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How to give your kids the summer camp experience at home

Have your kid’s summer camps been canceled? No camp, no problem! Sure, it will take a little bit of planning, but your kids can still enjoy a week of fun camp activities at home while making lasting summer memories.

Below are some simple tips and ideas from Jennifer Maah, pediatric nurse practitioner, IHTC to create a stress-free and fun week of camp all from the comfort of your home. Two things you want to keep in mind as you plan are that kids love having fun and being surprised.

1. Set a date and time for camp:

 Monday through Friday in any given week is a great start, or every other day. Also, set a consistent window of time each day for hosting camp activities (i.e., 9 am-noon, or 2-5 pm).

2. Designate a camp area:

Ask your kids for help planning your camp area or cabin—and have them do the work! Building a special area for all of your day’s camp activities will help get your campers in the spirit. Your camp can be inside or outside in a tent in the yard or even the garage. It could even be as simple as a makeshift fort in the basement built from sheets and blankets!

3. Plan a daily schedule of activities:

This is where it gets fun, and the internet is a treasure trove of ideas. A schedule of daily activities is necessary to keep things organized and meaningful; you can even theme your days.

4. Recruit helpers:

Don’t bear the burden of having to spice up every element of camp on your own! Recruit special guests to visit camp and lead an activity. Schedule calls with friends or family to teach your campers something new or have virtual story time. Engage your friends and family on social media as you posts pictures of your activities, and invite them to comment.

5. Host camp:

Follow your daily activity schedule and enjoy making memories!

EXAMPLE DAILY CAMP SCHEDULE

  • Name today’s cabin: Crazy Cabin. The Smith Family Cabin.
  • Review cabin rules: No picking your nose! Say “please” and “thank you.”
  • Snack time
  • Mystery Guest: Is Grandma available for virtual story time? Maybe cousin Bob can host a virtual tutorial on how to tie knots!

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