This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn commissions when you make a purchase through these links (at no extra cost to you). See our disclosure policy for more details.
Fun At-Home Summer Camp Activity Ideas
Within the last year, many summer camps have quickly disappeared.
While you used to be able to send your kids to a fun learning and creative camp during the summer, this year might be looking a bit different.
But what if I told you that you can recreate a summer camp at home?
In today’s article, we’re going to look at 21 different summer camp ideas you can do at home.
At-Home Summer Camp Activities to Do Every Day
Even though you want to add in some more fun games and crafts for your kids this summer, there are a few summer camp activities that you may want to implement daily.
You can do this a few different ways.
One option is to set aside a designated reading time where everyone participates. Whether it’s a picture or chapter book, each member of your clan is reading during this time.
Another way to implement daily reading is by choosing a book for your whole family to read together every day.
Reading is a good way to stimulate both the left and right side of your brain. So encourage your kids to do it as often as possible!
Journaling is not only for documenting fun and important times. It can also be a way for your kids to express themselves!
You can start with journal prompts or just let your children write freely.
If your kids are older, encourage them to keep a daily journal in the notes app on their phone. That way, they won’t feel as if they’re tied down with pen and paper each day.
This may be a no brainer to you. But you should keep a daily routine of chores for your kids.
You can even keep these super simple.
– Make the bed
– Put clothes away
– Floss and brush teeth
Having daily chores will help maintain a steady routine. They can also help teach responsibility, cleanliness, and building healthy habits.
And, of course, with a little help each day, we don’t have to clean as much ourselves.
Daily exercise is a must!
You can have a morning stretching session or an evening walk around the neighborhood.
Regardless of how you do it, keep your kids moving each day.
Outside and Indoor Summer Camp Ideas for Kids at Home
Here are some activities that can be done inside or outside. You don’t have to worry about space or weather!
Create a scavenger hunt for anything and everything.
You can deliberately hide things for your kids to find.
Or you could create a list of items you may or may not have around the house. This is a bit more challenging, but great for older kids!
Have a fun family party by creating your own music — both audio and lyrics!
Grab some toys, pans, or instruments and get to singing.
Bonus: if you are a musically gifted family, try to learn a new instrument together.
Friendship bracelets are a summer camp staple.
You can find a variety of different patterns to choose from.
I recommend getting multiple different colors of string, as well. That way, everyone can be as creative as they choose to be.
Make (and eat) your own popsicles
What’s better than an ice cold popsicle on a hot summer day? Not much.
Unless you make them as a family!
You can find different sets of molds like these and freeze your favorite fruits, juices, or flavored drinks overnight.
Then enjoy them the next day.
Outdoor Summer Camp Ideas at Home
If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids outside this summer, here are some of our favorite camp activities at home.
If you have multiple kids, relay races are a great way to keep them active.
Each member of the family can create a part of the race, along with rules. You can also choose a reward for the winner.
Water balloon fight
What’s a summer without a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight?
You can find cheap water balloons and their attachment at the dollar store.
Fill them up with your garden hose or sink, and start throwing.
*You could also add a water balloon fight to a relay race!
Have you stumbled upon any painted rocks lately?
A relatively new fad of creativity is to paint rocks and then hide them for others to find. Typically, the finder would then re-hide elsewhere.
The best part about this activity is that everyone gets to use their creativity to paint the best rock they have ever seen.
When you get a tie-dye kit like this, your options are endless with what you can make.
Also, this is a great way to repurpose old clothes if you are trying to keep a summer budget.
If neither you nor your family have ever been stargazing, you are totally missing out.
When it gets dark, grab some blankets and lay them on your tailgate, the ground, or even a float. Then, lay on your back and look at the stars.
To add some learning to this, you can spend the day learning different constellations with your kids. So, at night, you can each find as many as you can!
If your family enjoyed star gazing, you all may choose to take a night and actually camp out in the background.
The best camp out dinner is also pretty easy. Set up a fire, grill some hotdogs, and share fun stories.
Indoor Summer Camp Ideas at Home
These are great activities to save for a rainy (or too hot) day where y’all can’t go outside.
From Go Fish to War, there are plenty of different card games for all ages.
This is a simple way to have full family engagement, enjoy the time, and stay inside.
Okay, hear me out. How fun are talent shows? So, host your own.
Encourage your kids by also participating!
To up the ante here, add in a prize for the winner that you all vote on as a family.
Create a journaling book
Since you should totally have your family journaling every day, have them create their own journaling books.
To do this, all you need are some blank papers, glue, stickers, pens, markers, and anything else you want to add. It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
Then, put it all together with some string and it will be designed for each child personally.
Make your own board game
Grab a poster board and draw your own game as a family. Then, take a sheet of paper and list all of the rules.
You can also use small (or big) toys as figurines and place holders.
Encourage your family to get as creative as they can by all contributing to the game.
Summer Camp Education Ideas
One of the most important aspects of a summer camp is the education that comes with it. Although you will be fairly limited to many resources, there are still plenty of ways you can add in summer learning to your at-home camp.
Start a book club with your family
Especially if your kids are close in age, a book club is a great way to learn while bonding.
To give everyone a chance to pick out a book, you can designate a certain month to each child. This encourages them to participate even if they aren’t interested, because they know they will eventually get to decide on their own.
To create the book club, choose a day each week or month to go over an assigned reading passage. This can be the entire book, a chapter, or even up to an event.
DIY Science experiments
Now, this can get messy real quick. So, you have to monitor the experiment and be careful.
But science experiments can be great ways to stay engaged in learning over the summer.
Although there are endless options on Google and Pinterest, creating an experiment can be overwhelming.
Learn a new fact each day
Can you imagine how much your children could learn if y’all focused on new fact each day?
Now, you don’t have to research into all of this. Just find a credible source and announce a new fact each morning.
If you have the time (and remember), you can add in the fact at various moments throughout the day.
Then, during dinner, ask your family what the fact of the day was.
By regularly discussing it, your child will have it stamped into their brain very quickly.
Name Labels for Summer Camp
Are the neighborhood kids joining the fun? Make sure to label your kiddos’ belongings with washable name labels so there aren’t any mix-ups of water bottles or other belongings:
- hand sanitizer
- sports equipment
Summer Camp Theme Ideas
Want to plan your at-home summer camp around a theme, or perhaps multiple themes that change every day or week? Awesome! You’ll find a list of fun at-home summer camp theme ideas right here.
At-Home Summer Camp Ideas
Although there are so many other activities you can do, these are a good start for your summer camp at home.
Whether you want to be indoors, outside, or focus on learning, there are so many options to choose from.
You don’t have to make it harder than it needs to be. At the end of the day, focus on soaking up this time with your family!
Have you tried any of these activities during your family’s summer camp?