Summer camps are always a fun way for kids to get out of the house, stay active and meet new friends. However, it isn’t always possible for summer camp to happen. It may be out of the budget or just doesn’t work with family schedules. Add a pandemic on top of that and you are likely to plan on staying home. However, that doesn’t have to mean a boring time! Bring summer camp to your home for memories and fun that the kids will enjoy.
First, you’ll want to set goals for how you want summer camp to go. Do you want your child(ren) to learn new skills or hobbies? Do you want them to simply have fun and burn some energy? Also, what is your budget? Try to use materials you already have at home to set up your summer camp if you’re not looking to overspend. How long do you want the summer camp to last? If it’s one week, set a theme. You can also create multiple themes if you want it to run longer.
Create a schedule. Decide how the days will be structured and print everything clearly to be displayed on the refrigerator or wall for the family to keep up with. Be sure to add times each day as well so everyone knows what to expect.
Gather your materials and get started! Let’s use an example of “Shape Week Summer Camp”. Incorporate crafts with lessons and hands-on activities to teach little ones all about different shapes. You can set a schedule such as 30 minutes of lesson time with questions and illustrations, one hour of play time with that particular shape (think matching games, flash cards, etc.), and one hour of activity time. If you’re working on a circle, have them make various circle crafts like a clock or a globe. Then give them a small scavenger hunt to complete such as seeing how many circle shapes they can find around the home. Make circle-shaped foods that day as well such as pancakes or burgers! Each day, they will learn all about a different shape and be able to spot it with ease by the end of the week.
Other easy theme ideas may be Block Week, Art Week (learning about various artists and techniques), or Science Week with fun and easy experiments.
At the end of your DIY summer camp, plan a special celebration! Have kids set up a performance or display of everything they’ve learned and go out for a special treat. Summer camp doesn’t always have to mean time away from home or tons of money spent- sometimes it is just about making memories!