Family + Milestones

Summer Day Camp Ideas - Great Out of the House Options

Ashley Murdza

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Jun 08, 21

Remember when you were a kid. Summer break was the best time ever! You looked forward to it from the minute you stepped back into the schoolroom in September. Your days were filled with fun and freedom and lots of time outside with friends. At least, that’s how it looks in your memories.

Now, as a parent, you know there’s a lot more to it than that. You have to worry about complicated activity schedules, trying to entertain and maintain a gaggle of children, snacks and meals and (nobody seems to like the food in the house). It’s exhausting, especially if summer camp is not an option for you this summer. That’s where we step in!

Summer Day Camp Ideas
If summer camp is out of the question this summer, it doesn’t mean your little one needs to go without the experience. It also doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a little break. These summer activities can be for you and your kids or include children already in your social bubble. If you have others, then the parents might be able to take turns, so you get that well-deserved break.

At-Home Water Park or Splash Pad
Going to a water park might not be in the cards, but you can create one at home. Gather a sprinkler or two, a kiddie pool, a slip and slide, water balloons – the options feel almost endless these days. There are giant, blow-up water slides that you can purchase or rent, but you don’t have to go to that much trouble. Just collect a bunch of things from your friends and set up a splashy summer extravaganza. Then, lend the entire collection to your friends in turn so each of them can do the same for their kids.

*Tip – Use our Camp Labels for any water toys you lend out, so you’re sure to get them back. These incredibly adhesive labels are waterproof, so they stay in place no matter how wet they get. They can even go through the dishwasher and come out looking brand new. Not only that, but they’re super cute and customizable.

Outside Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
In the last year, we’ve probably all done more eating outside than we had in several years combined. But it’s safer and allows for social distancing. This is why this outdoor event for kids and adults can be fun – you can include friends. Just remember, if you’re going to do this with friends, you’ll need to pick a place with enough space for social distancing and safety.

Select a day where everything you eat is prepared and eaten outside. Set up the grill, the fire pit, or use a cooler and eat sandwiches. But the more elaborate and unexpected your meals are, the more fun they can be for kids.

Don’t forget, you can easily turn this into a learning adventure. Meal preparation can include lots of lessons about healthy foods and well-balanced meals. Grocery shopping can be part of the experience, and they can learn how to pick ripe fruits and veggies. And cooking is always a good skill to introduce to your children.

Weekly Movie Night
Grab your popcorn and your favorite lawn chair and settle in for a good, old-fashioned movie night. But this time, you’ll do it outside. This is another event that you can do with friends, and they can stay socially distant. Pick one night a week and plan on weekly movies. You can do them at one house, or it could be a moving movie night and rotate between several yards.

*Tip – Because it stays light so late in the summer, oftentimes way past bedtime, we suggest midday naps and movie shorts rather than full-length feature films.

Garage Theater
Are your kids more into acting than watching? Then garage theater is just the thing. You can be incredibly elaborate and have them write the scripts, practice, make backdrops, etc. This can be an entire summer project if they’re really into it.

If not, you can make it a one-day activity. Hang a couple of sheets or shower curtains for the background and give them a box of dress-up clothes so they can make impromptu skits for you to watch. Look out, this could be such a big neighborhood hit that it becomes a regular summer feature.

Garden and Growing Activity
If you don’t have space in your yard for a garden or don’t want to dig up the grass, consider container gardening or joining a community garden. There are so many lessons they can learn about healthy foods, how seeds turn into the plants they eat, the importance of bugs and bees in the world, and then there’s just the fun of digging in the dirt and reaping the rewards.

Obstacle Course with Sports
There are so many reasons we love this idea. First of all, it gets your kids outside and active. And it can keep them playing all day long. Adding a sporting element gives them a chance to do something they’re familiar with and lets them practice their manual dexterity and sporting skills. But the obstacle course element is simply loads of fun.

You can set up hula hoops to jump or crawl through, balance beams to walk over, tunnels to crawl through, and wading pools to splash in. Then add a basketball station, soccer goals, a cartwheel zone, and any other sporting events you can think of.

When they’ve done the course a couple of times, change it up, so it’s a bit different. Encourage them to come up with fun ways to make it more interesting. Want to make it even more challenging and silly? Ask them to do the course as an animal would. How does a snake do a cartwheel? You’ll be surprised at their answers.

Team Building Activity = Fort Day
It’s time to build a fort together. Bring out chairs, curtain rods, PVC pipes, and anything else you can think of that would make a good structure for your fort. Then load up on clothespins or chip clips and sheets. You know the drill.

Fort building is a timeless classic for kids and can transform their backyard into a magical dreamland. The best part is letting them direct the activity, giving them an immense sense of accomplishment and encouraging teamwork.

If it’s safe to have friends over to play, encourage them to create their own fort city, with tunnels and secret passages from one fort to the next.

These seven different backyard camp activities can keep your kids occupied for the entire day. And they are activities they’re going to want to do over and over, so the fun never ends. Next time they’re whining about how bored they are, set them up with one of these activities and watch their creative little minds come to life.


Thank you again for joining us for another edition of The Weekly Bubble! We hope that you have a fun, safe summer with your children full of exciting adventures.

We’ll talk to you next week!

Ashley Murdza

I am the Director of Business Administration here at Name Bubbles. I graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a New York State teaching certification and Bachelor’s of Science before changing paces and spending several years managing restaura...

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