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So here’s how to host your Own Summer Camp at home. It’s easier than you think. Just think, what would you most like you children to get out of summer camp – reading practice, self-confidence, social skills, a new skill? This alternative experience at home will require you to do quite a lot of planning: activities, materials for crafts and games, snacks and meals, etc, but you’ll save so much money if you have more than 2 kids at home as I do.
That’s my 2 year old Tehun at Reedy Creek Nature Center.
Create a Schedule
Depending on you and your family’s personality, this can be as structured or as flexible as you choose.
The more campers you recruit, outside of your home the more free days you’ll have, but you also need to consider how many kids you can handle. Let’s say you ran camp for a week, with five parents taking one day each.The sky is the limit think of savings on childcare!
Research Activities Think fun, educational and affordable- they are out there, just look for them.
• This is where it could get costly so think Dollar Store or thrift store. Start by looking around the house for materials that you can use. Create a list of supplies that you might need and begin to collect them now. You maybe able to 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.
Now go! The kids are waiting! Pack their lunch before you head out. Use gas station rewards for gas, ensure that your emergency kit is well stock and have at it.
- Cover your sidewalk with chalk art.
- Sell lemonade from your homemade lemonade stand.
- Make jewelry out of noodles.
- Finger paint with fruit, oatmeal and water
- Acquire articles of clothing and accessories to fill a costume box.
- Plant a garden.
- Go to museum free days.
- Do a physical activity (can be individual or do it as a group – ride bikes or scooters, play tag, go for a walk, play at the playground, jump rope, shoot hoops)
- Hike with your family.
- Visit the parks.
- Learn a new word a day.
- Create a scavenger hunt.
- Make and cook in a solar oven.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Mow lawns (neighbors or your own – for free or a fee).
- Wash cars (see 18).
- Make and blow bubbles.
- Play in the mud.
- Make a pair of flip flops
- Publish a book.
- Visit libraries. They have free programs for kids.
- Go to free concerts.
- Make ice cream or bread.
- Go jump and play all day at Monkey Joes! (My children LOVES that place!)
- Give yourselves homemade fruit/ veggie based facials.
- Go to free movie screenings.(use that link, I know this business personally.)
- Visit your local farmers’ market.
- Swim in your public pool.
- Make sand castles at the beach.
- Plant a garden.
- Write, direct and perform a play in your living room.
- Learn to properly put air in your tires and other basic car routines.
- Learn to sew
- Make a pretend grocery store.
- Buy electronics at yard sales and then take them apart
- Make something and then sell it.
- Organize a block party and meet your neighbors.
- Teach your kids cursive
- Watch free rehearsals of your local orchestra.
- Learn how to paint, hammer a nail. Sure you may not want to later, but it’s good to how how it’s done.
- Attend a Home Depot free kids workshops.
- Go to and/or organize a swap.
- Learn how to do your own hair.
- Take advantage of free bowling for kids.
- Plan a family fun night.
- Make a video of your kids interviewing you about your life.
- Plant a tree that you will take an annual family picture in front of.
- Learn to say “thank you” in at least 10 languages
- Visit the oldest house in your town.
- Go outdoors and play street games from way back when, etc, hopscotch, double dutch, ect.
- Host a slumber party.
- Visit your chamber of commerce.
- Learn how to make a simple tent, then go camping
- Tour a factory.
- Visit an artist studio.
- Watch a tree specialist cut down a tree.
- Volunteer at a local non profit center.
- Create a pretend budget and try to stay in it using an allotted smarties.
- Get a large cardboard box from an appliance store and let your imagination run wild.
- Learn about another culture.
- Go star gazing.
- Make compost and use it in your garden.
- Have a tea party, dress up.
- Make scrapbook pages for each year or decade of your life.
- Write to your favorite hero and thank them.
- Have a cooking class with the children.
- Make cookies and take them to your local fire fighters or nursing home.
- Make and fly a kite.
- Take a picture each day and make a summer photo album. If the children are old enough, have them write about what happened that day.
- Go to a movie in the park or your back yard.
One of my friends said:
Our days are slightly different but same idea: Music Monday (music learning & appreciation), Tell-Tales Tuesday (literary activity), Who-What-When-Where-Why-How Wednesday (science & discovery – like your wonder list research day), Thankful Thursday (where we do intentional acts of service), & Fun Time Friday (adventures & outings w/ family & friends) I’ve also heard of & like the idea of “Friends-day Wednesday!” cuz it rhymes!
Now, if you feel like taking on a larger project, try these tips. It tells you how to run a community camp and how to attract sponsors.
Do you have some favorite activities you would like to add?