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BIG LIST OF 50+ CAMP-INSPIRED ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS FOR KIDS

I am a summer camp fanatic. I love summer camp! It is what inspired this massive list of summer camp activities...

As a child, I went to camp every summer after age 6. As soon as I was old enough, I worked as a camp counselor and taught waterskiing, sailing and whatever would keep me on the waterfront.

That is one of the reasons why Kids Activities is so excited to be working with Vista Camps. Vista Camps includes Rio Vista for boys and Sierra Vista for girls. They have 1, 2, and 4-week terms for ages 6-16.

Ideas for Summer Camp Activities & Games​

Because summer can’t come soon enough, we thought it would be fun to do a little camp-dreaming by finding some games, activities, crafts, art projects and food inspired by camp!

The pictures of camp fun on Instagram this year has made me a little camp-sick {as in homesick for camp}. So many activities, so many kids with huge smiles on their faces! If your kids can't get to camp this summer, don't worry...camp activities & games can be done at home.

Summer Camp Games for Kids

Nearly everything is a game at camp! My cabin had a tape four square and hop scotch in the middle of the floor inviting games at all hours of the day or night. The lazy-susan on the dining table was used for a target launching game that would hopefully deliver food to the proper camper with just a spin.

1. Create Chalk Twister

This version of the popular indoor game can be scaled as large as your surface and created with sidewalk chalk.

To play at home: Use sidewalk chalk to create circles (or other shapes) in different colors on your driveway or patio. Use a square cardboard box for a dice by coloring each side with a coordinating color to the colors on the ground. Follow traditional Twister rules...and be sure to have fun!

2. Compete in a Pool Noodle Javelin Thow

Use a pool noodle for a game of javelin throw!
This is much safer than an actual javelin...and easier to find at your local discount store (or already in your backyard).

Try this at home: Use another pool noodle fashioned into a circle to hang from a tree as a target. Gather the other "campers" together for a BIG camp competition.

3. Make a Camp-sized Game Board

This Huge Board Game is a great outdoor camp game. We created a big checkerboard using sidewalk chalk. We had pink and blue chalk on hand.

To make this for your "camp": Find a large paved area. A patio or driveway works well. Using a measuring tape, mark off every other foot in the available square area. Our board was 2 foot squares - three wide and three high for a total of 9 squares.

Use paper plates for game tokens. You can play tic-tac-toe or make up you own game. Create a bigger board for checkers or chess (wouldn't that be fun to make?).

4. Anchor Camp Crate Tug-o-War

Even just two can play at tug of war when crates are used to up the coordination ante!

How do play this camp game at home: Grab two milk crates and a rope. Each participant stands on one upside-down milk crate and grabs the end of the rope. On your mark, get set...pull! The first person who pulls the other one off the crate, wins.

5. Create a Bicycle Games Course

If your camp is at home, it likely has bicycles! There are so many Bicycle Games that can introduce a little friendly competition.

How to play at home:

  • How Slow Can You Go? Using sidewalk chalk, draw a 4-inch wide line line (part straight, part wavy) that stretches across a driveway or sidewalk. Using a stopwatch, time riders riding down the line without putting down a foot...as slow as possible.
  • Penny Pas - Set up a small container on a sidewalk. Have riders ride by and try to drop a penny inside the container without stopping. You can adapt this game for different ages.
  • Sprinkler Ride - Set up the sprinkler next to the sidewalk and have fun riding while enjoying the refreshing "rain".

6. Host a Camp Field Day

Host a Field Day at Camp with potato sack races, water balloon tosses and three-legged races. Grab your camp buddies and have some fun:

Remember how Field Day was our favorite day of the year in grade school? Put together an old-fashioned field day for your street complete with all your favorite games like potato sack races, water balloon tosses and three-legged races. Have everyone bring their lunch/dinner in a brown paper sack and award ribbons for the winners of each race. Don’t forget the tug-of-war!

Classic Camp Crafts & Craft Projects

My suitcase home from camp was full of created treasures that would remind me of my camp time all year long. One camp I attended had a ceramics studio and I still have one very lopsided vase painted in various shades of blue that has survived the years.

