Summer Camp Ideas for Kids

summer camp ideas

Summer camp is a unique experience for children five years old and up. Activities, events, games, music, books, movies, and even food can be prepared to focus on one or multiple themes for the day, week, or even a month, depending on the length of the attended camp.

If you are looking for ideas to engage your children at home, host a camp for a childcare facility, put together a church-sponsored summer camp, or take turns with other parents entertaining neighborhood children throughout the summer season, keep reading for excellent ways to engage and delight all your campers.

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What are some themes for summer camp?


It is not common to meet a child that has not chosen a favorite superhero or villain. Plenty of pre-made materials are available to decorate and create a superhero or villain atmosphere.

Children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, can have fun creating their own character with a name, unique power, costume, backstory, and catchphrase. Using butcher paper and individual or group effort, everyone can make a comic strip that progresses each day of camp.

Animals and Zoo Friends

From pet cats and dogs to elephants, zebras, and penguins, animals of all kids are sure to fascinate young learners. You will soon have a zoo filled with giggling kids by making animal masks with paper plates, string, glue, feathers, googly eyes, and other crafting supplies. Animal crackers are a fun snack with this theme, and if possible, a field trip to the zoo would be a great final touch.


Whether to infinity and beyond, the final frontier, or a long time ago in a galaxy far away, there is much mystery and curiosity surrounding the planets and stars.

Campers can pair up to turn their friends into aliens by tracing each other on large pieces of butcher paper and using space-themed materials to draw, color, design, and name their alien selves. Building rockets and reading exciting books about space, stars, planets, galaxies, and moons are other excellent ideas to add to a space theme camp.

Summer camp cooking activities

This is an excellent theme for introducing children to new foods, encouraging healthy habits, and learning how to have fun in the kitchen. If possible, contact a local grocery store and ask if educational tours are available to show and explain the various departments and introduce employees the children may meet next time they go shopping with their parents.

Have the kids look through cookbooks to see how recipes work.

Create a mock bake sale by having children pair up, choose a baked dish, help an adult with mixing and baking, create signs, and present their dishes at specified stations.

Use Monopoly money to help kids buy baked goods they want to try. Take a world tour as kids experience a taste-testing activity with popular dishes from different countries. Discuss the differences between healthy and unhealthy food, how to make healthy choices, and why good decisions are essential.

Sports, beach fun, music, theatre, outdoor exploring, magic, gardening, mindfulness and yoga, LEGO and building, science, wild west, and time travel are other popular themes children enjoy.

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Activities for summer camp

Building Challenge

Give groups of children random materials with the goal of creating a machine. Materials for a building challenge can vary from balloons, tape, string, popsicle sticks, lumber scraps, LEGO, glue, paper, cloth, screws, or any other supplies you have to choose from. This activity can be adjusted to meet simpler needs or include the use of basic tools to further develop working machines, depending on the ages and limitations of campers.

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are fun for all ages. Whether it is an outdoor or indoor hunt, the challenge level can be set based on the age and understanding of each child. Plants, birds, toys, colors, shapes, books, and other interesting items can be used when designing a scavenger hunt.

Obstacle Course

Outdoor obstacle courses are fun and engaging and provide an opportunity for healthy competition. Trees, stumps, boxes, chairs, picnic tables, sports balls, goalposts, and more can be used to establish a course with various obstacles. Kids can work independently or in teams while making their way to the end.

Talent Shows, solar oven cooking, making bird feeders, tie-dying camp shirts, gardening, arts and crafts, camp Olympics, paper kites, dance parties, and balloon tennis are a few other fun activities sure to excite and be asked for again.

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