Inside: If your summer camp plans were canceled this summer, use these 40+ ideas for a fun Stay at Home Summer Camp with your kids.
Since we started quarantining at home, my son asks me the same question almost every night: “Mama, what are we going to do tomorrow?”
And I can’t help but laugh and channel the old Animaniacs cartoon from my childhood: The same thing we do every night, Pinky…”
Every day is a blur and they kind of run into each other.
But now it’s summer. And facing the days of no plans ahead of us, nowhere to be and really nowhere 100% safe for us except our own backyard, my kids want to know what we’re going to do.
And while we do usually sign them up and then enjoy a few days of summer camp, for the most part, every summer we do a version of Camp Mom.
But this summer, is of course, different. With Covid-19 and social distancing, all of our summer camps have been canceled.
So now instead of a few days of Camp Mom, my kids are getting a Stay at Home Summer Camp all summer long.
So while a little boredom is good for them so they can be creative on their own, I also love having a few fun ideas in my back pocket to make summer more interesting and exciting.
So I gathered some of the best summer activities for you and your kiddos to help you get through the summer and enjoy the days.
Get Summer Camp Started:
And if you want some help to make it even more fun, we try to have an “old school” summer and to pull it off, we use these toys and goodies.
Summer Camp Crafts
Make Shrinky Dink Friendship Keychains and give them away to friends as gifts.
Painting is a great summer craft but to make the craft time last a little longer, your kids can make their own paint first with this recipe from Messy Little Monster.
Make sun melted crayons from Mama Smiles this summer with solar heat and old, broken crayons.
Or your kids can make this fun puffy paint from The Best Ideas for Kids and then make art with it.
When you need a break from water play, use your squirt guns for squirt gun painting from Messy Little Monsters.
Paint with dots and Qtips and make a Pointillism painting project
Connect bubble time with art with this bubble painting from Glitter on the Dime.
Sneak a little science into your arts and crafts when you make these scented milk carton candles from What Do We Do All Day?
Go old school summer and use these tie-dye tricks and crafts from The Craft Train.
Make a Kindness Rock and then hide it around your neighborhood.
Make beaded friendship bracelets from Projects with Kids and give them away to friends.
Are your kids ready to do more advanced sewing? These 20 sewing projects from Swoodson Says are fantastic.
Summer Camp Activities
Hide some summer goodies with these Random Acts of Kindness printables around your local park (if it’s open) to spread a little kindness and cheer this summer.
Fight summer boredom with this super cute Screen-Free Bingo from Primary Playground.
You might not be able to go to Disney this year, but you can bring some Disney magic home with this Disney Cootie Catcher from Marcie and the Mouse.
Want to sneak in a little summer writing? Make this Smash Book from the Gingerbread House and encourage your kids to add to it through the summer.
Summer is the perfect time for bubbles. Get the secret to amazingly large bubbles from Party Through the USA.
You can use the bubble solution with these adorable DIY bubble wands from Natural Beach Living.
If you have littles, create a sensory bin in your outdoor pool with these ideas from Parenting From the Heart.
Water play is synonymous with summertime so you can make these reusable sponge water bombs from Messy Little Monster.
You may not be able to go to an escape room with your kids but you can create one at home with these 40 escape room ideas from Teaching Ideas.
Start a book movie club to encourage a little reading this summer for even the most reluctant readers
Summer Camp Games
Host a Virtual Escape Room! A Virtual Escape Room for families with kids ages 9-13 (younger kids can help but won’t be able to do it on their own, older kids can be more independent with it). Parents can facilitate or join in and help…my kids had an absolute blast (and so did my hubby and I) and they worked so well together towards a common goal…to escape Harry Houidin’s secret room in 60 minutes! All you need is a printer, scissors, glue and a pencil!
Whether you’re having indoor time or are playing it outside, this Balloon Tennis game from Glitter on a Dime will be a hit.
If your local parks are open and safe, use this Park Bingo to explore the different parks in your neighboring communities.
Summer is the perfect time for camping, but even if you don’t camp as a family, these camping-themed minute to win it games from Calm the Chaos are super fun for families.
Play Beat That! with each other and challenge each other
Take a walk around your neighborhood and use one of these 9 scavenger hunts lists to make the walk more interactive.
Go on a nature texture scavenger hunt from Edventures with Kids as you explore outside.
Summer Camp Science
Go “old school” this summer and make these super rad lava lamps from Science Sparks.
Connect sweet, summer desserts and science with this solar oven to make solar s’mores from What Do We Do All Day?
Or make edible slime from Little Bins for Little Hands like this S’mores slime.
Can ketchup clean pennies? Find out if it works and why it works with this chemistry experiment from Team Cartwright.
Watermelon isn’t just for eating, it’s also for science when you make a watermelon volcano from Natural Beach Living.
Or you can make an orange volcano from The Art Kit Blog!
Cool off and get a sweet treat when you make this delicious Tin Can Ice Cream from Happy Hooligans
“Explosions” and all things outer space are perfect for summer so you can make a bottle rocket from Science Sparks.
If your kids wonder why they should wear sunscreen this summer, have them do this sunscreen painting steam project from Team Cartwright.
Want even more summer camp at home ideas?
- Use these themed plans from Steamsational
- 8 weeks of diy science summer camp from What Do We Do All Day?
- Summer science camp from Little Bins for Little Hands
- DIY summer camp 101 ideas from The Crazy Outdoor Mama
- 17 multicultural camp ideas from Edventures with Kids