It's here! Another school year is done and it's time for summer vacation. While your kids are super excited to run and jump and play, you are well aware that it will only be a matter of minutes before boredom kicks in. Perhaps you don't send your child to camp for a variety of reasons, or maybe your child goes to one or two a summer. Either way, you probably can't send them off every day, but you can still keep them busy and maintain your sanity by having summer camp at home.
Set the Theme
To have camp at home, you need to be organized. Set a theme for each week of summer (or each day if you're ambitious). One could be Pirate Week. Another could be Insect Week or Arts Week or Fire Safety Week. The ideas are endless, but if you're stumped, check out Blissful and Domestic. Danielle plans 11 weeks of summer camp at home for her kiddos.
When I was about 12, my friend and I ran a week-long camp for the neighborhood kids. If you have older kids, this is a great chance for them to get their foot in the door for babysitting jobs as well as gain some valuable skills such as organization and teamwork. Back in the 1980s, we charged a dollar a day for each kid. We set up simple games and activities and provided a snack.
This one takes some teamwork, but if planned well, it is awesome. Gather some dependable moms with children about the same ages as your children. Together, take turns hosting camp days. You can take a block of a week or two, or do a few consecutive Mondays. Each parent takes a turn hosting the kids for a themed day of fun. The kids get to see their friends and the parents each get a day to themselves while knowing that their kids are happy and taken care of. What's better than that? Writer and mom Michelle Crouch has done this for years with her kids, and has some great advice on how to make it go off without a hitch.
Take your camp on the road. Once a week, take the kids to have some local fun. Visit a farmer's market, a local kids' museum, a science center, or the library. You can pick a theme for each week, visit the attraction, and then spend the rest of the week focusing on and expanding on what they learned that day. And don't forget, many local attractions offer free days for kids or locals.
Summer doesn't have to mean day after day of your children begging for something to do. Holding camps at home will provide your children with fun and save you money. Whether you team up with other parents or go for it on your own, with a little planning, this could be your best summer yet.