50+ Fun Summer Camp Inspired Activities for Kids

Today we have a massive list of summer camp activities for kids of all ages that can give the summer camp experience at day camp, overnight camps, church camp or fun for home summer camp.

I am a summer camp fanatic.  I love summer camp!

As a child, I went to camp every summer after age 6.  As soon as I was old enough, I worked as a camp counselor and taught waterskiing, sailing and whatever water sports summer programs would keep me on the waterfront.

50 Camp Activity Ideas for Kids from Kids Activities Blog - 8 different pictures related to camp activities and fun for camp inspired activities for kids this summer
Let’s have some fun with summer camp ideas for kids!

Summer Camp Ideas

Because summer can’t come soon enough, we thought it would be great fun to do a little camp-dreaming by finding some fun activities, outdoor games, camp crafts, art projects and food inspired by those hot summer days at the best summer camps.

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Camp Games

Nearly everything is a game at camp!  My cabin had a tape four square and hop scotch in the middle of the floor inviting games at all hours of the day or night.  The lazy-susan on the dining table was used for a target launching game that would hopefully deliver food to the proper camper with just a spin.

Chalk Twister – This version of the popular indoor game can be scaled as large as your surface and created with sidewalk chalk.

Pool Noodle Javelin – This pool noodle creation from Parents is simply one of the best non-pool uses for pool noodles!

Huge Board Game – Make a HUGE board game outside for hours of camp fun. This puts a giant spin on the traditional board games

Crate Tug-o-War – Even just two can play at tug of war when crates are used to up the coordination ante!

Bicycle Games – If your camp has bicycles, then you might want to check out these fun ideas to introduce a little friendly competition.

Ultimate Frisbee – You can create your own ultimate frisbee course using equipment you already have or make an investment in something that can last a long time!

Field Day at Camp – Host a field day with potato sack races, relay races, obstacle courses, water balloon tosses and three-legged races.

Camp crafts and camp inspired activities for kids - Kids Activities Blog - three different camp crafts pictured
Let’s make some camp crafts!

Camp Crafts

My suitcase home from camp was full of created treasures that would remind me of my camp time all year long.  One camp I attended had a ceramics studio and I still have one very lopsided vase painted in various shades of blue that has survived the years.

Friendship Bracelet – One of the passages of camp life is to signify new and old bonds with a visible symbol like friendship bracelets!

Safety Pin Bracelet – I remember making these as a kid — so fun!

Pet Rocks & People – The Coffee Cups and Crayons kids created pet rocks and people then upcycled boxes for camp cabins. This is a really fun camp craft even for younger kids.

Tree People – This craft by Red Ted Art starts with an outdoor scavenger hunt for people parts…it really makes more sense when you see it.

Make a Compass – If you are venturing off the trail, you might need one of these!  Or at least know how they work!

DIY Camping Cushions – Sitting on those camp benches can be hard.  This camp craft from Coffee Cups and Crayons solves that with a homemade sit upon!

Stick Men – These super cute people are the original stick people…from Red Ted Art.

Leaf Crown – Create this lovely crown of leaves from Red Ted Art.

Firefly Jars – Decorate Mason jars into pretty firefly jars just waiting for an evening catch from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Nature Hike Bracelet – I adore this project from Kid World Citizen which takes found objects on a hike and creates a bracelet that changes as the trail goes on.

Create a bird-feeder – This is a simple and fun way to create a bird feeder for wild birds from daisysnu.

Stick Construction Set  – Make a set of building blocks from sticks.  This is such a great way to spend even rainy days from Picklebums.

Camp art as part of the camp ideas for kids from Kids Activities Blog - 6 different summer art projects you can do as camp art pictured
Let’s make some camp art!

Camp Art

Camp was one of the first places where I took an art class.  I remember sitting out near the lake trying to copy it onto my paper with charcoal.  I think you just feel more artistic when close to nature!

Crayon Rubbing Art – Nature is full of textures that can be turned into colorful art without disturbing the object with a single piece of paper. This traditional kids art idea is great for all ages, even younger children .

Land Art – Sun Hats and Wellie Boots has one of my favorite art projects of all time.  I just adore this massive land art.

Andy Goldsworthy-inspired project – This art project from the Red Ted Art kids is a wonderful way to combine art and nature!

Sun Prints – Rainy Day Mum has a lovely project that lets the sun turn objects into art. Love this idea to enjoy the sun in new ways.

Stick Art – So, I suspect no two sticks are alike {just like snowflakes} and that is certainly true after they are the canvas for this art project from Buggy and Buddy.

Giant Fence Art – Art goes BIG with this fun sidewalk chalk art project from J Daniel 4’s Mom.

Mandala Art – Creating Mandalas outdoors is a project without size limits and a bunch of different colors!  It can be fun to build them together like these from Playful Learning.

Art Structures – Make art functional with these found object art sculptures that double as a shelter.

camp activities for kids summer break - Kids Activities Blog - a bunch of different camp activities for kids pictured
Let’s play with some fun camp activities this summer day!

