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With the summer fast approaching, I started to wonder how to keep my kids away from their phones and tablets and more active during the summer break. Since sending my kids to camp isn’t an option, I’ve decided to recreate the camp experience in my backyard using cool summer camp ideas for kids.
Besides being super fun, these camp activities also teach children how to work together and express their creative side by making cute arts and crafts. So, let’s see what fun and exciting things your kids can do over the summer!
Game Ideas For Summer Camp For Kids
Almost everything in summer camp can serve as a game idea, so you won’t have trouble organizing one at home. Here are some summer camp ideas for kids games you should try:
1. Pool Noodle Javelin
Image Credit: lifeasmama.com
This is one of the most popular and fun camp games that you can recreate in your backyard.
- Eight pool noodles (you’ll need extra pool noodles for throwing)
- Colored duct tape
- Garden stakes
Take one pool noodle at a time and work it so it forms a circle and then use duct tape to secure it. Repeat the same process until you have six pool noodle rings. Next, use the duct tape to secure all rings together so they form two rows with three rings each. The remaining two pool noodles will serve as poles.
Use duct tape to secure the circles to the two pool noodle poles. Hammer two garden stakes into the ground and slip the pool noodle poles over them and let the games begin!
How To Play:
The extra pool noodles should be used as a javelin, so make sure that you have an extra one for each child that’s going to participate in the game. Set up a throwing line and be ready to judge your kid’s throwing skills.
2. Crate Tug Of War
The great thing about this game is that as few as two children can play it! This is a fun activity that will help your children practice their balance and strength skills. To make it you’ll need:
- Two milk crates
Set up the two milk crates upside down so they are six to 12 feet apart. Before you let your kids play, be sure that the crates are sturdy enough to withstand your child’s weight. As an alternative for older and heavier kids, you can use tree stumps, just make sure they aren’t wobbly.
How To Play:
Once your crates or tree stumps are set let your kids climb on them. Once they are up let them hold one end of the rope and the fun can begin. The goal of the game is that a player pulls or relaxes the rope trying to make the other player step off the crate.
3. Chalk Twister
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This version of the popular indoor twister game can be played outside using sidewalk chalk. Depending on the amount of space available, you can make the twister as large as you want it to be. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Chalk in different colors
Use the chalk to draw colored circles on the pavement. The more colors you have the more fun the game is going to be! Try to space your circles to look like a traditional twister mat.
How To Play:
Once your chalk twister is done have one kid randomly call out a color and a right or left hand or foot. Or you can let the kids play, and you can call out directions. Each player has to follow the directions and put a hand or foot on a called color. Continue calling out instructions until one of the players tumbles and then start the game again.
Image Credit: itsalwaysautumn.com
The maze is one of the most fun games at summer camps and you can easily create one in a hallway for some indoor camp-inspired fun. You’ll need:
- Crepe paper
Basically, all you need to do is tape crepe paper on your hallway walls in a zig-zag pattern. Go back and forth, high and low moving down the hallway until you have a maze that looks like one of those laser mazes in action movies.
How To Play:
Once you are pleased with the way your maze looks round your kids and encourage them to give it a go. Ideally, your kids should be able to crawl, jump, hop on one leg and have fun figuring their way out of the maze without getting caught in the paper.
Arts & Crafts Summer Camp Activity List
Getting your kids involved in arts and crafts projects is a great way to keep them busy during the summer and help them become more creative. Here are some ideas you should try.
1. Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Image Credit: thespruce.com
Get your kids interested in building bird feeders for different types of birds that come into your backyard. Here’s how to make a super simple bird feeder using pine cones:
- Pine cones
- Peanut butter
- Bird food (you can get it at a pet store)
Tie the string to the top of the pine cone so you can later hang it on a tree branch or a hook on your porch. Next, give your kids a spoon to spread the peanut butter onto the pine cone. This is a bit messy, but most kids love doing it!
In the meantime, you can fill a plate with bird food and once the cone is buttered roll it into bird seeds. Make sure that everything is compacted and that the seeds are properly attached to the cone.
When your pine cone bird feeders are done, it’s time to hang them in your backyard. Encourage your children to use binoculars for kids to observe birds during feeding and see when they need to hang new feeders.
2. Stick Men
Get your kids interested in crafts by letting them make a stickman. You’ll need:
- Wooden stick from a tree
- PVC glue
- Googly eyes for crafts
- Fabric scraps
Let your kids find a wooden stick they want to decorate in your backyard. Once you have the sticks encourage your children to use their imagination and create a unique stick man. If your children are too small you should use the scissors to cut out fabric in the shape of a shirt and pants and then let your kids glue the clothes to their sticks.
But if your kids are a bit older, you can let them do all the work and just watch how their imagination comes to life.
The goal of this crafts project is to have a fully dressed stick man that can later be used as a toy or just a reminder of your kids creative powers.
Cool Kids Summer Camp Activities
There is a great number of summer camps activities for kids you can use as inspiration to keep your children active at home during summer. Here are some you need to try!
1. Water Balloon DodgeBall
Playing dodgeball is a lot of fun when it involves water balloons. This camp activity is a great option for hot summer days when your kids want to cool off and have some fun. You’ll need:
- Water balloons (at least five per child)
Place a couple of cones on one end of the playing area and a couple of cones on the other end to create a playing field. Once you have filled your water balloons place them in buckets filled with water that will prevent balloons from bursting prematurely. Once everything is set, place the buckets in the middle of the playing field.
How To Play:
Tell your kids and their friends to go and stand at one end of the playing field behind the cones. The goal of this game is for the children to run from one end of the field to the other while you throw the water balloons at them. If a child gets hit before it reaches the other side, it’s out of the game.
When all the remaining players are safely on the other side they should run back while you continue to throw balloons at them. The winner is the last kid who manages to evade being hit by a balloon.
2. Bicycle Games
If your kids have bikes and love riding, you can try this summer camp-inspired activity for a bit of friendly competition. You’ll need:
- Sidewalk chalk
- Kids bicycles
Use sidewalk chalk to draw a four-inch-wide line that stretches over your driveway or if there isn’t enough room you can draw the line down the street. The line can be straight, curvy, or in a figure-eight shape.
How To Play:
Once your kids have all their protective gear on, challenge them to ride their bikes as slow as they can down the line that you have drawn without stopping. To make things even more fun, use a stopwatch to time all the riders. And if your kids stop or put their feet down at any time make them start the game again.
Creating a fun and entertaining summer program can be the highlight of your children’s summer school break. These summer camp ideas for kids should inspire you enough to create an exciting and memorable experience your kids will want to repeat every year.