Do It Yourself Summer Camps

As my boys get older, I find that they need to be more entertained especially during the summer. Although camps are fun, and my boys participate in half-day ones for a few weeks, they can be expensive so I need to find more activities to occupy their time. To help engage them I decided to develop themed days based on topics they really enjoy. I found that my boys loved having themed days and/or weeks throughout the summer. They loved helping me plan the activities and creating some of their own. In fact, even after summer ended, they continued to ask for various themed days and would even put them together themselves.

Since themed days are fun and easy to plan, implement and enjoy, I figured they were a perfect way to create my own at-home camp. Many day camps offer themed days and weeks which interest kids so why not do the same thing at home? Putting together your own summer camp at home can be easy, affordable and fun for everyone. In this post, I am going to offer some tips on getting started along with great theme day activities.

Fish Bowl Craft

Getting Started

The first step in planning your Do It Yourself Summer Camp is deciding when and for how long you want it to last. You can choose to come up with ideas all summer or narrow it down to just one month. You can also do it as a way to countdown to a vacation by making the themes and activities based around where you will be traveling to.

Once you have decided on the length of your camp, you have to decide how long it will take place each day. Will you offer structured activities or themes for a few hours in the morning or will the theme carry throughout the day?

After you decide on your days and times, it is time to pick the themes. We have come up with some fun and exciting themes over the past few summers that we wanted to share with you. Plus, we are always thinking of new ones that we cannot wait to share. For instance, we will soon bring you a Moana day as well as a Weather Day (at my son’s request).

Themed Camp Days

Superhero Day

Shark Week Educational Activities

USA Geography Activities for Kids

Star Wars Activtiies

Harry Potter Educational Activities for Kids

Create Your Own Pirate Day

Moana Day


Frozen Day (1)

Create Your Own Under the Sea Day

Create Your Own Peanuts Day

Create Your Own Dino Day

Outer Space Activities for Kids

Activities for Kids on the Farm



Planning a Disney Vacation? Turning your at-home camp into a Disney Countdown is a perfect way to come up with activities and adventures. Here is how to put together your own countdown:

How to Plan A Countdown to Disney World

Now that we have inspired you, you can come up with some of your own themes based on your child’s interest! There are 4 elements that I find important for planning a themed day: story time, craft, pretend play and snack. For each day, find some books the kids can read, put together a fun craft, allow them time to engage in imaginary play and make a yummy snack together. Other ideas are taking a fun day trip, conducting a science experiment and watching a related movie.

Have Fun!

Found a theme you like? Now it’s time to create your schedule. You can draw up a calendar for the kids and enlist them to help decide on the activities. You can also take a trip to your local craft store and library to get supplies/books to go along with your theme. I also recommend planning some day trips that incorporate the theme like visiting the zoo on an Animal Day or going fishing on your Under the Sea Day. The possibilities are endless!

Want Mommy University to put together some more theme day activity posts? Share a topic/theme in the comments section below and we will get started!

You may also enjoy:

Camp Creativity at Michaels

AC Moore Kids Crafternoon

Benefits of Home Depot Kids Workshops


Summer Movie Guide

One Comment

  1. I love these ideas! We are having a DIY Summer Camp this year and I have had so much fun picking out themes. It looks like I need to add a few more after looking at your list!

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