Summer camp not in your budget this year? Don’t sweat it. Here are 15 Camp Mom ideas that are sure to keep your kids busy and entertained this summer!

camp mom

Depending on where in the country you live, you’re either celebrating the end of school, or toughing out those last few days until summer. Here in beautiful Colorado school has ended, and I’m getting our summer bucket list ready. That includes a week long stay at good ol’ Camp Mom with my youngest! The two teenagers get to go to a mountain adventure camp, but we didn’t have it in the budget for the little guy to go to camp this year. That just means we have a week to hangout, and have fun together!
In this round-up I’ve gathered 15 colorful, messy, yummy ideas to get you started planning your Camp Mom. Planning Camp Mom can be as simple or crazy as you want it to be. Every day can have a theme (in the past we’ve done Dinosaur Day, Space Day, America Day, and Sports Day, just to name a few), or you can let the kids choose what they want to do. This year will be the first year that I have just one child attending Camp Mom, so I think we’ll do a hodge podge of activities he’s interested in. You can use some of these activities to plan your days around. To me Camp Mom is about trying new things, showing the kids the fun activities we did at camp when we were younger, and getting messy!

paper bag journals

Start the week off by making Paper Bag Journals. Help the kids keep track of their favorite parts of the week, or go on a nature walk and write down observations. Perhaps a new pack of colored pencils will help ignite their imaginations! (via Honey Bear Lane)

acrylic paint sun prints

Bandanas are an important part of summer camp! In Girl Scout Camp we learned different ways to use a bandana so we could earn a badge. These Acrylic Paint Sun Prints are versatile enough to make into bandanas, pillow cases, or t-shirts. What a great way to get outside and create some beautiful art! (via Craftiments)

homemade popsicles

Homemade popsicles are a necessary way to beat the heat! There are countless flavor combinations to try, but here are three to get you started. (via Coupon Cutting Mom)

slime recipe 9

Making Kool-Aid Slime would be a good activity to do when campers need a break indoors. This slime is Borax-free and smells yummy! (via Growing a Jeweled Rose

color powder

Take a day during Camp Mom to set up an obstacle course, complete with homemade (nontoxic) colored powder! Think Color Run meets Spartan Race! Ok, maybe not that hardcore, but any way you make your obstacle course, the kids will have an amazing time getting splashed with color! Make this recipe at the beginning of the week to use at the end of the week. It takes a few days to dry and set, but it’s so worth it! (via A Beautiful Mess)


Camp isn’t camp without s’mores! This twist on s’mores, called Campfire Cones, packs more gooey goodness into each treat. Totally customizable, and easy for little hands to assemble on their own. Wrap in foil and place on hot coals either in the backyard fire pit, or on the grill. (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)


Nighttime is for catching fireflies, playing flashlight tag, and decorating the patio with lanterns. Make these Mason Jar Solar Lights during the day, and watch them glow at night. (via Smart School House)

chalk rockets

Chalk Rockets make for messy outdoor fun! They use film canisters which can be bought online, or at your local camera store. The kids will have a blast watching a chemical reaction make their chalk rockets burst and splatter! (via Growing a Jeweled Rose)

sketching scavenger hunt

This Outdoor Sketching Scavenger Hunt is a great take on the classic game. Instead of just finding the item and checking it off on a list, the kids get to draw what they see. This activity works on the “observe and record” skills that are needed for any great scientist, and gets the creative juices flowing for all of our budding artists. (via Buggy and Buddy)


Everyone remembers making God’s Eyes at camp! Especially on rainy days when we were stuck indoors, or when the camp counselors wanted quiet time šŸ™‚ We used to find sticks in the woods to make our God’s Eyes with! Use up your scraps of yarn and let the kids make as many colorful patterns as they can come up with! (via Positively Splendid)

campfire chili cheese fries

When I was younger, I enjoyed making “Burger Bundles” at camp where you throw hamburger and diced potatoes in some foil, and cook them on the campfire. This fun version is easy to whip up at home for lunch during Camp Mom. The kids will love making Chili Cheese Fries on the grill or fire pit! (via Life With 4 Boys)


Friendship Bracelets have come a long way since we were kids. But one thing hasn’t changed: they are still a must-do at camp! This pattern uses a plastic lid and is great for beginners. (via Club Chica Circle)


If you can’t make it to the beach or pool during Camp Mom, a backyard Slip N Slide would be a great alternative! This version suggests using a contractor’s plastic drop cloth. There are Pinterest versions floating around where you even add shaving cream or body paint! Ya know, if you’re feeling super adventurous šŸ™‚ (via Inner Child Fun)

stepping stone

Stepping Stones would be a great addition to your yard! You can make as many of these as you want, or until the kids want to hop back on the Slip N Slide! We have stepping stones my kids have made in camp that have survived several cross country moves. I would suggest using old cake pans. (via C.R.A.F.T.)

compass game

One year I took my son to Cub Scout camp and the boys played a Compass Treasure Hunt game. My son found some great treasure and learned how to use a compass! When I found this game, I knew I had to include it. You can get a compass app on your phone if you don’t own a compass.  (via Eartheasy)

Along with these fun, messy, colorful, and super yummy Camp Mom ideas, my children have given a few more suggestions: build an indoor fort, play flashlight tag when it gets dark, watch a movie outdoors, star gazing, camp skits, and camping in the backyard! Enjoy your summer with your little ones, and make every moment count!

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