each weekend, map out the tasks you’d like to accomplish each day of the coming week and cross them off as they are completed. Tasks that aren’t crossed off get moved to the next day.

This might motivate you to accomplish a task instead of moving it to the next day. It also helps you to see where you’re trying to do too much – or not enough – as you get settled into the first few weeks of your routine. (New to planning? Grab some helpful tips here!)

I use the Happy Planner, but you can also find simple planners that work well at Dollar Tree!

How to create a summer camp at home

#2 Establish A Morning Routine

Write down the basic, essential things you want to accomplish each day. It could be things like walking the dog, making your bed, getting ready for the day or doing a load of laundry. If you run a household, you know that laundry still has to be done during the summer!

Work those tasks into a routine that you follow as soon as you get up in the morning – whatever time that might be. Once those things are completed (it might only take you a few minutes), you’re free to enjoy the day without those tasks hanging over your head! My morning routine is very simple, but it makes a big difference in my day.

How to create a summer camp at home

#3 Create a “bucket list” of goals, projects and fun things that you want to accomplish

Sit down with your family and create your summer bucket list. Include household projects or fitness goals along with fun activities like travel or making homemade ice cream. Take your planner and work those items into the summer months. This will keep you from waking up on September 1st and realizing you didn’t really do anything you wanted during the summer!

If you have kids at home, post your monthly calendar where everyone can see and anticipate the fun things you have planned. Knowing what days are taken up by big events or projects also helps you take advantage of the slower days you can enjoy at home.

How to create a summer camp at home

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Do you enjoy a different schedule during the summer months?

How to create a summer camp at home

This is a guest post by Charlie Fletcher.

Most kids love animals, and it only makes sense that a summer camp immersed in nature would incorporate them somehow. While you might not be able to bring in a ton of wildlife to your camp, there are things you can do to incorporate animals safely.

Summer camp serves as a great opportunity to teach kids about new animals or ones they’re already familiar with, but might not know much about. Animals will keep their attention, and you can educate the next generation on things like wildlife preservation and conservation issues. Most kids think animals are cute or cool (even if they’re creepy crawly!) but don’t know much about keeping them safe or protecting their natural habitats.

You can create fun and exciting activities for your campers while giving them the information they need to be lifelong advocates for all creatures great and small, just by getting creative with animal incorporation.

Host a Special Event

One of the easiest ways to incorporate more animals into your camp activities is to host a special event or two throughout the summer. Consider teaming up with a local wildlife association or rescue center that might have a variety of animals safe to transport for “show and tell” events.

Special events are a great way to break up the summer and get kids excited to do something different.

You can also host longer “special events” for kids that are especially interested in animals. Try some of the following week-long ideas:

  • Junior Vet Week
  • Adopt an Animal
  • Animal Careers
  • Animal “Safari”
  • Animal Classes

Not every kid is into animals, but those who are deserve a chance to explore those interests and build their passions. By hosting longer events, including classes and “mini-camps” within the greater scope of the summer, those campers with a love for furry and scaly creatures alike will go home with a new appreciation for summer camp, and more knowledge than ever about the animals they love.

Use Your Surroundings

Most summer camps are completely surrounded by nature. If your camp is in a wooded area or on a farm, you have the perfect opportunity to incorporate animals into your summer itinerary in the most natural of ways — just look around!

Safety needs to be the top priority of your campers and staff, of course. No one should go hiking through thickly wooded areas where there are potentially harmful predators. However, staying on safe hiking trails, going down to a pond that’s bustling with fish and amphibians, or even digging in the dirt and looking under rocks to take note of insect ecosystems are all great ways to use your surroundings to your advantage.

Make learning about different types of animals in your environment fun by creating a “hunt” for your campers. Give them each a list of different animals or critters you want them to find and some hints as to where they might be. While they should stay with their counselors or a guide, this type of activity will get them excited about the details of everything from fluffy rabbits and squirrels to slithering worms.

Take a Field Trip

Summer camp can feel like a long time away from home for some kids. If part of your job is organizing how to keep everyone busy over the summer, consider letting your kids get away from the everyday routine once in a while.

Yes, summer camps can have field trips, too!

