For millions of kids in America each year, summer camp is a cherished part of their childhood. It’s often a young person’s chance to run wild in the great outdoors, play all day and splurge on s’mores around the campfire all night. Summer camps can also provide critical development opportunities for kids such as communication skills, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
Some states have given summer camps the green light to move forward with extra precautions put into place, while others are still in limbo. Even with extra safety precautions in place, some parents may not feel comfortable sending their kids to camp during the pandemic, but still want to provide the Summer experience for their kids.
Travis Perry, CEO of ChordBuddy, has a few tips for parents to help recreate the summer camp experience for kids at home.
1. Get Your Camp Set Up
It’s important to set the scene for your summer camp experience to allow kids to be fully immersed in the experience. Create a sign with the name of your at-home camp as well as arrows out of construction paper that point to the different areas that activities will be taking place. If you have room in your backyard, pitch a tent and let kids sleep outside for the night or create your own tent in your living room with sheets and blankets.
2. Arts & Crafts Time
There are endless arts and craft ideas on Pinterest and video tutorials on YouTube. Use these free resources to jump start your creativity. Some of the more popular summer camp crafts are making friendship bracelets, tie dye shirts, homemade wind chimes and rain sticks.
3. Neighborhood Hike
Make each child a checklist of items you see in nature like certain animals, flowers and rocks. Have kids check off the items on the list as they find them. You can also have kids collect these items and do a craft project with them when you get back home such as painting the rocks and pressing flowers to make bookmarks.
4. Living Room or Backyard Obstacle Course