Summer Camp Activities for Kids
As the weather warms up and summer beckons, you might already be planning a family camping trip. Or, maybe you and your kids host a DIY at-home summer camp and need some new ideas for how to keep everyone active and entertained.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Check out these 8 awesome and easily replicated summer camp activities for kids!
- Outdoor Camp Movies
This is one of the easiest activities on this list. All you need is a film projector and a white sheet. It's also makes for one of the most magical experiences, too. Simply pick a kid-friendly film that's appropriate for all ages in attendance. Then, hang the sheet on an outside wall, get the kids to spread some blankets out on the grass and get everyone to hunker down for the show. You’ll be surprised at how such a simple twist on movie night can make for a magical experience!
- Campfire Sing-a-Long
This camping activity favorite just never gets old! Once the sun has set, make a campfire for the kids to huddle around, then have everyone take turns picking a song for the group to sing. It’s an added bonus of course if a counselor or camper can accompany on a guitar or some other instrument. Singing together is great for team bonding and helping shyer kids let loose. The best thing is, you don’t even have to be a good singer. Camp songs—the sillier the better!—can be performed by anybody.
- Cloud Watching
A great activity to spark kids' imaginations. Simply get the campers together and have them lie down on the ground and look up at the clouds. One by one, let them explain what they see. You and they will be surprised at what they come up with. The infinite possibilities and interpretations can inspire some great conversations. Cloud watching can also break the ice when campers are just getting to know one another. All it takes is one fun conversation to spark friendships they'll cherish forever.
- Water Game Olympics
With the temperatures rising, some of the summer camp activities kids most enjoy revolve around good old H2O! Water balloon dodgeball, sprinkler limbo and water bucket relays are all great ways to cool down while getting active. If it’s an especially hot day, an afternoon of water sports will keep kids busy and hydrated. With enough participants, you can even create a tournament bracket to add a fun competitive edge to the games.
- Batting Practice Cool Down
The perfect cool down on particularly hot days, or after intense activity. Round up some softball bats and fill up a bucket full of water balloons, making sure they are thin enough to break easily—because that's the point! Kids then take turns pitching the water balloons and hitting them hard enough to break. Hitters will love getting splashed, especially because each time they get a "hit"—and get soaked!—they'll get to take a turn on the mound and return the favor to the next batter up!
- Bubble Breaker
All you need for this fun activity is water, corn syrup and dish soap. Combine the ingredients in a bucket then have the kids take turns creating bubbles with a large blower. What make this extra fun? The corn syrup makes the bubbles hilariously hard to break. You’ll have the kids running around for hours trying to pop and deflate them in different ways. They’ll have to be strong and persistent, leading to some very worn out campers by the end of the game. Just remember to have plenty of non-bubbly water on hand for the campers to drink!
- Sardines Hide and Seek
A fun summer camp twist on hide and seek, sure to provoke giggles and great as a get-to-know-one-another exercise. One person hides, and the rest of the campers try to find him or her. The difference is, once a camper finds the friend hiding, instead of blowing the whistle on them, they have to squeeze into the hiding plac! Eventually you’ll end up with a lot of kids hiding and only a few looking. Once it’s down to one seeker, he or she becomes the hider and the fun starts all over again.
- Fort Building
Forts are just plain fun—building them under a dining room table, in the backyard or at summer camp can keep kids happily occupied for hours. Divide your campers into groups and challenge them to create the most epic fort of all time—using the materials at their disposal. If you're out outside, dead branches, leaves, rope, tarps and canvas all make great building materials. Be sure to supervise the kids as they work to keep everyone safe and help answer questions. The teamwork required makes this a great bonding activity, which also allows for ample creative exploration. At the end, gather everyone around to talk about the constructions and give all the builders props for originality, building methods, and theme.
And for more summer fun, check out this list of 35 summer activities for kids!