7. Weave a Camp Friendship Bracelets

One of the passages of camp life is to signify new and old bonds with a visible symbol like the Friendship Bracelet !

How to make these: You will need an Elmer's foam board, razor blade, embroidery thread and a crayon or pencil. Follow the steps to create a friendship bracelet after measuring your wrist (or the wrist of a friend)!

8. Construct a Safety Pin Bracelet

I remember making Safety Pin Bracelet as a kid — so fun! These are great to make ahead if you are headed to camp to give as gifts to cabin-mates.

Follow the directions from Crafts by Amanda to transform 3/4" safety pins, elastic beading cord, seed beads, white craft glue and a toothpick into the best friendship bracelets ever.

9. Create a Rock Camp

You can make an entire camp from rocks and boxes with this fun project: Pet Rocks & People! It is an "old school summer" activity that is perfect for spending time outdoors with friends.

The materials needed are rocks, paint/brush or markers, upcycled boxes with some washi tape. Follow the steps to create your camp masterpiece. I am hoping it includes a campfire!

10. Make Nature-Inspired Tree People

This Tree People craft by Red Ted Art starts with an outdoor scavenger hunt for people parts…it really makes more sense when you see it.

Using leaves, bark, twigs, flowers and whatever else you find, you can create tree people on sheets of paper or cardstock. The possibilities are endless. I love the idea of creating your own camp postcards or camp cards to send to friends "back home".

11. Make Your Own Camp Compass

If you are venturing off the trail, you might need one of these! Or at least know how they work! This simple magnetic compass needs only a few basic household supplies to Make a Compass:

  • bowl of water
  • sewing pin or needle
  • magnet
  • small piece of craft foam, cork or paper

Cut a small circle from the craft foam, cork or paper that will float in water. The next step is to turn the sewing needle into a magnet. To do this, stroke the needle across the magnet (in one direction) 30-40x. The needle will now be magnetized.

Next, place the needle on the circle of craft foam or cork on top of the water in the center of the bowl keeping it away from the edges. The needle will begin to slowly turn around and eventually will point North and South.

12. Create Your Own DIY Camping Cushions

Sitting on those camp benches can be hard. This camp craft from Coffee Cups and Crayons solves that with a homemade sit upon with DIY Camping Cushions!

Make these at home with large reposition-able contact paper rectangles filled with crumpled magazine pages sealing them with a short ribbon into the open side for a handle.

The kids can make or personalize them.

13. Fashion a Stick Men Camp Craft

These super cute Stick Men people are the original stick people…from Red Ted Art. Take some simple materials:

  1. sticks
  2. googly eyes
  3. fabric scraps
  4. white school glue.

Try this at home by finding the sticks around your yard or stopping by a local park to go on a stick hunt! They don't have to be small in diameter. When you get home glue on the googly eyes and fabric scraps to create your own stick men. Be sure to check out Red Ted Art's fun creations and some made by her community.

14. Make & Wear a Nature Camp Crown

Create this lovely Leaf Crown of leaves from Red Ted Art makes the perfect camp craft...they can be summer leaves:

Materials: Just leaves (and leaf stems)

  1. Find leaves and fold with a flat surface at the bottom.
  2. Add additional leaves folding inside the previous one.
  3. Weave stems through the bottom to keep the leaves in place.
  4. Repeat until you have a leaf crown long enough to attach into a circle and wear as a crown.

15. Create a Jar for Fireflies (even if you don't have any)

Decorate Mason Firefly Jars for your evening fire fly catch. This adorable idea is from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

If you don't have fireflies in your "camp", then check into glow-in-the dark bugs you can buy at any dollar/discount store. They make an authentic firefly jar no matter what part of the country you live in!

16. Design a Nature Hike Bracelet Keepsake

I adore this Nature Hike Bracelet project from Kid World Citizen which takes found objects on a hike and creates a bracelet that changes as the trail goes on.

Materials needed: duct tape or washi tape turned inside out and wrapped around the wrist.

You can do this on your next hike by adding things you find along the way to create the most unique and fantastic hike bracelet! Cut it off carefully and let it dry for a hike keepsake.

Indoor Summer Camp Activities

Even at camp there are times when you need some summer camp activities that you can do indoors. Look below for prepping camp food as indoor fun, but many of the crafts and art projects are good things to do when the weather is rainy (or just too hot).

