Backyard Summer Camp - One Week of Mom-Sanity Awaits!

Backyard Summer Camp - One Week of Mom-Sanity Awaits!

Who said you have to leave your house to go to summer camp? We got you! Here’s a Backyard Summer Camp schedule to give you at least one full week of turn-key, fun & simple summer activities to keep your kids out of your hair...err...entertained. Whether you make this schedule a weekly habit or a one-and-done week camp, we know you and your gremlins...err...munchkins will have ALL the fun!

Make Something Monday

Make Something Monday is all about being crafty. When I was a kid I would spend hours using old fruit cups and cereal boxes to make all sorts of strange sculptures! Below are just a few options of fun & simple crafts for kids of all ages.

Indoor Crafts:

  • Recycled Birdhouse
Idea brought to you by Craft Create Cook 

Materials: Empty cartons (washed & dried), acrylic paint, paint brush, water, paper towel, nail or screwdriver, string or yarn, scissors, utility knife, & bird seed.

  • Foam Slime
Idea brought to you by Crafty Morning

Materials: 1/2 cup clear glue, 1/2 cup liquid starch, mini foam balls, &1/2 up warm water.

  • Homemade Puffy Paint
Idea brought to you by Crafty Morning

Materials: Acrylic paint (green, red, & brown paint), Elmer’s Glue, Barbasol shaving cream, white cardstock paper, cardboard, scissors, marker, & paintbrush.

  • Salt Dough Starfish
Idea brought to you by The Crafting Chicks

Materials: 2 cups of flour, 2 cups salt, & 1 cup of water

Outdoor Crafts:

  • Bubble Painting
Idea brought to you by Living Well Mom

Materials: Colored bubbles* (we used this easy recipe with dish soap, corn syrup, water, & food coloring), plastic cups/containers for different colors, straws, paper or card stock (preferred), & painters tape (optional).

  • Chalk Shadows
Idea brought to you by Rhythms of Play

Materials: Sunny day (of course), open space with no shadows and no clouds overhead (driveway, parking lot, or playground), recycled chalk paint (making recycled chalk paint is another great way for kids to explore science!), sidewalk chalk, & paintbrushes.

  • T-shirt Tie-Dye
Idea brought to you by Swoodson Says

Materials: T-shirts & tie-dye.

  • Squirt Gun Painting
Squirt Gun Painting
Idea brought to you by Fireflies & Mudpies

Thinking Tuesday

Thinking Tuesday is all about using your brain AND having fun! The “Summer Slide” is real, where some of what kids learned in school will slip a bit. Taking time to learn new things, practice old skills, and read new books can help minimize the slide! Below are some awesome (& some delicious) mind-expanding ways to take advantage of Thinking Tuesday.

Science Experiments:

  • Kool-Aid Rock Candy

Materials: Water, large pot, granulated sugar, bamboo skewers, Kool-aid packets, glass jars, clothespins, & spoons.

  • Water Bottle Lava Lamp
Idea brought to you by S. L. Smith Photography

Materials: Empty water bottles (VOSS Water is not necessary, but they make pretty lava lamps), food coloring, vegetable oil, & alka seltzer.

  • Elephant Toothpaste
Idea brought to you by Preschool Powol Packets

Materials: Pan, water bottle/soda bottle, 2 tbsp warm water, 1 tsp yeast,  1/2 cup 6% hydrogen peroxide [It is important to use at least 6%. You can use 8% or more (available on Amazon), or you can use Salon Care Professional Stabilized Formula. 20 Volume Clear Developer from Sally Beauty Supply works fine too. 3% from the grocery store will NOT work as well.], 4-5 drops food coloring, & squirt of dish soap.

  • Instant Hot Ice
Idea brought to you by Frugal Fun 4 Boys

Materials:  Pot, 4 cups of vinegar, & 4 tablespoons of baking soda.

