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. However, with many sleepaway and day camps canceled this year, families will miss the fun and entertainment camp used to offer.
It’s an understatement to say this year has been an adjustment, but you can make summer more normal for your kids with some creativity! Here are some tips to keep your kids entertained (and you sane) while summer camps take a hiatus:
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.
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 this summer, 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. Kids might miss playing games with camp friends—give them ways to interact with limited physical contact. 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! How are you replacing summer camp 2020 at home?