17. Create a Bird-feeder

This is a simple and fun way to create a bird feeder for wild birds.

Materials:

  • 1 cup of birdseed for small birds
  • 1/3rd cup of water
  • 1 small envelope of knox geletin
  • ribbon or twine
  • glass or mason jar lid
  • wax paper

Heat the water in a small pan on the stove, add the gelatin while stirring. Keep stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in the bird seed and mix until combined.

Scoop the mixture out onto a piece of wax paper and flatten.

Use the glass or mason jar lid as a cookie cutter creating a circle of bird seed. Push a hole for the ribbon/twine on one side.

Let them set overnight, attach ribbon/twine and hang in your camp.

18. Customize a Stick Construction Set

You will have to have some sticks that you gathered from outside before starting this indoor camp activity.

Make a set of building blocks from sticks with Stick Construction Set from Picklebums.

What you will need: sticks of various sizes

Create a stick "block" set and then let your imagination go. You might want to create some tents, campfire circle and a lodge for your camp.

Creative Camp Art Projects for Kids

Camp was one of the first places where I took an art class. I remember sitting out near the lake trying to copy it onto my paper with charcoal. I think you just feel more artistic when close to nature!

19. Crayon Rubbing Art

Nature is full of textures that can be turned into colorful art without disturbing the object.

Materials:

  • paper
  • crayons of various colors with the labels removed

Directions: Lay the paper on top of a surface that is not flat, then start rubbing the side of the crayon across the paper. Try this on leaves, bark, textured ground surfaces and other items you might find around your camp.

20. Assemble a Massive Land Art Installation

Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has one of my favorite art projects of all time - Land Art. I just adore it! Go! Look!

Using found objects in nature such as sticks, logs, shells, rocks and so much more transform them into BIG art projects. You have to check out the camp fun!

21. Be Inspired by Artists

This Andy Goldsworthy-inspired project from the Red Ted Art kids is a wonderful way to combine art and nature!

Materials: found nature objects like rocks, shells, sticks, leaves, etc.

Directions: Inspired by the work of this artist, create repeating patterns in organic shapes. Arches, circles, spirals are a great place to start.

22. Print with the Sun's Help

Sun Prints by Rainy Day Mum is a lovely project that lets the sun turn objects into art.

You will need: solar paper and objects from nature like leaves and flowers.

Follow the directions to create the coolest prints blessed by the sun that can be framed or saved for later.

23. Get Arty with Sticks

So, I suspect no two sticks are alike {just like snowflakes} and that is certainly true after they are the canvas for this Stick Art art project from Buggy and Buddy using sticks, white tempera paint, paintbrush and colored pencils.

  1. Find your sticks
  2. Clean them
  3. Paint them white & let dry
  4. Use this as the canvas for your colored pencil art

You have to check out all the fun at Buggy and Buddy...it is inspiring camp artwork!

24. Draw a Mural...a BIG One!

Art goes BIG with Giant Fence Art - this fun sidewalk chalk art project from J Daniel 4’s Mom.

What you will need: a fence, sidewalk chalk

Follow the instructions to create a massive camp mural.

25. Design Your Own Mandala Art Installation

Creating Mandala Art outdoors is a project without size limits! It can be fun to build them together like these from Playful Learning.

What is Mandala Art? Art with a circle formation and a complex, abstract design. The Sanskrit word, mandala, means circle. They work really well with organic material because of their shape.

You will need: a large area, found nature objects like rocks, shells, sticks, pinecones, flowers, leaves, seaweed...anything!

Follow the directions to create an organic mandala on a scale so big that it is completely camp-worthy!

26. Build Artful Structures Out of Nature

Make art functional with found nature objects and build something that double as a shelter! We first did this project at the Betty Ford Gardens in Vail, CO. Here is what we did:

  1. Collect building materials - you will need LARGE limbs, tall grasses, vines, bamboo...anything long, rope (optional), flowers & leaves and rocks
  2. Create crossbar that is a little shorter than the length of your average limb/material (we used rope between two trees)
  3. Lean the limbs/grasses/vines/bamboo against the crossbar creating a shelter
  4. Decorate the shelter with flowers and leaves
  5. Create a path outlined in rocks leading up to your art camp shelter

Traditional Camp Activities with a Twist

My favorite camp activities centered around the water, but riding horses for the first time or sitting by the campfire was a close second. There just always seemed like there was so much to do and the time would go so quickly!

