6 Easy (and Fun) Summer Camp Ideas You Can Do at Home to Keep Kids Busy

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Check out these fun summer camp ideas to keep kids busy and entertained all summer long!

Do you have fond memories of going to summer camp as a kid?

Or are you used to sending your own kids off to camp for the summer each year?

Sending kids to summer camp–whether it’s day camp or overnight–is a win-win most of the time.

The kids get to have fun and make new friends.

They hopefully learn some new skills or at the very least, create some amazing memories.

And you get a much-deserved break which, let’s face, all of us busy moms need from time to time.

But what do you do when the kids can’t make it to summer camp because it’s too expensive or you’re stuck at home?

After all, you need your kids to be doing something, otherwise, you won’t be able to get anything done yourself.

And I’ve got an easy solution for you to help keep kids busy during the dog days: do summer camp at home.

summer camp ideas

What Can You Do at Home in the Summer With Kids?

The short answer? A lot, actually.

The best part about doing summer camp ideas at home is that they don’t have to cost a lot of money either. 

In the past, we’ve done things like:

  • Kept a nature journal
  • Played water games outside
  • Collected toads and insects
  • Done different themed art projects
  • Made simple summer treats
  • Pitched a backyard tent (0r an indoor teepee on days when it was too hot to be out)
  • Done sidewalk chalk art

All easy stuff that didn’t take a lot of time to plan.

And if you need some more inspiration for summer fun, here are some posts you’ll definitely want to save for later:

Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Kids: 100+ Ways to Beat the Heat

12 Awesome Virtual Vacations That Let Kids See the World From Home

101 Frugal and Fun Things to Do With Kids at Home

27 Fun and Free Educational Websites For Kids to Learn From Home

You’ll find plenty of ideas here for having fun as a family and these are all things I’ve done with my own kids at some point.

But what if you want to make your days a little more structured or sneak in some creative learning?

That’s where trying out summer camp ideas at home comes in.

And I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have time to plan out a bunch of crafts or activities. 

Same here. But I’ve found a really easy way to add fun activities to our calendar all summer long without doing a ton of work.

6 Amazing Summer Camp Ideas You Can Get Delivered to Your Door

Okay, so have you guessed what my secret weapon is for doing summer camp at home yet?

No?

Two words: Subscription boxes.

Subscription boxes for kids can be a lifesaver when you need ways to keep kids busy and occupied.

They’re great because you can get them delivered right to your door and there are so many different kinds to choose from.

Seriously, there is an insane amount of variety when it comes to subscription boxes for kids. And they don’t cost an arm and a leg either.

You can easily use them to do summer camp at home by picking a different box or theme to build your at home camp around.

If that sounds good to you, here are six of my favorite subscription box options for doing summer camp at home.

1. KiwiCo

KiwiCo was the first subscription box service for kids we ever tried as a family and we absolutely love it.

The boxes are affordable and what’s really great about KiwiCo is that you can tailor your choices to your kids’ ages and interests.

Here’s what KiwiCo offers to give you summer camp ideas for kids:

  • Panda Crate: For kids 0 to 24 months
  • Koala Crate: For kids 2 to 4
  • Kiwi Crate: For kids 5 to 8 who are interested in science and art
  • Atlas Crate: For kids 6 to 11 who are interested in exploring geography and culture
  • Doodle Crate: For the 9 to 16-year-old crowd that’s interested in art
  • Tinker Crate: For 9 to 16-year-olds who want to focus on science and engineering
  • Maker Crate: For kids 14 and up who are into DIY creations
  • Eureka Crate: For kids 14 and up who are interested in engineering and design

KiwiCo could be a great choice for doing summer camp at home if you have multiple kids whose interests are all over the place.

Sign up to get your first crate now and get 30% off!

2. Raddish Kids

If you want to do a summer cooking camp for kids at home, Raddish Kids gives you everything you need to get started.

We’ve tried these boxes at home before and they make it so easy to teach kids the basics of cooking and actually get them interested in it.

Boxes are delivered monthly and each one has a different theme.

For example, kids can make snacks from different countries or ones that have a scientific twist.

And each box also includes an apron patch for kids to collect as they rack up culinary achievements.

If you’re a mom like me who never got taught how to cook as a child, then Raddish Kids is a perfect summer camp idea to try at home.

Sign up for a six-month subscription to Raddish Kids and save $15!

3. Green Kid Crafts

Green Kid Crafts offers STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) subscription boxes that are eco-friendly and fun for kids of all ages.

You can shop by age or by theme, based on what your kids are interested in. There’s a science and craft subscription box, a weather science kit and a detective science kit.

Inside each box, you get:

  • 4 to 6 projects with a STEAM theme
  • A 12-page magazine with instructions and explanations

What I really like about these boxes is that they’re not just a fun way to do summer camp at home but they’re a simple way to go green.

