Keep your kids entertained all summer long with these DIY summer camp ideas. Printable daily schedule included! Most ideas you can do at home with supplies you already have on hand.
Holy canoli how is it summer already?! While I start counting down the days to summer break in October, what I always forget about is the fact that I have my kids home EVERYDAY. ALL. DAY. LONG. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids. But if I don’t have activities planned the inevitable ‘I’m bored’ starts first thing in the morning!
A few years back I planned a summer full of activities for my boys. They were 3 and 4 and I had several different activities for each day and it was the best summer ever! I decided to do the same thing this summer but thought it would be a good idea to share these ideas with YOU! My boys are now 6 and 7 so the activities will be geared towards elementary age kids.
Summer Camp Schedule
Before I started planning activities for our summer camp I wanted to start with a manageable schedule for both my kids and me. Even though we’ve been in Arizona for 2 months now I swear my boys are still on Utah time. They wake up before 6AM everyday! I’m sure not ready to start our summer camp this early so I let them watch PBS kids or color for a little bit before we start our day.
When I was looking at summer camps run by the city or private companies most of them were half day (4 hours) so I decided that would be our schedule too. That gives them enough time to have LOTS of fun every day but still some time to do their own activities, and time for me to work (or nap).
For all activities I plan on spending 45 minutes for the activity then 15 minutes for clean up and snack. I’ve learned at my boys’ age, 45 minutes is about their longest attention span for a sit down activity. I have daily outings, or longer activities planned for each day of the week as well. They are:
- Monday – Movies – I was going to go with a summer movie at a local theater but decided to do my own at home for free. Post coming soon with lots of ideas for movies, snacks and activity ideas).
- Tuesday – Trampoline Park. They just opened up an Urban Air by us and I was able to get a monthly membership for my kids for just $6.99/month. It’s definitely worth the money to have a place I can take the kids to get their wiggles out whenever they want.
- Wednesday – Splash Pad
- Thursday – Local Park
- Friday – Pool
Summer Camp Planning
I looked at my calendar and counted 11 weeks of summer. I’m leaving the week before school starts free just in case our baby decides to join us early. I wrote down all our activity categories, daily outings and schedule and assigned activities for each day. With two activities a day and five activity categories for five days, I figured I needed 22 activities for each category.
To keep track of things I got 5 different colors of pens (these are my favorite), one for each category and started writing down ideas for the categories. Once I ran out of ideas I headed to Pinterest and continued my search. I searched for things like ‘Summer Crafts For Kids’ or ‘Summer Science For Kids’ and pinned my ideas to a Summer Camp board.
Summer Camp Activities
I wanted to have several different types of activities to make sure the kids didn’t get bored with only doing arts and crafts all summer. Even though I don’t think they’d mind that at all. I also wanted to have some activities that didn’t require as much involvement from me so that if I need a break (which is definitely going to happen since I’ll be 8 months pregnant come July). Our activities are broken up into 5 categories:
- Arts and Crafts
I picked these categories so the kids could have fun AND we could also work on some of the things they learned at school this year and will be learning next year. Now that I had my daily schedule and activity categories it was time to plan the activities.
So this post isn’t a bajillion miles long I broke up all the categories into their own posts with all the activity ideas and links. Some of the activities are self explanatory, like playing with playdough. Other activities are ideas I’ve come up with that I will be writing tutorials on as we do them. Like the DIY bags for kids. Every things else will have links to how to do each activity in the post. Click the picture below to go to each individual category.
I’m super excited to have our summer planned out and my boys are excited that they will have lots of fun things to do every day. You can follow along on my Instagram stories daily and weekly to see what activities we are doing and get some inspiration for the coming days/weeks/months.