27. Hike an Unnatural Trail

This is a fun activity for not only the scavenger hunt of it all, but the conservation learning behind it. You will be creating a trail with a scavenger hunt-like game where the campers who go through it will be asked to identify what is natural and unnatural.

Materials you will need to make the unnatural camp trail:

  • 8-10 "unnatural" items that should not be found on that trail. We used: string, cup, jumprope, straw, french fry container, soda can, toy teapot, toy, sunglasses and a fork.
  • For younger campers: a picture list of the items to seek
  • For older campers: blank paper or number list without items named
  • Clipboard & pencil for each participant

Have the campers hike the trail looking for the items that do not belong. Be sure to pick up your unnatural trail once the hike is over!

28. Watch Some Birds

Make a bird-watching book. This free printable to create a bird book is perfect for your backyard, a hike, a vacation, or a trip to camp. Grab the bird watching book for kids from Buggy and Buddy.

Materials you need: the printed bird watching book, colored pencils or markers

Follow the directions to record bird sightings with pictures, locations and dates. Keep the book nearby the window or when you are out where birds hang out.

29. Watch a Camp Movie at Night

Host a “Drive-In Movie” – I love this idea! It is time for the camp movie...

Supplies you will need:

  • boxes
  • construction paper
  • tape
  • movie snacks
  • sheet
  • projector, laptop & a movie
  • P.S. don't forget the extension cords!

Create cars out of boxes, construction paper and tape. If you don't want to drive-in to your camp movie, sleeping bags and blankets work great too.

Start set up before dark with the goal of starting the movie when the sun sets. Have plenty of snacks...and fun!

30. Discover Trees

Make a Tree Guide. Chart the trees around you with this simple DIY book from Kid World Citizen. Investigate the trees in your camp environment with this DIY tree guide.

You will need:

  • paper
  • construction paper
  • crayons
  • pen/marker
  • local field guide of trees in your area

Create a book by folding the paper in half, stacking multiple sheets and then creating a cover with construction paper.

Explore your camp area (neighborhood) for trees. Do a rubbing of the bark with the crayon and pick a leaf to either press or rub. Use one page for each tree you find.

Follow the instructions over at Kid World Citizen for more questions to ask to help identify the tree type in the field guide.

31. Build a Team

Team-building Activities - No matter what the team might be – a family, a cabin of campers, or a sports team these team activities can help kids {and adults} work together. In fact, these type of activities were my favorite things to do at camp!

Materials needed:

  • large stretch band or stretchy fabric about 8 feet in length sewed into a circular band
  • 2 campers

Time to play! Place the 2 campers inside the band with the band at about waist height. Have them go through the following games:

  1. Slow Down! One child is the “driver” and the other pretends to be a passenger that doesn’t want to go as fast as the driver. The kids have to coordinate getting on opposite sides of the band and then going in the same direction with one holding the other back slightly.
  2. Shape Creation - While inside the stretchy band, I give them a shape to make with the band. Square! The boys have to figure out how to each get a corner made out of a foot on one side and an outstretched hand on the other to create a shape that resembles a square. This game can include more than 2 people in the band.
  3. Obstacle Course - Design a simple obstacle course around, over and under objects where the kids have to plan out how to remain together and inside the stretchy loop.

32. Inspect Nature a Little Closer

Finding symmetry in nature is a simple activity from Buggy and Buddy takes observation along a nature hike to a whole new level.

What you will need:

  • camera
  • printer
  • small mirror

Go on a camp hike and take pictures of single items in nature like a leaf, a stump, a pinecone, flower, tree, etc.

When you get home, print off the pictures and grab the small mirror. Place the printed photo on a table and line the mirror up to the center of the photographed object. Look in the mirror to see if the item looks the same (and symmetrical) or distorted (unsymmetrical).

Follow the directions over at Buggy and Buddy to take it to the next step of categorization, etc.

