7 Tips to Bring a Summer Camp Vibe to Your Everyday Life

summer camp
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This summer, kids across the country will take a break from their regular school-year routine and spend their days in pursuit of fun. Some kids will spend the summer learning a new skill at a day-camp. Some might indulge in the arts with the local theater company. And others might spend their days as your mini-intern or learning how to keep themselves busy at home. No matter how your kiddo spends their summer days, you have the power to bring some summer camp magic to their afternoons and evenings. With a few simple supplies and a commitment to fun, you’ll be providing your kids a great summer and helping them reap the benefits of getting out of their regular routine and trying something new! Check out the tips below to help you bring a summer camp vibe into your everyday life!

#1 Cook up some camp food

Most families have at least a few seasonal foods, things that they either only eat during the colder or warmer months of the years. This summer, consider adding summer camp food to your menu. Turkey dogs, burgers, and veggies from the grill scream summer camp to some people. Others think of side dishes or beverages like baked beans, Hawaiian rolls, Kool-Aid, and lemonade. 

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#2 Bring on the camp games

Even if you don’t have any other kids in your neighborhood consider breaking out some classic summer camp game favorites to entertain your kids during the hotter months of the year.

#3 Ditch the electronics

When kids are away at camp they usually only have access to one another for entertainment. Consider having a few days of the week, or a few hours each evening, that are considered electronics free (for you too!).

#4 Get wet

Summer time is all about water for many kids. Scope out your local neighborhood pool or YMCA (most have income based membership rates). Or, if you're able, head into nature and spend time at your local river or swimming hole. If you can’t get to the water, consider bringing the water to you in the form of water balloons, a sprinkler, or a well-equipped water table. 

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#5 Learn about nature

Many people feel drawn to spend time outdoors during the warmer parts of the year. This summer, bring some summer camp fun into your everyday life by hitting up a local hiking trail or park. Or, if getting away from home is hard, taking a “nature walk” in your own neighborhood. Take time to help your child notice different plants and trees and watch their world expand as you teach them something new.

#6 Make some class arts and crafts

Most sleep-away camps incorporate arts and crafts in one form or another. This summer encourage your child to make something new each week. Work alongside your child and you might just find that conversation flows easily when hands are busy. Some classic summer camp crafts include God’s Eyes, friendships bracelets, collages, and painting.

#7 Play in the dark

Nothing screams summer like playing outside at night. If you’re able to get outside, consider playing flashlight tag, ghost in the graveyard, or capture the flag. If you and your kiddos are more comfortable inside, consider taking the time to build a special fort for reading, shadow puppets, and storytelling. 

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How do you make your everyday life have a summer camp vibe? Share in the comments!

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7 Tips to Bring a Summer Camp Vibe to Your Everyday Life

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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