Camp Activities

My favorite hot day activity ideas centered around the water, but horseback riding for the first time or sitting by the campfire with campers and other camp counselors was a close second.  There just always seemed like there was so much to do and the time would go so quickly!

Hike an Unnatural Trail – This is a fun activity for not only the scavenger hunt of it all, but the learning behind it about conservation. Camp is the perfect time to chat about conversation.

Make a bird-watching book – This free printable to create a bird book is perfect for your backyard, a hike, a vacation, or a trip to camp.  It is from Buggy and Buddy.

Host a “Drive-In Movie” – I love this idea!  Create an outdoor drive-in for all sorts of vehicles to hold watching participants.

Make a Tree Guide – Chart the trees around you with this simple DIY book from Kid World Citizen.

Team-building Activities – No matter what the team might be or what skill levels are represented – a family, a cabin of campers, or a sports team these team activities can help kids {and adults} work together.

Finding symmetry in nature – This simple activity from Buggy and Buddy takes observation along a nature hike to a whole new level.

Bubble Bar – Being outside just inspires bubbles!  This activity from Nate and Rachel brings out the creativity in bubbles – with so many choices, how would you blow one?

How Tall is a Tree? – This creative math assignment from Science Sparks is something I need to run out to my backyard and test right now!

Egg Carton Fire Starters – You can make fire starters for the most amazing campfire from things you already have at home and around you.  This smart idea comes from Allternative Learning.

Alphabet Camp Activities – Small Types has the cutest idea to come up with different activities each day based on a letter of the day.  That is 26 days of camp fun!  Be inspired by one of their camp schedules.

Eye Spy Nature Hunt – This free printable from The Joys of Boys will get your nature hike off to a competitive start!

Archery Practice – This bow and arrow is safe for even indoor target practice because it is miniature!  What a fun project from I Can Teach My Child.

Use the Sun – This melting project from Mama Smiles uses sun power to transform.

Camouflage Science – Get kids seeking for more than they can see with this fun outdoor activity from Mama Smiles.

Camp Beach – Every camp needs a “beach” and your backyard can have one too with this amazing sand project from Better Together with the Wray Sist3rs.

Map the Trail – Creating a map from a trail or backyard.  It can become a secret treasure map!  What a fun project from Kid World Citizen.

Host a backyard camp sleepover – This cute girls night campout from Caution Twins at Play has some fun ideas for backyard camping including making traditional s’mores.

DIY Camp Ideas – This inspired list from Imagination Soup will get you thinking up your own themed camp to entertain kids while hosting camp at home.

Camp food inspired by summer camp ideas - Kids Activities Blog - 6 camp food ideas
Let’s eat some yummy camp food!

Camp Food

There just seems to be something about camp food.  I am sure it was not the most gourmet food I ever had, but there is something about eating with friends when you are worn out and starving that elevates camp food!  We thought it would be fun to highlight some outdoor treats and easy ideas you can do in your backyard.

Campfire Cones – This is one of our very favorite foods of all time!

Watermelon Ice – Ahhh…there isn’t anything more refreshing at camp than a fresh slice of watermelon unless you count this Watermelon Ice from Pleasantest Thing!

Watermelon Pops – Here is a way to elevate the simple act of watermelon eating from Paging Fun Mums.

Fruit Kabobs – These tasty snacks are the perfect in-between meal treat.

Trail Mix – The quintessential pocket food!

Candy Popsicles – These are just plain cool on so many levels!

Homemade Granola Bars – These are a special treat at home or can be sent with kids to camp.

Summershine Cupcakes – These sunny treats will be a hit no matter if it rains or shines on your camp day!

Homemade Fruit Leather – This is another thing that can be made ahead and sent with kids to camp for a taste of home.

Camp Mail

10 Crazy Things to Mail your Kid at Camp  – I adore this list from The House of Hendrix!  One of the highlights of camp is mail from home, and this can make you the coolest mom in the entire cabin.

Summer camp activities and summer camp ideas along with camping activities for kids - ground of children running in the woods
Summer camp activities = camping activities for kids!

Camping Activities for Kids

I guess one of the reasons why a list of numerous activities inspired by summer camp is also really a list of things that could also be camping activities for kids is that both summer camp and camping celebrate simple outdoor fun and adventure. Many of the best things from this summer camp list can be used as a camping activity or camping craft adding a lot of fun to any tent or RV journey.

Transform your summer break family vacation by trying a few of the activities on your next campout, camping trip or for an afternoon of backyard water games and favorite summer camp activities. The best part is your local park can be the site for your new adventures!

More Summer Ideas from Kids Activities Blog

What was your favorite summer camp idea for your summer fun?

4 Comments

  1. caroline moskoe says:

    I would like to receive emails

  2. hey, these are really good activities! please do more!

  3. Kristen Yard says:

    Hi, Lauren! We are so glad that you enjoyed these fun camp activities. We have tons of great summer play, craft, and recipe ideas on our blog. Let me know if you are looking for anything specific and I will be happy to help!

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