33. Make a Bubble Bar

Being outside just inspires bubbles! This activity from Nate and Rachel brings out the creativity in bubbles: Bubble Bar – with so many choices, how will you choose?

Blowing bubbles is one of my favorite activities. It is also something you can sneak into a suitcase of a departing camper (please put it in a plastic bag in case it leaks) because it is always a hit at any cabin party or bored moment.

Follow the instructions to creating a bubble bar that the entire camp can enjoy.

34. Measure a Tree

How Tall is a Tree? This creative math assignment from Science Sparks is something I need to run out to my backyard and test right now!

Materials needed: Just your body and a tree

What to do: Face away from the tree and bend over looking through your legs to see if you can see the top of the tree.

If you can't, then move further away and try again. Follow the instructions to determine exactly how tall the tree is! It is fascinating!

35. Make Camp Fire Starting Easier

You can make Egg Carton Fire Starters for the most amazing campfire from things you already have at home and around you. This smart idea comes from Allternative Learning.

Materials: cardboard egg cartons, candles, brown matter, old pot/pan and a cookie sheet

Follow the instructions to create fire starters for your next campfire...it will be much easier this way!

36. Make a Bow & Arrow for Your Camp Archery

This bow and arrow is safe for even indoor Archery Practice practice because it is miniature! What a fun project from I Can Teach My Child. Archery is a natural part of camp life, but not necessarily the safest for smaller camp environments like our backyard!

Materials needed:

  • Notched craft sticks
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Sandwich-size baggies
  • Printable labels available at I Can Teach My Child

Follow the directions to create a miniature bow and arrow set that can be safe in even the smallest of camps!

37. Harness the Power of the Sun

Use the Sun for this melting project from Mama Smiles uses sun power to transform.

To try this, you will need:

  • old/broken crayons
  • tin foil
  • plastic wrap
  • dixie cups or silicone molds

Follow the directions to create sun-upcycled crayons by creating a sun oven that melts the crayons into circles (Dixie cups) or shapes (silicone molds).

38. Add a Camp Beach

Every camp needs a "Beach" and your backyard can have one too with this amazing sand project from Better Together with the Wray Sist3rs.

This is a dream camp beach...I need it!

39. Map the Trail

Creating a Map of the Trail can become a secret treasure map! What a fun project from Kid World Citizen.

To try this at home you will need:

  • large piece of white paper
  • crayons/markers
  • treasures to hide

Follow the directions to create a map of your camp and then host a treasure hunt for even the smallest campers.

40. Throw a Themed Camp Week

Do It Yourself Camp Ideas – This inspired list from Imagination Soup will get your thinking up your own themed camp to entertain kids while hosting camp at home:

  • Try-A-New Sport Camp: introduce a new sport everyday!
  • Arts & Crafts Camp: follow the ideas to fun projects for camp
  • Drama Camp: Write skits, hold a puppet show...and more
  • Cooking Camp: Make new recipes, write a cookbook!
  • Nature Camp: Tons of ideas for creating nature camp activity fun.
  • Community Camp: Make your neighborhood a better place.
  • Museum Camp: You don't have to spend a lot of money on this museum camp (or wait all night in line to get your kid into it).
  • Olympics Camp: Host your own Olympics.

Follow the instructions over at Imagination Soup for all the camp-inspired fun!

Summer Camp Activities for Ages 3-5

These summer camp activity ideas for preschoolers and Kindergartners are a great combination of learning and camp play. Take a look at the rest of the list because many of them can be used with younger kids with a little creative adaptation.

41. Alphabet Camp Activities

Here at Kids Activities, we have tons of ideas for letter of the day. These are fun activities that are themed with one letter. You could host a 26 day camp for the alphabet using these resources. It would be an alphabet camp schedule.

42. Play Nature I-Spy

Print off this free printable from The Joys of Boys: Eye Spy Nature Hunt to get your nature hike off to a competitive start!

You will need:

  • Eye Spy Nature printable
  • Clipboard
  • pen/pencil

Follow the instructions to see who is best at Nature I Spy! It could be done as a group or individual camp activity.

43. Inspect Nature Much Closer

Get kids seeking for more than they can see with this fun outdoor activity from Mama Smiles: Camouflage Science

Materials needed:

  • Magnifying glass
  • Nature

These instructions show how to introduce kids to how there are camouflaged things all around them.

