How to start a summer camp at home!
Summer is going to look a lot different this year. With camps closed due to the coronavirus, parents are looking for ways to mimic the feel of camp at home. But don’t worry, it’s possible, and we’ve got the best tips and ideas to turn your home into the best summer camp ever. Check them out below.
Decide on a structure
Will you camp be a half-day or full-day of activities? How many kids will be “attending?” Answering these questions will help determine how you set up your day-to-day. You’re going to want to include a mix of indoor and outdoor activities as well as fun and educational ones. Get your kids involved in the planning process to ensure they will be engaged. Purchasing an activity table for inside and a water table for outside is one way to combine fun and learning.
- Buy it! 2-in-1 LEGO Table, $119; wayfair.com
- Buy it! Step 2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table, $80; wayfair.com
Choose the activities
A good mix of fun and educational activities is the way to go. Work on a STEM project together, and don’t worry about making it challenging. Even if it takes the whole summer to complete, your child can feel proud of their accomplishments and the end of the season. Also, what’s summer camp without some arts and crafts? Teach your kids the art of friendship bracelets or go outside and gather some leaves and twigs for a fun nature art project. You can also tie-dye, throw a dance party, roast marshmallows and so much more.
- Buy it! Tulip 40 Piece Two-Minute Tie Dye Kit, $33, michaels.com
- Buy it! Kiwi Co. Tinker Crate, $20, kiwico.com
- Buy it! Sterno S’mores Maker, $23; target.com
Set ground rules
The beauty of camp is that it’s different than school. While structure is essential, you might not want to be too rigid when it comes to rules. With that said, you may want to come up with a list of rules to help keep the peace in your home. Write the rules with your child and have them displayed in a place where it can be easily seen. Summer camp rules can include, “Putting sunscreen on before going outside,” and “Clean up after each activity.”
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- Buy it! Chalkboard Chore Chart, $40; etsy.com
Pick a Theme
A theme is an excellent way to up the fun factor of your at-home camp. Just like school spirt days, having a camp theme will keep kids interested, engaged and having fun. The theme can change from week to week, and just a bit of DIY savvy (and a quick trip to the dollar store) is all you need to make your weekly theme a hit!
- Buy it! Meri Meri Pirate Party Pack Trio, $24; maisonette.com
- Buy it! Patriotic Pride Fourth of July Party Supplies, $38; wayfair.com
Create a schedule
After you’ve picked a theme and figured out your activities, create a timeline for the day. You can start by reading books, then move to arts and crafts, then take some time to get outside and move. When it comes to mealtime, getting kids involved in preparing lunches will also reduce some of the stress of meal planning, and they might actually eat something they made themselves!
- Buy it! Kiwi Co. Baking Crate, $17, kiwico.com
- Buy it! Kid Made Modern Arts and Crafts Supply Library, $40; maisonette.com
- Buy it! American Ninja Warrior 33-Piece Competition Set, $60; buybuybaby.com
Ditch the schedule
There will come a time when your kids will need to blow off steam. If they are not feeling the day’s activities, let them run, play, swim, or do whatever they want. It’s been a tough year, and we ALL deserve a bit of a break.
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- Buy it! Unicorn Kiddie Pool, $50; shopbop.com