It’s the middle of summer, school’s been officially out for over a month and we still have another month to go until the next school year starts, whatever that may look like this year. The kids have been having fun but with no summer camps this year and not being able to see their friends, boredom is beginning to set in for my kids, how about yours? Now what!?! If there was ever a year for the stay at home summer day camp, this is that year!
Last year I partnered up with some pretty awesome moms and we ran our very own DIY summer camp for the kids! We came up with a bunch of ideas to keep them busy, keep them off their iPads and gaming all day long and make sure they’re not bored! You can check out the full list of all 10 of our DIY Camp ideas here.
For this year since there’s only a few weeks left, thought I’d share some of my kids favourite stay at home summer camp ideas and probably some of the easiest ones to do when social distancing is still very much a part of our lives.
Mad Scientist Camp
It’s always been really important to me that my kids are exposed to science and that it’s fun for them! We were in luck this year because my daughter is really into science and asked for a lot of STEM birthday presents so it made this camp easy for me! I’ve rounded up a couple sites that offer up some pretty cool science experiments that you can do right at home. And since it’s summer, skip the mess inside and take the science lab outdoors. Check out The Artful Parents Best Kids Science Experiments to Try at Home and also the Rediscovered Families Experiments!
We try and do a different science experiment each day and even look at themes like chemistry, the earth sciences, electricity and even space.
Since it may be a little hard to get to the local Planetarium and Science Centre this year, you can also teach them all about Space right at home. Check out how to set up your own DIY Space Camp. At night when it get’s dark it’s fun to head outdoors and look at the stars. We even use an app called Skyview Lite to help us identify identify stars, constellations, planets and more!
To really have the theme come alive you need to be a Mad Scientist too! Throw on a lab coat and some goggles and check out this great Mad Science printable party package by This Party of Mine on Etsy that you can use for any decorations and labels.
Some of the supplies you’ll need to make it a success include:
- Lab Coats
- Science kits
- Volcano Kit
- Crystal Growing Kit
- Planetarium/Starry Sky Projector
- Solar System Model Making Kit
- Space Model Kit
- Molecular Model Kit
- Intro to Electricity and Magnets Experiments
- 101 Great Science Experiments
Beach Dance Party
This camp day is a pretty easy one that the kids love and it will get them moving! All you need are some fun accessories like Hawaian Leis, beach balls, hula hoops, a pool noodle and beach decorations and inflatables and get a playlist ready for lots of fun dancing in the backyard! Grab a pool noodle for the limbo, some fun hats to take them through YMCA, and why not teach them the Macarena or the Cha Cha Slide. That one is popular in our house right now! For more dance party ideas, check out Mom Junction’s Fun Dance Games and Activities! You can also check out these Free Party Printables and this Kid Friendly Playlist!
Mini Top Chef Cooking Camp
My kids, especially my son love to cook and experiment in the kitchen! Even when I ask them what we should watch on TV, a lot of the time they want to watch Food Network, and in particular any cooking challenges. So what better way to entertain them than their very own Mini Top Chef Cooking Camp! For our cooking camp we spend the week learning different technique and recipes for appetizers, main courses and desserts. Then on the last day we head into our big challenge where they cook or bake to become the Top Chef. Another fun idea is to end the week with a mini Chopped Cooking Challenge. Each kid gets their very own basket of secret mystery ingredients and they get to be creative and come up with something delicious! I’ve got bakers in my house too so they’ve also requested that we do a Baking Championship too where they both need to create their won themed cake and us parents then get to be the judge! As you can see, I wasn’t joking that we watch a lot of Food Network!
You can get them to make easy things like fruit skewers or salad, pizzas, and s’mores. Or you can get them to come up with the menu too and get them to do the work from making the grocery list, shopping with you (we shop online these days with Instacart!) and even making their own paper aprons and chef hats! For more easy kids recipe inspiration check out The Taylor House 100 Crazy Easy Recipes for Kids. I also really love this ready for you Kids Creative Cooking Challenge!
While you probably have most of what you need already, some of the supplies you’ll need to make it a success include:
- Aprons and chef hats
- Index Cards for Recipe cards
- Recipe Box (they can decorate their own with stickers!)
- Baking Set
- Cookie Cutters
- Cake Decorating Supplies
- Sprinkles, icing and food colouring
- Oven mitts
- Picnic Basket (for a Chopped cooking challenge mystery basket)
- The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs
- The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs
My kids, especially my daughter love to draw and do some kind of art work so this is an easy camp they love doing! We had originally planned on going to an actual art camp this year but since that wasn’t possible we got everything we need to have our very own art camp at home. And as much as possible and weather permitting I take this art class outside into our backyard, meaning less mess for me!
You can do different daily art projects trying out different techniques and mediums. For example one day you can do drawing and sketching, painting, working with clay and pottery, and even making their own comic books. For some fun summer themed ideas, try Pineapple Finger Painting, Make Your Own Windchimes, and for the adventurous Watergun Painting. Who knows, you may have a little budding Monet or Picasso on your hands!
Some of the supplies you’ll need to make your art camp a success include:
- Sketch Pads
- Drawing Pencils
- Drawing Paper Roll
- Comic Book Kit
- Drawing Book for Kids
- Watercolour paper
- Tempera paint
- Spillproof Paint Cups
- Watercolour paint
- Easel Art Pad
- Paint Palettes
- Pencil Crayons
- Modelling Clay
- Pottery Wheel
All about Nature
It’s summer so what better time to get the kids outside and teach them a bit about the the world and natural habitat around us! We’re lucky that we live by the lake and the bluffs so we have lots of hidden gems for exploring and for daily adventures. Take the kids hiking and give them some fun activities along the way to help them learn about plants and wildlife along your route. Get them to complete a Nature Scavenger Hunt, a Nature Journal or Nature Crafts. You can also make it fun for them by equipping them with some binoculars or an Outdoor Explorer Kit. And don’t forget their KidiZoom Camera so they can take pictures of all of their discoveries!
At first it’s a bit overwhelming to think of how to occupy the kids especially when they can’t go to camp or see their friends in person but once you start brainstorming there is so much you can actually do with them right at home! I was also thinking Magic Camp, Pirate Camp and even a superhero camp and Star Wars camp (of course would be our personal favourite and we probably have everything to do that one!) but I had to stop somewhere!
What we’ve figured out is that we can be pretty resourceful and can give the kids a super fun summer with loads of activities right at home! Hope I gave you some ideas for how to keep your kids busy the rest of this summer! Let me know if you have any other ideas on how you’re entertaining your kids and as always stay safe!
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