Make Camp Food at Home

There just seems to be something about camp food. I am sure it was not the most gourmet food I ever had, but there is something about eating with friends when you are worn out and starving that elevates camp food! My first summer camp job was in the camp kitchen. I was 15 years old and spent the summer cooking in bulk and washing dishes...in bulk!

Preparing most of these camp food ideas is a great indoor camp activity. Don't think that isn't part of the fun.

44. Make Campfire Cones Recipe

This is one of our very favorite foods of all time! This Campfire Cones recipe is easy to make and are better than s'mores...and I wouldn't joke about that.

Ingredients:

  • Chopped fruit - your choice of strawberries, bananas, berries, apples, pineapple, kiwi, etc.
  • Mini-marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Waffle Ice Cream Cone

You will need tin foil and a source of heat like a campfire, grill or even toaster oven...just in case your camp is inside.

Wrap the waffle cone with tin foil leaving an opening at the top. Fill the cone with your favorite ingredients. Cover the top with tinfoil and make sure it is secure around the cone. Place on heat for 5-10 minutes until the marshmallows are melty. Eat!

45. Enjoy Watermelon Ice Recipe

Ahhh…there isn’t anything more refreshing at camp than a fresh slice of watermelon unless you count this Watermelon Ice from Pleasantest Thing!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups pureed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup chopped ice
  • (optional) 1/2 tsp of honey

Follow the directions at Simple Play Ideas to create one of the best, most refreshing camp recipe...ever.

46. Make Watermelon Pops

Here is a way to elevate the simple act of watermelon eating from Paging Fun Mums. This is one of the smartest uses of watermelon...and it is the perfect food for camp: Watermelon Pops!

47. Eat Fruit Kabobs

These tasty fruit kabob snacks are the perfect in-between meal treat. And they are incredibly simple.

Ingredients:

  • bite-size fruit pieces: apple, orange, kiwi, grapes, banana, berries, whatever you love!
  • skewer

Simply place the fruit pieces on the skewer, stack and serve!

48. Mix Up a Trail Mix Recipe

Trail Mix is the quintessential pocket food! You can easily create individual servings or a big ol' bowl of camp-sized yumminess.

Ingredients:

  • Pretzels, goldfish crackers, cheese crackers
  • Peanuts, cashews
  • M&Ms, candy corn, chocolate chips
  • Raisins, dried fruit
  • Cereal
  • Popcorn

Add your favorites from the ingredient list to a large bowl and stir. For me, it is best to do about 2x more savory/salty items to sweet. Mix and then divide...and eat!

49. Freeze Candy Popsicles

Candy Popsicles are just plain cool on so many levels!

Ingredients:

  • lemonade
  • candy

You will need:

  • Popsicle molds or dixie cups + popsicle sticks (or plastic spoons)

To make this camp treat:

  1. Add candy to the popsicle mold
  2. Pour lemonade filling just shy of the top
  3. Freeze
  4. Remove popsicle mold
  5. Eat...yum!

50. Make Homemade Granola Bars

This Homemade Granola Bars recipe is a special treat at home or can be sent with kids to camp.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of coconut flakes
  • (optional) caramel sauce - recipe below

How to make homemade granola bars for your camp experience:

  1. Soak oats in the water overnight.
  2. In the morning, add oil, salt, sugar and coconut & mix well.
  3. Pour the batter on to cookie sheets about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Cut into bars and put back into oven for 5 minutes to toast the sides.

To make the caramel sauce:

  1. Put one unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler & bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and let simmer for an hour.
  3. Open the can to a golden caramel sauce.
  4. Add salt to taste.

Pour the caramel sauce over the homemade granola bars for an extra special camp treat.

51. Put a Little Summer in Your Dessert

Summershine Cupcakes are a sunny treat that will be a hit no matter if it rains or shines on your camp day. To make these, you will need:

  • Cupcakes
  • Yellow icing
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Candy Corn
  • Red icing

Follow the instructions over at Busy Kids, Happy Mom to complete this adorable happy dessert.

