Create aBack Yard Sumer Camp

The end of the school year is only a few weeks away. The subject of summer camp started floating around in mid-April. I find  that most camps run only one week. And if they run longer it can get pretty pricey, especially for two kids. Even a one week camp for $55 per kid can break our budget for summer activities.

I feel like I am some how letting my kids down by not giving them a camp experience. Then I remember I never spent one single day at summer camp as a kid. And I turned out pretty awesome. 😉 My kiddos have many years ahead of them to get involved with different activities. This summer is our last hoorah before Kindergarten. Who knows if the future will allow me to have summers off every year? This is our last summer to live it up!

This year I am starting a back yard summer camp with my kids and their friends. I am enlisting the help of my fellow parents who are willing to open their yards for different activities. We can each volunteer a day to host, lead an activity, share a snack and just play. Sharing in activities keeps the cost low, makes for less planning and saves us from hearing “we never do anything” and “I’m bored!”  Not to mention the social benefits my kids get from keeping in touch with their friends over the summer.

You don’t have to be a teacher, or have any training to make back yard summer camp fun! You just have to be a big kid at heart! Take a cue from your kids interests and create one day of fun each week in your own back yard! Then ask your friends to do the same.

Get Organized

Gather your friends and decide on a schedule. If you run arts and crafts on Monday maybe someone could offer sports, or music another day of the week.

Play to your strengths. Are you crafty? Do you mind getting messy? Can you sing, or dance, or play guitar? Sharing those gifts with friends can make for some really great summer memories.

Will the host provide a snack for everyone? Or will each family bring their own snack, or lunch? Maybe a potluck or picnic style lunch?

Will you allow the kids to be dropped off, or will you expect parents to participate too?

Decide on A Time Frame

Hosting a group every day would be exhausting. Perhaps one hour every Monday, or every other Tuesday? Decide if camp will run for one week, one month or through out the summer.

Inspiration for Activities

Or should I say, Pinsperation? Hit up Pinterest for activities and ideas. You can also find a little inspiration right here on my blog! See below for related links, and check back each week!

Get Creative

If you are not someone who is crafty, or think you don’t have a special skill to share why not volunteer a time the kids can all run through the sprinklers together? Or host a water balloon fight? Kids can share a snack or lunch after while the adults get to chat.

Take a Trip

I know the title says Back Yard Summer Camp, but it could be fun to pick one day a week to meet at a local museum, a new hiking trail, or visit a new library. It might be fun to volunteer together as a group at a local food pantry, or animal shelter. Getting out of the backyard can help mix things up and see new sights.

Even if you are a parent working a 9-5 you can create a Saturday workshop, a week night camp time, or maybe there is a week during your summer that you can get a group together to rotate back yards. The whole idea of a back yard summer camp is to make it work for you! Have fun and enjoy your time with the kids!

Related links: Create A Mud Kitchen Storm King Art Center Frozen Dino Smash Backyard Pirate Adventure

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.