With so many amazing opportunities for kids summer camps- sports camps, horseback riding camps, dance camps, circus camps, sailing lessons, computer coding and Minecraft camps, not to mention town camp with arts & crafts and swimming lessons, and the “granddaddy of them all”- sleep-away camp- it is hard not to sign up for everything! But over the years we've found that what works best for our family is to create our own summer camp at home. Here's why we hold our own DIY summer camp!
We made the intentional decision a few years ago to “take summers off” and to not schedule our kids for camps, lessons, or activities as much as possible. And for our family- it has really worked out well- giving us downtime together as well as a chance to simply slow down and relax after a busy school year.
Here's why we are making the same choice this summer to host our own kids summer camp at home:
We Need Time Off From a Set Schedule
During the school year, it seems as if we have a reason to get up and get someone (or everyone) ready and out of the house seven days a week. Monday-Friday it is school, and early morning band and orchestra practices in addition to getting to the bus stop on time.
And on weekends it is sports practices and lessons, and birthday parties or sleepovers and school fundraisers. We rarely have a day off- let alone a morning for the entire family to sleep in and be lazy.
For us, summer means a break from that “get up and get out the door” lifestyle that we live the rest of the year. If I signed my kids up for town camp, we would still need to be up, eat breakfast, pack a lunch, apply sunscreen, and drive to the camp by 9 am.
And to me, that feels almost like an extension of the schedule we kept during the school year.
Camps, Lessons, and Activities for 6 Kids Can Be Expensive!
Sure, town camp might only cost $250 for 6 weeks, but when you multiply that by 6 kids that is a lot of money.
Now I am not saying it isn't a good value for 6 weeks of well planned and fun activities for my kids- but for me, it is a trade-off. If I don't spend $1500 on camps for the kids, then instead I can use that money to do some fun things together as an entire family.
Looking for some fun things to do with the kids?
Check out some of our family's favorites! Here's our list of the best Backyard Games This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. and for those rainy days- here are our favorite board games This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. !
You can find more great resources for busy Moms over on my Amazon influencer page This is an affiliate link: MomOf6 earns a commission if you purchase, at no additional cost to you. !
As A Work-From-Home Mom, This is a Job Perk I Don't Want to Miss!
I feel that getting to spend the summers with my kids is a built-in bonus of living my life as a work from home Mom- one that I want to make sure that I take advantage of while I can.
As the saying goes “the days are long but the years are short” and while there are days that “Camp Rowley” feels like a lot of work and added stress to my life- I know that these are the days I am going to miss our summer camp at home when the kids are grown and out on their own!
Summer Camp at Home: It Doesn't Need to be “All or None!”
Now, this doesn't mean that none of my kids have the chance to sign up for an activity that they want to do. In fact, my son Spencer who is passionate about football has asked to attend a 4-day football camp this summer, and I think it would be a perfect fit for him. So we do what works for us as a family and for each individual family member.
What might work for your family is to try just a week or two off from scheduled activities and see how it goes for you.
Would You Like Some Specific Kids Summer Camp at Home Ideas?
Not having a set schedule doesn't mean we have no plans at all! (C'mon- you know me better than that!)
In fact, I spend a good amount of time planning for fun things we can do together during the summer, activities to try, places to explore, recipes and crafts to make with the kids, and back up plans for rainy days, etc.
Please check out my DIY Summer Camp page for lots of ideas on how to host your own kids' summer camp at home!
Here are some more great summer ideas for you:
- Free Family Summer Bucket List Printable
- Free Printable Summer Schedule
Loved your video on 10 ideas for the summer. You mentioned that you would make some links available for the food ideas- where can I find those? Also, the crafts and the geocache stuff looked amazing – do you have links for that also? I love your articles and read them often!!! Thank you so much for the information you post. I feel like you’re a woman after my own heart. Before kids I practiced law in a high profile law firm in NYC. Now I work part time on a passion project assisting survivors of domestic violence. I do this b/c I love it and b/c it lets me focus on my first love – my kids. But becoming a mom didn’t change me completely. So I remain a little too organized and too planned. Little people tend to lean towards chaos more than I would like at times so striking a balance is necessary for my sanity. Your blogs and articles have def helped me find some of that and I can’t thank you enough. I only have two kiddos. I have no idea how you do all that you do with 6 but I really admire the fact that you do it and you make time to share what you’ve learned with the rest of us! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you!
Thanks so much for your kind words! The link to the kids cooking site is: https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/kcrf/sharonmomof6/, and you can find all of my DIY Summer camp ideas here: https://www.momof6.com/diy-summer-camp/. XOXOXO- Sharon
We split the difference and do organized camps and activities through July. Then we spend two weeks on vacation in August followed by several weeks (approximately 2-3) at home doing nothing in particular. We may do small outings like lazer tag, local water park, amusement park etc… But no real plans and just relax and enjoy the last few weeks of summer. It works well for our family.
susen @Dabbling Momma says
us too, no schedules!!