52. Make Homemade Fruit Leather

This Homemade Fruit Leather is another thing that can be made ahead and sent with kids to camp for a taste of home. It is surprisingly easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh fruits like strawberries, bananas, grapes, raspberries, blueberries or whatever else you have on hand
  • water
  • lemon
  • sugar
  • non-stick spray

You will need:

  • blender or food processor
  • baking sheet
  • sauce pan
  • wax or parchment paper

To make fruit leather:

  1. Prep fruit cutting it into small pieces.
  2. Put the pieces in a sauce pan and heat until they are mushy. You may need to add a little water depending on how juicy your fruit is.
  3. Place the contents into a blender/food processor and blend. When it is ready, it will have smoothie consistency.
  4. Taste...add sugar for taste.
  5. Line baking sheet with paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  6. Pour mixture onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 170 degrees for 6-8 hours.

Cut into strips and enjoy!

Tips for Creating a Summer Camp Schedule

There are so many ideas...and so little summer! My suggestion is to choose two ideas for each day of your home summer camp. One indoor and one outdoor. This will keep the set-up and planning to a minimum and allow for activities to turn into something different...and bigger than suggested.

Use this massive summer camp activity list as a starter guide. Let the kids help choose activities, plan, set-up and do. When an activity goes longer and in a different direction than expected, celebrate! Unlike traditional summer camp, you have the freedom at home to make these activities yours and perfect for your kid(s).

Summer Camp Activities for School

I have been both a summer camp counselor and a teacher (grades 5-8 science). Keeping kids engaged with hands-on fun has been the key to success at camp and in the classroom.

Because summer camps are filled with groups of kids and so are schools, these activities adapt well for the classroom. Many of the summer camp craft and art ideas are things that are already a part of classroom curriculum.

Outside summer camp activities make excellent recess ideas. Exploring nature and discovering the world around has benefits no matter what the location.

What are Summer Camp Activities?

Traditionally summer camp activities have included adventurous activities like horseback riding, water skiing, windsurfing, zip lining, swimming, paddle boarding, water slides, archery, crafts, art projects, games, hiking, rock climbing and more.

Since many of those can't be recreated at home, I hope that the sense of adventure remains in the list of summer camp activities you can do at home!

If this all has you thinking that you can't miss summer camp this year...

Vista Camps for Kids

Vista Camps is a private, family owned camp that has been owned and operated by the Hawkins family for 3 generations. Rio Vista was established in 1921, making it the oldest private children's camp in the Southwest.

Vista Camps include two separate camps, Rio Vista for boys and Sierra Vista for girls. They are run side by side, but not co-ed. Once a week they have something together like a carnival/dance/picnic.

It is a smaller camp. Girls camp holds 104 campers and boys camp holds 150. Because the size is small, they are able to get to know each family. Most of their campers come year after year! The counselor to camper ratio is 4 campers to 1 counselor or better.

Vista Camps is located along the beautiful Guadalupe River in the heart of Texas Hill Country. It is about 70 miles north/northwest of San Antonio and approximately 100 miles west of Austin. The camp facilities are gorgeous with a beautiful view in every direction.

Camps fill fast this time of year, for more information on Vista Camps, please give them a call at 830-367-5353. Tell them you learned about them from Kids Activities Blog and receive $100 off your tuition!

What to Send Kids at Summer Camp

So! You are sending your kid(s) to camp this summer…you may need this last fun idea we found:

10 Crazy Things to Mail your Kid at Camp – I adore this list from The House of Hendrix! One of the highlights of camp is mail from home, and this can make you the coolest mom in the entire cabin.

Thanks so much to Vista Camps for supporting Kids Activities Blog and bringing back all these fun camp memories!

WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU REMEMBER FROM CAMP FONDLY? WHAT CAMP ACTIVITIES DO YOU HOPE YOUR KID(S) ENJOY?

My favorite camp activities were always on waterfront. I taught waterskiing, sailing and windsurfing. I had to learn to sail and windsurf the week before camp started so I could teach it! hahaha

OMG. SO many good ideas! These will keep us busy for the rest of summer!

I love the recipes, they are perfect for a summer day!

Love these ideas! My kiddo isn't quite ready for summer camp, so I like the idea of having something at home for him.

There are so many great things on this list. Great for camp or home.

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