  • Homemade Volcano
Idea brought to you by Teach Beside Me

Materials: Pan, 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of cooking oil, food coloring, warm water, 1 tbsp of dish soap, 2 tbsp baking soda, & vinegar.

Reading Time:

  • Let them set a 30-60 minute timer on one of their 87 devices for reading time. At dinner, ask your kids to share what they read. Not only makes for a great conversation starter but will indicate their reading comprehension, too. In my own family, I task the big brothers to read to the little one in addition to their own reading time. This twist is a win-win-win when our 3-year-old is enthralled in a story long enough for me to write this blog.

Wet Wednesday

Wet Wednesday is all about keeping cool and having a blast! Below are a few ideas that’ll make a big splash with your gang...and their friends, too!

  • Water Balloon Fight
Idea brought to you by Get Your Holiday On
  • Water War Card Game
Idea brought to you by Fred Meyer

Materials: 1-2 decks of cards (these will get wet and may get ruined so use an old deck that you already have or look for packs that are really inexpensive), 8 plastic cups filled about half way with water, & 1 large pitcher of water.

  • DIY Water Slide
DIY Water Slide
Idea brought to you by Happy Hooligans

Materials: A camping tarp, garden hose, & a bottle of cheap shampoo

  • Take a dip!  Visit your community pool, nearby lake, beach or creek.
  • Water Balloon Piñata
Water Balloon Piñata
Idea brought to you by Milk Allergy Mom

Materials: Water balloon, string, & stick/bat.

  • Sponge Run
Idea brought to you by Play Party Plan

Materials: Two plastic buckets & large sponges.

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is all about developing an attitude of gratitude & spreading the love! Launch the love in a few easy steps.

First, talk to your kids about gratitude and why it is important.

Second, encourage them to write down a few people/places/things they are grateful to have in their lives.

Lastly, but most importantly, spread the love! Write notes, make phone calls/videos/texts, or simply thank people in person to encourage others to be grateful.

Here are some helpful downloads and tips for which you’ll be thankful. (see what I did right there?)

Count ‘em up!

Thankful DD + Gifts:

  • Combo a little creativity with gratitude by making these simple gifts and delivery to friends/family/neighbors:
    • “You Rock” Gratitude Stones
Idea brought to you by Fireflies & Mudpies

Materials: Stones (washed and dried), tissue paper, scissors, Glossy Mod Podge, & paintbrushes.

Fun Friday

By now, your kids have had a week full of fun...but callingit Fun Day Friday will ensure the trend will carry through to the end! Ask your kids for suggestions of what they might like to do or if you have 118 hours on your hands, scour Pinterest. Or save yourself those hours and try out a few ideas we plucked from Pinterest for you:

  • Scavenger Hunt: Backyard/Neighborhood Color Scavenger Hunt. Find and draw things for all the colors of the rainbow+more!
  • Fish in a Bag Slime
Ideas brought to you by My Frugal Adventures

Materials: Plastic fish (or mermaids or sharks or turtles), liquid starch, Elmer’s Glue (blue glitter glue), treat bags, & twine or ribbon.

  • Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag
Idea brought to you by Growing a Jeweled Rose

Materials: 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half, 1 tsp vanilla, & 2 - 1/2 tsp sugar.

  • DIY Crepe Paper “Laser” Maze
Idea brought to you by Brassy Apple

Materials: Crepe paper & tape.

  • Family Picnic
Idea brought to you by Home Stories at Oz
  • Marshmallow Shooters

Marshmallow Shooters
Idea brought to you by Coffee Cups & Crayons

Materials: Cake pop container/plastic cup, balloon, scissors, mini marshmallows, & rubber bands (optional)

  • Egg Drop Challenge
Idea brought to you by There's Only One Mommy

Materials: Small boxes, cardboard tubes, plastic or paper cups, shredded paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, cotton balls, plastic shopping bags (can be used as parachutes or for packing), drinking straws, yarn, pipe cleaners, & craft sticks.

  • Family Movie Night
Family Movie Night

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