When it comes to incorporating animals in your summer camp, field trips are fantastic. They allow you to get your campers involved with wildlife safely, and talk to experts who can answer their questions. Youth environmental activism is important, and letting kids come face-to-face with animals (especially endangered ones) can spark their interest in being animal advocates. Some of the best ideas for animal-based field trips include:

  • Wildlife Preserves
  • Zoos/Petting Zoos
  • Farms
  • Local Ponds, Parks, or Wooded Areas

Why go to a pond or park? They can serve as perfect opportunities to teach kids about different animal environments and how they might be harmed by people and other predators. Consider having a “clean-up” day somewhere. Knowing they’re doing something good for the planet and all of its creatures will give your campers a sense of responsibility and pride.

Another great field trip idea that will allow your campers to help out is to visit a local humane society or animal shelter. Not only can they help to take care of the animals for a day, but the people who work there can educate them on things like the dangers of improper breeding practices/puppy mills, animal abuse, and more.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can incorporate animals into your summer camp. Get creative, think of activities and events your campers would enjoy, and don’t hesitate to connect with local businesses, organizations, and nonprofit groups that are associated with animal advocacy and education.

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer passionate about workplace equity, and whose published works cover sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.

Featured Image Source: Verdian Chua (Unsplash)

Fill Summer With The Joy Of Discovery

Spend the Summer with CTD

CTD’s summer programming provides academic adventures with lifetime impact! Check out our wide variety of summer options for gifted students, ranging from online courses to in-person, academic day and residential camps, held on Northwestern’s Evanston campus and at other Chicago area sites. Take an enrichment course that delves into a subject you love or challenge yourself with a high-school honors or Advanced Placement® course for credit. At CTD, learn from the best instructors as you build on your strengths and experience the joy of learning with a community of peers.

Academic Summer Day and Residential Camps for Every Kind of Learner. Experiences That Last Forever.

You have a lot of choices for the summer. You want a program that sparks interest in learning in fun, challenging, and exciting ways. You need a summer program that does more than fill the day. CTD’s summer programs provide an experience that fills the mind, creates a peer network, and builds life-long skills.

How to create a summer camp at home

Academic Summer Day Camps at Chicago Area Sites
(Pre K – Grade 6)

Students participate in 1- and 2-week enrichment courses and engage in activities with peers who share similar interests. Courses are offered in a variety of subject areas. Half-day (am/pm) or all-day courses are available.

How to create a summer camp at home

Academic Summer Day and Residential Camps at Northwestern University
(Grades 6-12)

S tudents participate in 3-week high school honors, AP, or college-level and pre-professional courses offered in a variety of subject areas. Enrichment and credit-bearing options. Residential camp programming emphasizes the formation of life-long friendships and the independence needed to succeed at university and beyond.

Are you wild about whales? Taken with tigers? Crazy about roller coasters? So are we! Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp.

You’ll meet some of the amazing animals in our care, and make some new friends who love animals as much as you do. And whether you’re here for a day or staying a whole week, you’ll leave feeling closer to wildlife and to this exciting world we share.

  • Resident Camps
    Grade 4 – College
    Multi-night, sleepaway camps. Available for grade 4 through college and offered year-round, our resident camps attract animal lovers from across the U.S. and around the world.
  • Day Camps
    Pre-K – Grade 8 and Family
    Single-day to week-long programs. Hands-on, up-close experiences with animals and the great outdoors make our Day Camps unparalleled and truly unforgettable.
  • Sleepovers
    Grade 2 & Up
    Spend the night inside one of our parks. Fun crafts and activities, and a chance to make friends and memories for a lifetime.
  • Group Camps
    Groups of 15 – 58
    Camps for your class, club, or Scout group. Camps operate at SeaWorld parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio, and Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. Group camps are multi-night, structured programs for grades 4 and up.

Book Your Camp

Are you ready for an unforgettable summer? Learn more about how to register for summer camp at SeaWorld or Busch Gardens.

Counselors & Accreditation

Learn more about the accreditation certifications and camp counselors.

A Letter from Jack Hanna

Learn more about why camps and animal interactions are such important experiences.

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Summer Camp in Chatham!

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First time registering? Click the Sign In button above to create an account!

To view your existing enrollments and access your Dashboard, click Explore All Programs, and then click on Dashboard.

