An at home, do-it-yourself DIY summer camp can be an inexpensive and fun way to help your children grow intellectually, artistically, socially and spiritually over the summer.
Think of the goals you have for your children this summer.
This summer, I want my children to _________________ . (Fill in the blank.)
Would a summer camp at home help meet your goals?
DIY Summer Camp
Now consider your children’s interest, ages and if you want to invite other friends. Then, look over my brief list of summer camp ideas and see if one is right for your family this summer.
A Little-Bit-of-Everything Camp
Traditional camps often provide options in sports, arts and crafts, drama, swimming, and campfire time. An at home summer camp can be scheduled to replicate the daily schedule of a sleep away camp. This would be a good one to do with other families so you don’t have to plan and prep everything by yourself.
Introduce new, lesser known sports like frisbee golf, BMX, track and field, rock climbing, or fencing. Every day you try something new.
Arts and Crafts Camp
Bring out your glue guns and have some fun. This summer craft camp lets kids make their own camp t-shirts, paint pictures, bead necklaces, design clay pots, braid key chains, build bird houses, or make dream catchers.
Write skits to perform, hold a puppet show, host a talent show, or develop film making skills in a DIY Drama Camp.
In this DIY summer camp, try different international foods, learn to make new recipes, write a kids’ cookbook, learn about the new nutrition food plate.
Visit a nature preserve, make leaf collection books, learn about animal tracks, become a bird watcher, learn to read a compass and map and go for nature hikes.
Find a project to do in your community like read to young children, plant flowers, clean-up litter or help an elderly neighbor.
Visit a different museum every day, especially museums you’ve never been to before. We want to go to the Doll Museum, for example.
Get together with a few other families and compete in your own DIY family Olympics camp.
Every year, Denver mom Stephanie Klein plans a Family Olympics. She plans activities for all different age groups of kids, events like relay races and egg tosses. The parents’ events include the popular daddy hula hoop contest and the blindfolded “mom call” where each mom must find her own child who is calling out, “MOM.”
“All the families have family t-shirts and decorate a family flag. We do a presentation of flags with Olympic music,” Klein says. She adds that everyone wins ribbons and trophies but only one family is the year’s winner. The day ends in a pool party and dinner. “Our kids live for it!” Klein says.
My new friend, Karen Bantuveris, runs a fantastic blog called VolunteerSpot where you can read a free eBook on Neighborhood Camps with many more camp themes and logistic details. Also, you might be interested in Terri Mauro’s Camp Mom guide she developed for her 14 year old son and his special education classmates. Plus, the Reading Corner shares more camp themes.
. . .
Writing this post made me want to have a summer camp every week. Tomorrow I’m going to talk about how my kids and I will decide together — our family goal setting and planning.
Download my "can't put 'em down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!