Guide to Creating Your Own Summer Camp (At Home)- Schedule Included

In my house, on a magnetic white board, there is a countdown – a countdown to SUMMER. Today it says there are 7 (7!) more days left of this school year! For some of you the fear and panic is starting to set in and you may be wondering – “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY KIDS ALL SUMMER?” You may be checking out summer camps and buying coffee in bulk. 

That is not me. Call me crazy but I love having my kids at home all summer! I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a school teacher which means- I get my WHOLE family to myself for 11 weeks! I soak it in! It’s like Christmas for me! It works for us because I’ve created a fun summer camp schedule to keep my kids busy and my sanity intact. 

I’ve always been a planner! I live by schedules (with wiggle room). A few years ago I started a summer schedule that included some extra school work to prevent the summer slide. We didn’t have a family vacation planned so I added crafts, activities, and outings because I really wanted the family to enjoy the summer. The plans were similar to a summer camp and called it my “Home Summer Camp.” My plans were successful and I’ve been doing it ever since!

I try to stick to budget friendly activities but occasionally include a fun splurge. Last year, I added chores and themed weeks to our schedule. My children are ages (almost) 10, 6, and 3. I am excited about this year’s summer schedule. This schedule seems to keep us on a semi-normal routine with chores, learning time, creative time, fun time, and family time. 

I’m going to make your summer a little easier and share my summer plans with you so that you, too, can have your own Home Summer Camp! Here is what our daily schedule looks like (You can adjust the times to fit your lifestyle but this is what works for us):

Home Summer Camp Schedule

9AM- Wake-up

9:30AM- Breakfast

10AM- Chores

11-12PM- Learning/ Reading Time

12:30PM- Lunch

1-4PM- Fun/Creative/Reading Time

4:30-5PM- Screen Time

5:30-6:30PM- Dinner

7-10PM- Family Time

10:30PM- Get Ready for Bed

11PM- Lights out

Learning Time- workbooks and online learning resources for math and language arts and required summer reading. 

Fun/Creative/Reading Time- This time will be filled with our weekly themes

Family Time- Movie night, family game night, go somewhere together, or mom and dad date night

 

Weekly Themes:

Week 1- Health and Hygiene

  • This week is an introduction to our summer schedule. We will do activities and crafts to cover good hygiene, safety, and self-esteem. This includes the importance of chores and manners.
  • Weekly Movie- Inside Out or The Princess Diaries

Week 2- Beach and Ocean

  • This week requires a trip to the beach. We will do activities teaching about the ocean and the creatures that live there (including mermaids and pirates). We will do crafts using collected shells.
  • Weekly Movie- Moana or Finding Nemo

Week 3- Art and Music

  • This week we study great artists, music, and theater. We will create our own masterpieces, make pottery, and put on a performance. It would be good idea to check out an art museum.
  • Weekly Movie- Sound of Music or Newsies

Week 4- Animals and Dinosaurs

  • This week requires a trip to the zoo. We will research caring for a pet, animals and their habitats, and doing a backyard safari. The crafts will include a DIY bird feeder.
  • Weekly Movie- We Bought a Zoo or Jurassic Park

Week 5- Outer Space and Superheroes

  • This will require a night under the stars- stargazing. We will study our solar system, planets, and the constellations. We will create our own superhero and make balloon rockets. 
  • Weekly Movie- The Incredibles or Megamind

Week 6- America

  • This week should include the 4th of July. We will study the pioneers, the states, and the presidents. Our crafts and activities will include making 4th of July shirts, homemade butter, and learning to hand sew. We will also go to a baseball game. 
  • Weekly Movie- Sandlot or Little Rascals

Week 7- Nature and Science

  • This week we will do science experiences and study nature. We will go on a nature walk, make flubber, paint rocks, and plant a flower. 
  • Weekly Movie- The Lorax or Flubber

Week 8- VACATION

Week 9- Christmas in July

  • Who said Christmas only comes once a year? This week is going to be all about being charitable and doing good deeds. We will send cards, decorate, make ornaments, and have a snow ball fight. 
  • Weekly Movie- Elf or The Grinch

Week 10- Around the World

  • This week we will learn about other countries, cultures, and cuisine. Each day will will travel to a different country (without ever leaving the house) doing crafts and trying new foods. 
  • Weekly Movie- Beauty and the Beast or Book of Life

Week 11- Week of Fun

  • This is the last week of summer vacation. Make it as fun as possible! Have friends over and celebrate with fun games. I’ve got glow in the dark Hide and Seek, water gun war, chalk art photos, and a mystery dinner planned. 
  • Weekly Movie- Diary of a Wimpy Kid or How to Eat Fried Worms

I also plan daily schedules but keeping in mind, I have to be flexible. My children don’t ALWAYS get their chores done on time (which affects the rest of the day). They can earn rewards and get more screen time or loose it as a punishment. We visit the library weekly and get a few books to fit our themes. We go to parks, playgrounds, and have play dates. 

I hope this schedule helps you plan out your own home summer camp! 

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