For informational purposes only, your parent portal from ’20-’21 School Year and prior can be found here. R egistrations/change requests are not accepted there.

How to create a summer camp at home

Online Registration System

Before School Programs

Before School Programs begin at 7am and run until school starts. At their home away from home, students may bring a breakfast to enjoy, then engage in other fun activities and prepare for their school day!

After School Programs

After School Programs begin at dismissal and run as late as 6:30pm! On a daily basis we offer healthy snacks, enrichment activities, various clubs, homework help, outside play, and more!

Summer Camps

WFC has Summer Camp programs that your child will love, infused with enrichment, swimming, field trips, unique experiences and FUN!

Summer Camp Should be Awesome

Pali Adventures is a one-of-a-kind overnight summer camp for kids ages 8-16, in Southern California near Los Angeles. The Pali experience is unique: campers choose a camp activity focus for their mornings and all of their own afternoon fun for a personalized adventure.

Our campers follow their dreams, try incredible new things and gain lifelong friends in a safe and supportive environment. Send your child to the place where they will grow, feel successful and return home saying, “Pali is the best camp ever!”

How to create a summer camp at home


Before they arrive at camp, each camper chooses one focus, or “specialty,” for each week they attend our overnight camp. Mornings are spent in their chosen specialty all week, under the instruction of experts in each particular area. We are proud to offer 28 amazing programs – from Aviation and Secret Agent Camp to Movie Makeup – and everything in between.


Get ready for Pali’s biggest thrills! If your camper craves a week with nonstop action, this is the right place. These are all awesome choices for the camper who wants to move!


Nourish your camper’s inner artist and encourage their creative side! These specialties give campers a chance to create something unique and express themselves through a variety of imaginative art forms.


Let their talents shine! If your camper loves to perform, these specialties are the place to do it. Campers show-off their skills in an atmosphere that is unmatched in supportiveness, encouragement and positivity.

Which specialty is best for you?

We have created 28 unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experiences that challenge your child to try new things at our sleepaway camps. Experience the best that Pali Adventures has to offer! Take this short quiz to determine which specialties are right for you!

1. Take it outside

Camp is outdoors, so whatever it is that you are doing, “take it outside,” says Sarah Kotko, a longtime teacher who is serving as a camp director this summer in West Sacramento, California.

“Doing an art project? Go outside. Doing a science activity? Go outside. I tell parents it’s OK to use electronics, but can they take that tablet outside under a tree? It changes the feeling of whatever you’re doing,” she says.

2. Make new friends, but keep the distance

There are ways to socialize virtually. Camp Fire Heart and YMCA of Youngstown, Ohio, are both offering “camp in a box” programs, which allow small groups to meet up online and work on activities as a team.

3. Keep groups small, even on Zoom

Nikki Murray, day camp and youth and teen director at the YMCA of Youngstown,Ohio, says she’s noticed many caregivers trying to organize virtual calls with their kids’ entire classrooms, which can become “cumbersome” and not allow for a lot of interaction. She encourages groups of only two or three kids and 10 at the maximum.

4. Use what you already have

Here are some easy ideas: – Mix plain old markers with water and watch them turn into watercolors for painting. – Use baking soda and vinegar to build a volcano in the mud outside. – Have a pajama week and make pillow forts together. – Give them a storyline (say, they’re pirates) and have them paint a picture of whatever they imagine.

5. ‘Just keep them busy’

At the end of the day, Murray’s best advice is for parents and caregivers to stop stressing out and just keep them busy: “The simplest things, like simple arts and crafts projects and going on walks, are super-beneficial to their development.”

Study with scholars on your level. Our summer courses bring together students in grades 2–12 from around the world to take on challenging, advanced subjects.

Summer 2022

Get ready for a healthy, safe, and exciting summer at CTY! We’ll be hosting programs at sites across the U.S.

