Whether you’re worried about the safety of summer camps, they are closed in your area, or just too expensive, for many families summer camp is off the table this year.
This post is written by Brenda Priddy of STEAMsational, a STEAM and science site for teachers and parents looking for hands-on STEM activity ideas.
However, you can still create magical summer memories with your kids with an at-home summer camp!
Making your own at home summer camp is surprisingly easy!
Follow along with the steps in this guide to plan out a summer camp at home for your kids. And be sure to check out the list of complete at-home summer camp themes below.
How to Make a Summer Camp at Home for Your Kids (without hassle or stress)
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You don’t have to be a creative genius to make a summer camp experience for your kids at home.
And if you’re a little braver, you can open your backyard to some of your kids’ friends or the neighbors on your block for a safer camp experience.
Follow along with these simple steps and you’ll have a camp outline in no time. Your kids will always remember the time you took to make the summer special for them!
Brainstorm ideas with your kids
Sit down with your kids to get some ideas of what your summer camp should look like. What kind of themes would they be interested in? Art camp, science camp, pirate camp, STEAM camp, math camp, space camp, and even Pokemon camp could be fun themes.
What types of activities do they want to do? If your kids were going to a camp that’s now canceled, ask them what parts of summer camp they were most looking forward to.
You may be able to create parts of that summer camp for them at home!
Backyard Summer Camp: Bundle
Create a schedule for your summer camp
A schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone for every summer camp you do for your kids, and this might feel restricting to some kids.
However, you want to create some schedule for your summer schedule to help keep things organized. This will ensure that you don’t run out of activities for your kids to do or plan too many activities for them.
The best way to create a schedule is to plan a theme or activity and block those into your schedule. You can make themes for each week to help structure your schedule, or choose a new theme for each day.
Use screens and tools for the things you can’t teach yourself
I’m not an artist, and teaching my kids art is something that my knowledge can only help so much.
Why not use other tools to help out if you want your kids to learn art or music while at camp?
Many online camp options can help show your kids how to cook, do art, or even how to draw!
You can use these to help supplement your summer camp so you can take a break from being a camp counselor for awhile!
Gather your supplies
You’ve planned out your schedule and found resources to help teach your kids the things you want them to learn while at summer camp, now it’s time to start gathering supplies!
Make a list of all the craft supplies, and materials for activities, you’ll need.
You can head to the store to gather these each week or make one big trip. Make sure that you don’t wait until the last minute to start gathering supplies!
No one wants to make a midnight trip to Walmart because they forget to get glue sticks for tomorrow’s art project.
Summer camps are such an important part of the summer for kids! They give your kids a chance to play and explore while getting a break from schoolwork.
If you are trying to plan your own summer camp, keep this guide handy to help you get started!
Ready-to-Go Backyard Summer Camp Themes
If you don’t have the time to plan activities yourself, you can save time by trying some of these pre-planned camp themes:
Colors Summer Camp (for preschoolers and toddlers)