We talk a lot about climate change and the environment at our house. I’m always encouraging my kids to reduce waste, reuse and recycle so we can do our part to help the planet.

So it’s nice to find a subscription box that promotes eco-friendliness with the materials it uses and the projects it offers.

Sign up for Green Kid Crafts now and save 10% on a three-month subscription!

4. Cratejoy

Cratejoy is great for doing summer camp at home, not just for kids but for moms too!

At Cratejoy, you can find subscription boxes from a ton of different companies with different themes.

For example, some of the options include:

  • Preschool boxes
  • Craft boxes
  • Book club boxes for kids
  • STEM boxes
  • Beauty boxes
  • Baking boxes
  • Art boxes

The list goes on and on!

I love Cratejoy because it’s easy to shop subscription boxes from lots of different companies in one place. And you can find deals and discounts to make your next box purchase more affordable.

Plus, if you’re looking for something to keep you busy over the summer there are boxes just for women. You can get a spa in a box, beauty kits, self care kits–all the things you need to feel more relaxed as a busy mom!

Browse 100s of subscription boxes for kids at Cratejoy now!

5. Superpower Academy

Superpower Academy is all about teaching kids how to be good humans through hands-on crafts, comic books and super-secret missions.

If you’re looking for summer camp ideas for kids you can do at home with a slightly different spin, this one doesn’t disappoint.

These subscription boxes emphasize things like increasing emotional intelligence, promoting creative thinking and developing the skills and mindset kids need to be resilient in the face of challenges.

Superpower Academy uses a superhero theme to do that, which makes it fun for kids. Plus it’s reassuring for parents who are looking for a way to incorporate character building in their summer camp at home.

Sign up for Superpower Academy now and get your first box shipped within two days!

6. Little Passports

Little Passports Banners

I would love to be able to get out and see the world this summer. But this year, it’s not happening. (Thanks, 2020.)

If you’re dealing with the same thing, then you can check out Little Passports for a multicultural summer camp at home.

I started Little Passports with my kids when we were doing preschool at home. And they loved it!

It was so much fun for them to get their little suitcases filled with goodies and learn about other places. Plus, they got to chart their destinations with a fun wall map.

Right now, Little Passports is offering a summer camp at home so go check it out!

Do you have any summer camp ideas for fun at home?

If you’re like us and are looking at a long summer at home, what are you doing to keep things fun and interesting for your kids?

Head to the comments and tell me your best at-home summer camp ideas! And don’t forget to pin and share this post!

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26 thoughts on “6 Easy (and Fun) Summer Camp Ideas You Can Do at Home to Keep Kids Busy”

  1. I’ve never heard of lost of the opportunities like Raddish that can be used to diy summer camp at home. Thank you for the detailed overview and tips. This will be helpful.

    Reply
  2. I love the little passports theme. In the context of more staying at home, it makes good sense in 2020. It’s as cute as can be too with thoughtful details such as the luggage tag and welcome letters. I wonder how something similar could be designed for upper ES and lower MS. Thank you for sharing these engaging summer camp ideas!

    Reply
  3. I love this because I just was searching on google for things just like this for my 5 year old. He’s so bored and I Still just don’t feel comfortable having play dates given the numbers rising. This was super helpful!

    Reply
    • That’s great! Play dates are still iffy, even though they’re pushing for back to school. So finding things to do at home is a good way to keep kids busy!

      Reply
  4. Oh, I love these suggestions… I’m always looking for indoor activities to do with my 8 & 5 year old boys (but because it’s raining (I’m in the UK)), so this list will come in really handy for me. I’ll check out a few to see if they can deliver to England. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • There are some great ideas here but they’re just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re looking for a UK company, try Mel Science. I’m pretty sure they deliver to England.

      Reply
  5. Honestly – what did we all do before subscription boxes?! These are so amazing (I wish they existed when I was a kid)! I’m going to check out RadishKids – and if they don’t deliver to Canada (need to check) I’ve been wanting to try a meal subscription service to get my son involved with cooking. We’ll see how it goes! We plan to pitch the tent in the backyard soon and have a camping evening with a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and tent sleeping. As long as you’re creative you can do quite a lot of fun stuff at home. 🙂

    Reply
    • I know, right? We never had stuff like this when I was little. I want to try doing more of these at home, especially the science ones since that’s pretty much the only part of homeschool my son is remotely interested in.

      Reply
    • I know some kids have still gone but I heard of at least one instance where nearly 100 of them tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. So doing summer camp at home is a much safer (and cheaper) option. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Thanks so much for the overview. I have yet to try any of these but I may now that you have highlighted each of them, they look very good and I think my kids would love them. It’s also a plus to get something delivered in the mail with your child’s name on it! They love that!

    Reply

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