View sites | View courses

  • Session 1 (for most sites) is June 26-July 15
  • Session 2 (for most sites) is July 17-August 5

A note about our COVID-19 policies:

While we’re still refining our COVID-19 safety protocols in accordance with evolving guidance from Johns Hopkins University, the CDC, the American Camping Association, and public health officials, we know you need some information now in order to start making summer plans. View answers to your most commonly asked questions:

  • Will vaccines be required at CTY sites this summer?
    Yes. Students and staff must be fully vaccinated—which means they must be up-to-date on CDC-recommended boosters—unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.
  • If I enroll my child in an on-campus summer course, and CTY cancels the course or program, will I get a refund?
    Yes. If we cancel a program, course, or site for any reason prior to the start of the course, we will refund all non-application tuition and fees.
  • If my child gets COVID-19 during the program and is sent home, will we get a refund?
    Yes. We are taking every step to ensure all students stay safe and healthy during our on-campus programs. If a student must leave campus because of COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation, the family will be entitled to a prorated tuition refund under our medical withdrawal policy.
  • Will there be COVID-19 testing at summer sites?
    Yes. Students and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals (those with medical or religious exemptions to vaccination) who are asymptomatic will be tested twice a week. Whether and how often vaccinated, asymptomatic students and staff are tested will be based on COVID-19 metrics at the time of the program. Check back in late-May for more details.
  • What are your mask requirements for on-campus students and staff?
    We will follow Johns Hopkins University masking guidelines that are in place at the time of the session, or host institution requirements, whichever are stricter. We will notify families of enrolled students about any requirements before their program begins. Regardless of requirements, kids will have fun, supervised time outside during the day. And if mask requirements are lifted, we’ll make sure students who still wish to wear a mask feel comfortable doing so.
  • I’m worried my child won’t have any fun at CTY. Will they?
    Absolutely! We hear your concerns that possible COVID-19 protocols like masks may keep kids from being able to interact and have fun. Our programs are always designed to give students an unforgettable experience, one where they learn and have fun inside and outside the classroom with other curious kids who share their interests. We’re already planning lots of outdoor activities to keep kids happy and engaged this summer while attending our programs.

Camp Pontiac is a 7-week sleepaway camp in NY, located at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Only a 2-hour drive from NYC, our sleepaway camp is situated on 150 picturesque acres with a beautiful 65 acre sping-fed lake.

Each summer Pontiac welcomes girls and boys aged 7 to 16 from all over the country to their home away from home in a traditional sleepaway camp setting.

How to create a summer camp at home

How to create a summer camp at home

Pontiac Values

  1. RESPECT: Develop the ability to listen, take notice and recognize that the opinions and beliefs of others are just as valuable and important as your own.
  2. INCLUSION: Join in the sense of belonging to a family and becoming an integral and valuable part of something larger than oneself.
  3. FRIENDSHIP: Foster and cherish the bonds at camp that begin as a young child and continue to strengthen throughout your life. Camp is a special place where you can choose your own friends and no matter where you go remain a constant forever.
  4. KINDNESS: Perform acts of generosity, compassion and goodwill and derive satisfaction in the knowledge that giving is more beautiful and rewarding than receiving.
  5. SPIRIT: Feel and experience the energy, excitement and enthusiasm through activities, cheering and teamwork to unite all of us into one family.
  6. SPORTSMANSHIP: Cultivate the ability to be a humble and gracious winner and accept defeat without placing blame or making excuses. It centers around putting forth your best effort, cheering for your teammates and accepting their shortcomings while playing fairly and respecting your opponents.
  7. TRADITION: Share in and contribute to the customs and activities that bind us as family summer after summer, year after year and generation after generation.

How to create a summer camp at home

Why We Live For Red & White

Nestled under warm blue skies among tall trees, our sleepaway camp in NY is a happy place filled with smiles and laughter, memories and nostalgia. In this place you grow more in a day than you do in a week in the outside world. At summer’s end you look back and just can’t understand how time so quickly flew by. Whether you are 6 or 16, or a former camper longing to make just one more memory, you simply do not want these days to end. At our sleepaway camp in NY, we are comforted knowing that the memories and bonds continue to be shared over the winter, only to be strengthened once again upon our return next summer. See you at Camp Pontiac!

Long, lazy days at the coast can go far too quickly, and for some the summer getaway is not always possible. However, people can bring a relaxed holiday feel into their homes with a few quick and easy steps.

Melinda Jamieson and Suzy Piani from Sold on Styling say it is a good idea to start with a general declutter every three months.

“Dispose of those things that are just hanging around, such as old toys, magazines and papers,” Ms Jamieson says.

