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Summer on the Cheap: Camp-Style Activities for Bored Kids

Camp has been a popular summer activity for kids for decades. If your kids can’t attend camp, you can bring camp to them and create a lot of at-home family fun in the process. Whether you need activities to do outdoors or for rainy-day indoor fun, camp-style activities are a great way to keep kids occupied and active.

Here are a ton of creative camp-style ideas to get your kids moving and entertained!

  • 10 Camp-Style Activities for Bored Kids 1 of 11
    camp-style activities for bored kids

    Keep your kids entertained all summer (well, maybe for a whole weekend!) with these camp-inspired activities. Click through for all the fun ideas... 

    Image source: JAVIER.CASADO

     
  • Create Camp-Style Meals 2 of 11
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    Scout camps teach kids how to be self-sufficient even when outdoors. There are lots of cool recipes you can find online for camp-style meals simple enough for your kids to make and good enough for your kids to love. Camp-style meals involve putting a bunch of ingredients into a packet of aluminum foil which are then cooked on an open fire. There are some great meals and desserts that are super-tasty and easy to make with the kids for a different kind of dinner time fun. 

    Image source: grggrssmr

  • Keeping It Cool 3 of 11
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    Who doesn't love to play with water when the temperatures are soaring? A quick trip to a dollar store can net your family some serious backyard fun. Water balloons and squirt guns are fairly inexpensive and a great way to cool down on a hot day without having to keep the hose on for hours. Older kids may enjoy a full-on water balloon battle and younger kids may love tossing balloons back and forth until they break.

    Image source: Tambako the Jaguar

  • Backyard Gaming 4 of 11
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    Often kids today are caught up in electronics and are missing out on decades-old fun. Think of all the backyard games you enjoyed as a kid (or do a quick Internet search for some refreshers). A family jump rope contest, a sack race, an egg/spoon race, and an old-fashioned game of freeze tag can bring back a lot of memories for mom and dad and teach kids to have fun while unplugged. 

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  • Spooky Storytelling 5 of 11
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    Hit the library and take out some kid-friendly ghost stories. When the sun has set, grab some flashlights and get ready for some storytelling time. For even more creativity, have your older kids work on stories of their own during the day and let them showcase their writing after dark.

    Image source: Steven Harsanyi

     
  • Outdoor Movie Night 6 of 11
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    If you have the means to set up a television and DVD player out in the yard, you can create a cost-effective movie night kids are sure to remember. Pop some popcorn and pull out the lawn chairs and sleeping bags to create a movie night experience reminiscent of the popular drive-ins. To make it more fun, invite the neighbors over.

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  • Pull Out the Tent 7 of 11
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    For a true camping experience, pull out the tent and set it up in the backyard for a night or two. Older kids will love sleeping outside on their own. Younger kids can play in the tent during the day. If you don't have a tent, make the living room an adventure with some bed sheets and sleeping bags. 

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  • Invent a Scavenger Hunt 8 of 11
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    Get your creativity flowing and invent a scavenger hunt to keep the kids busy as soon as they wake up. Make it age-appropriate for your child but not so easy or hard they grow bored with it. For rainy days, an indoor scavenger hunt can be just as fun.

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  • Host a Sing-a-Long 9 of 11
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    Whether you can sing like an angel or tend to make the stray cats howl, have everyone sit around in a circle and teach them your favorite camp songs. If you can't remember the words, a simple search online will give you printable lyric sheets to follow. 

    Image source: Larchleaf

  • Explore Nature 10 of 11
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    Take your kids on a hike at a state park or even just around your neighborhood. See how many flowers and trees you can identify by taking out some reference books from the library or printing off pictures from the Internet. It's a great way to spend family time and learn a little something about the area you live in. 

    Image source: Dawn Ashley

     
  • Roast the Marshmallows 11 of 11
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    If you don't have a safe place to build a fire in your yard, light a small fire in your grill to toast some marshmallows when the sun goes down. S'mores are a very popular camp treat that are sure to bring back good memories for the adults and create new ones for kids of all ages.

    Image source: katerha

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