Summer Camp at Home – Tips and Themes

It was May 2020, the end of the school year was approaching and we were still in the middle of a pandemic. I never thought it would last so long but it’s been 6 months and it’s still pretty much here all around us. Specially in Miami. Yes it was/is hard; we (parents) were forced to entertain our kids much more than usual.  A daunting task if you as me, but one I still feel lucky to be able to do (meltdowns and all). 

Right after my daughter finished her kindergarten school year, she asked where she was going for summer camp. Hmmm, well, hun, how do I explain this. You’re staying home for God only knows how long. She did not look happy about that. I went to bed that day with that thought in my mind. I woke up the next day with an idea. I got on my pinterest account and entered “summer camp themes and ideas”. Guess what, pinterest was full of those! And immediately I thought, I can do this. My kids have always been my greatest motivation to do anything in life. And this time was no different. I wanted her to have her summer camp. I casually mentioned it to her to test the waters. She jumped at the idea and said she was sooo excited and couldn’t wait to start. At that point, there was no going back. I HAD to plan a summer camp at home.

A few days after that, I mentioned it to a couple of my neighbors who were also trying to find an option for their kids, and they also jumped at the idea. I also mentioned it to my sister because I would probably need help if I was supposed to entertain more than one kid at a time. Within 2 weeks of planning, our neighborhood summer camp was born. It went on for 8 weeks, and we hosted 6 kids. Ages 1-6. How did we survive you ask? A lot of coffee, lots and lots of pinteresting; oh, and the weekly trip to the dollar store of course.

As the ‘themed’ weeks rolled by, I started posting all the activities on my IG account, and so many moms were interested in sending their kids. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the space, help or mental sanity to do so. In an effort to help those moms and probably a thousand others out there, I am putting together a series of blog posts highlighting the activities week by week. Each blog post will cover a week of activities including books we read, songs we played, and as many pictures I can find on my phone.

Feel free to save the post for now if you are currently looking for activities for your kiddos or for later when your kids have a week(s) off from school and you find yourself struggling to figure out what to do with them.

So before I dive in, let me give you a high level view of what our days looked like. Here is a sample daily schedule. Camp was open from 9-3pm. Monday to Friday.

Time Activity
9:00-9:15 Drop off
9:15-9:30 Circle time/go noodle
9:30-10:00 Stations/Sensory/playdough or Story time
10:00-10:15 Gym time/Yoga
10:15-10:30 Snack
10:30-11:30 Arts + crafts
11:30-12:00 Reading/open play
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:15 Arts + crafts
1:15-2:15 Outdoor time/water play
2:15-3:00 Group game/doodles/drawing/coloring/legos

Here is a list of the 8 weekly themes (I’ll be updating the links to each blog post as I go…). Click on the Weekly themes to see each blog post.

Week No. Theme
1 Under the sea
2 Dinos
3 Bugs + Reptiles (and Amphibians)
4 Wild Animals/Safari
5 Space
6 Superheroes
7 Farm Animals
8 Fairies and Dragon
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