Summer camps are great experiences for kids. They give kids a chance to participate in fun activities, play sports, meet new people, learn new skills, develop their talents, and experience nature. However, the cost of summer camp for just one child can be steep, let alone for multiple children in a family. Plus, sometimes, transportation and summer schedules can be an issue. Maybe you would love the summer camp experience for your child(ren), but you are unable to send them. Maybe the long, unstructured summer stretches out before you and you feel overwhelmed by activity. Maybe you are looking for ways to encourage reading and discovery throughout the summer. Hosting your own summer camp can be fun for the entire family.
For a great resource for your summertime, be sure to check out 100 Days of Summertime. ListPlanIt.com also has many resources to help you plan a terrific summer camp experience for your children in our Student ePlanner and more specifically in our Home Education ePlanner. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Choose Dates
Take a look at your summer calendars (ListPlanIt members can start by printing out Summer Planner) and decide which dates/weeks to devote to your summer camp. Plan around summer vacation and swim lessons.
- Choose a Theme (or Themes)
Choose a theme per day or really delve into a subject by spreading it throughout the week. Choose both topics that your children are interested in and topics that you would like to introduce or explore with your children. Here are some great resources for choosing themes.
• 100 Summer Camp Themes from Summer Camp Program Director website – jackpot!
• Tropic Home & Family has some great ideas for 10 weeks of summer camp at home.
- Expand on your Theme
• Explore historical context.
• Cook it! (doubles as a snack)
• Do an experiment.
• Play it
• Make it music to your ears.
• Get out of the house.
• Dig in the dirt.
• Introduce new people.
- Create a Schedule
Depending on you and your family’s personality, this can be as structured or as flexible as you choose. Some people plan their day out in blocks of 15 minutes. Others might block the day by morning and afternoon. (ListPlanIt members can start by printing out Summer Camp Schedule in Student Planning)
- Research Activities
• Bargain Babe has a great list of 100 frugal and fun activities.
• Ultimate Camp Resource is a website devoted to all kinds of camp activities: art, songs, games, skits, campfire stories, ice breakers, and team-building
• Amy Clark of MomAdvice.com created an amazing board on Pinterest called 100 Days of Summer – a summer feast for the eyes!
- Gather Materials
• This is where it could get costly. Look around the house for materials that you can use. Create a list of supplies that you might need and begin to scour the dollar stores and secondhand shops. 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.
(Members, be sure to check out ListPlanIt‘s Resources, Resource Tracker, and Supply Inventory in Home Education.)
- Set Goals for Yourself and Your Children
• Organizing a summer camp experience at home will require you to do quite a lot of planning: activities, materials for crafts and games, snacks and meals, etc. Set planning goals for yourself to ensure a successful camp experience.
• What would you most like you children to get out of summer camp – reading practice, self-confidence, social skills, a new skill? Consider these and plan accordingly.
Do you plan to have a summer camp for your children? What ideas have you used in the past or plan to use this summer?
Members to ListPlanIt will find the lists they need in Student Planning to plan a fun summer camp at home. Not yet a member? Join today for just $5 and get organized for summer.