Inside: These summer camp theme ideas will work for your own kids. Whether you are planning fun activities in the summer, for homeschooling, or for a more organized church or youth camp, these ideas will work.
Two weeks ago we had the busiest week ever. Within a 7 day period the kids had Vacation Bible School from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and then 5 days of swimming lessons… during naptime.
So needless to say the kids were fussy, exhausted, and had gotten a tad out of control.
So in order to have a calm week that was completely home centered, and also to give the kids a bit more structure to encourage better behavior, I decided we’d have a Family Summer Fun Week.
Basically, I created a theme for each day of the week and thought of no-prep, no purchase necessary activities that corresponded with the day. We probably spent two hours in the morning doing these activities (my husband included) and that was that.
I didn’t want to raise my expectations too high because I didn’t want to get irritated if they weren’t into the activities. (See: anger triggers for moms, ha)
Here are 5 basic summer camp theme ideas and easy no-prep actvities
Nature Themes For Summer Camp
- Put on backpacks, explorer gear (these are cool), get some walking sticks, and go for a walk. Our yard is full of nature, but if not, go to a park!
- Put sticks, stones, pine straw, flowers, or whatever else they find in the backpack to store.
- Create some art with paper, glue, and what they picked up.
- Watch some nature videos if you have screen time. We liked this one.
- Use basic craft supplies to draw pictures of trees, flowers, the sky, clouds, etc.
- Make mud pies outside with dirt and, if you’re really keen, make a mud pie to eat. :)
Here are some easy to put together ideas for your nature day.
Animal Themes For Summer Camp
- Do animal walks around the house. My kids loved this and we used this post as inspiration.
- Do a stuffed animal scavenger hunt by hiding stuffed animals around the house and looking for them. You can even use toilet paper rolls to make binoculars. Easy peasy.
- Draw animals with a Sharpie and have your kids color them in.
- Gather your books about animals and have a special reading time.
- Practice animal sounds really loudly outside.
- Watch some short videos about nature, we loved this one.
Here are some activities and crafts that will bring your summer camp animal theme to life for the little ones.
Water Theme Activities
- Go for a swim in the pool, lake, beach, or even a kiddie pool.
- Make and throw water balloons.
- Teach children about the properties of water. We “made” ice and the kids still talk about it.
- Play in the sprinklers or water hose.
- Take a glow in the dark bath.
- Flavor water with lemon juice, lime juice, mint leaves, or a drop or two of essential oils and put it in a fancy cup for a tea party.
The above are easy to do activities. Supplement those in your summer camp with these water themed crafts or table activities your kids will love.
- Make a tower with blocks.
- Build with LEGO.
- Do some woodworking. My husband took my kids to help build wall art for my son’s room.
- Build a fire and roast marshmallows.
- Build with popsicle sticks (some good ideas here).
- My daughter likes to build and create with pipe cleaners.
- Build a race track for cars with masking tape along your carpet.
Kids L-O-V-E to build and construct things with their hands. Whether small things like blocks or LEGO to larger things like forts outside. Here are some great hands on building activities for kids you will love putting in your themed days or weeks for summer camp.
- Paint faces. We were given this face paint a while back from Kiss Naturals. It’s all natural, easy to use, and we got patriotic since it was the week of the 4th!
- Use clothespins or thumb tacks to attach poster boards, butcher paper, or any type of paper to a wall or fence and let kids paint standing up.
- Practice all the colors of the rainbow.
- Color in coloring books.
- Watch videos about art with the kids to get them inspired. Here’s a good art channel.
Art means so many things and you can take a lot of creative license with these activities.