How to create a summer camp at homeColours and textures inspired by the season can give your house a lift. Photo: Sold on Styling

“It’s amazing how stuff just accumulates in such a short period of time.”

She says updating can be as straightforward as moving the slow cooker off the kitchen bench and storing all those items you won’t be using for a while, such as coats and boots.

“Decluttering the home will declutter the mind for a truly restful break,” Ms Jamieson says.

How to create a summer camp at homeTextural pots and planters make for a funky look. Photo: Marina McDonald

Ms Piani says now is the time to open up the home and bring the fresh air and garden in.

“Indoor plants offer the home a fresh, cool, tropical lushness,” Ms Piani says.

“You can buy gorgeous textural pots and planters and even waterproof bags, such as those by General Eclectic, for a really funky look.”

If you’re changing your soft furnishings – which can be as simple as replacing a few cushion covers – Ms Piani and Ms Jamieson suggest vibrant colours such as citrus, watermelon and teal and different textures to add interest.

“Textural rugs work well with most furniture styles, and cushions in differing shapes and fabrics placed together make a room look less predictable,” Ms Jamieson says.

The long summer evenings call for ambient lighting. Ms Piani says soft light from well-placed lamps will create a cool, relaxed environment after a hot day.

“Outside, consider using candles on tables and outdoor lighting in the garden to create the perfect summer mood,” she says.

Ms Piani and Ms Jamieson say it’s easiest to start small – think about where you spend most of your time in the home, whether that be an outdoor entertaining area or living room, and start there.

Stanford Conferences

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How to create a summer camp at home

Summer Conference Season is back in 2022! Season starts June 17 at 5:00 pm until the end of August. Please contact the organizers directly to sign up, or to ask questions.

*****Stanford University is continually monitoring the status of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of the campus community. Please visit the Stanford University Health Alerts page for the latest news. *****

*Stanford Conferences works with Stanford and external groups to bring these summer programs to The Farm. Non-Stanford managed camps are sponsored by a Stanford department. Most offer residential programs with some day camps.

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An Approach to Mathematics That Creates Results

Our main goal is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on maths into accessible and practical forms.

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We offer teachers tasks and ideas to help them explain concepts to students that grow their mathematical mindsets.

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With both online and in-person courses, we provide training to help teachers break down barriers to student success.


Explore our library of videos to help students develop growth mindsets and see maths as a creative, visual, subject.

Visual, creative, maths tasks

Explore our popular tasks below, or browse the entire library, you can choose by mathematical concept, and by grade.

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Patterns + Generalizations, Shape, Space + Measures

Finding Pi

Many students in the US think of Pi as a number they should memorize, when the most important idea for students to learn is that Pi is a very cool relationship, that exists inside all circles in the world. In this task students will find that relationship themselves, through cutting and folding, and be asked […]

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Patterns + Generalizations, Shape, Space + Measures

30 Cubes

This task is intended to support students building their own identity as a mathematics explorer. They will generate their own data and look for patterns within a sequence. They should work to determine ways to organize their findings so they can make convincing arguments and conjectures. Students are asked to think in cubes by building, […]

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Data, Probability + Statistics, Data Science

Leo The Rabbit

Leo the Rabbit has become a youcubed favorite. It is a great problem for using creativity to illustrate and justify student thinking and it leads to rich class discussion.

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Patterns + Generalizations, Shape, Space + Measures, Data, Probability + Statistics, Data Science

Moving with Data

In this task, students work together to create live data visualizations of a dataset about Marvel movies. Each student is given a data card that provides information about one movie, the student’s job is to play the part of “data point” as the class works to physically organize themselves into ‘live’ visualizations of the data. […]

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Patterns + Generalizations, Shape, Space + Measures

Painted Cube

Students build and draw three-dimensional cubes made up of small unit cubes. Student study patterns by analyzing the number of sides painted of each unit cube, which made up the larger painted cube.

How to create a summer camp at home

Number Sense, Patterns + Generalizations, Shape, Space + Measures

36 Fences

In this task students explore changing areas and patterns of numbers. It is a low floor high ceiling task that can be used with many grade levels. The question posed is : what is the biggest fence that can be made out of 36 pieces of fence?

How to create a summer camp at home

Professional Development for Teachers

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