Camp Activities at Home
Are you stuck at home with the kids this week? Wondering what you’re supposed to do during these recommended days of self-isolation? We wanted to give you some fun ideas to do with the whole family and even introduce some of the excitement that camp brings.
Try having a camp out! It might be too cold to be sleeping in the outdoors, but you can pitch a tent in your living room and have almost as much fun. If you don’t have a tent, try making one out of blankets and sheets! Let campers bring their favorite stuffed animals into the tent and make bunk signs to hang. Turn off all the lights and make shadow figures on the walls of your tent with flashlights.
Complete your campout with s’mores! Even though you may not be able to build a fire, you can make great s’mores in the oven. Try this recipe here. For s’more fun (pun intended), try adding favorite candies like Reese’s or Peppermint Patties to replace the chocolate in the middle. Use apples instead of graham crackers for a healthy twist.
There are plenty of good foods at camp other than s’mores. Campers love to cookout their own meals over the fire. You can take some of these campfire recipes and adapt them to work at home. Get your kids involved in the meal prep and have fun at the same time. An easy recipe to try is Pizza Quesadillas. Coat a skillet with cooking spray or butter. Take a tortilla and cover it with pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings. Place it in the skillet and put another quesadilla on top. When the tortilla is browned, flip your quesadilla and brown the other side as well. Serve for a perfect and easy mini pizza! We like to make Dessert Quesadillas as well. These are made just like your pizza except the quesadilla can be filled with peanut butter, chocolate chips, Nutella, banana slices, strawberry slices, caramel, marshmallow, or any other dessert topping you’d like to add!
Of course, a big part of camp is the games. For a fun family game, try playing Sardines. Turn off all the lights and cover the windows. Have one person hide while everyone else sits in one room together. After a couple minutes, send everyone out to try to find the hider. If you find them, hide with them in the same spot. As each person finds you, they will join you as well. The last person to find the hiding spot starts the next game by hiding. For other game ideas, try Ninja (we don’t condone the head slap rule shown in the instructional video) or Rock Paper Scissors Splits.
Do your kids need to get outside and just run? Try the screaming game. All it takes is starting kids on one end of your yard. Ask them to run in a circle around the yard while yelling as loud as they can. Whoever can get the farthest without taking a breath wins. This is also a great time to break out sports equipment to kick soccer balls, throw baseballs, or do drills like dribbling a tennis ball in the air. Make obstacle courses out of cones, jump ropes, and other household items. Time each other and see who can complete the course the fastest. You can even let kids design the obstacle course themselves.
Crafts can be a great way to keep everyone busy. Get out paper and glue. Give kids items like toothpicks, craft sticks, tinfoil, straws, pipe cleaners, bottle caps, and any other random recycling or household items. Let them try to create scenes gluing the items to their paper and have someone else guess what is happening. For an added challenge, give them a theme like an alien invasion, a princess in a tower, or Jesus walking on water. If you have yarn, send kids into the yard to find two sticks and use them to make God’s Eyes.
Of course, all of this added time at home can give you a chance to do some Bible study or devotions as well. To make things fun, try paper bag skits. Collect 8-10 items from around the house and put them in a bag. Have kids read a story from the Bible and then create a skit based on the story that incorporates every item from the bag. Or, have them read a passage from the Bible and then finish the sentences, “I noticed…,” “I wonder…,” “I learned…,” and “I will…”. This can be a great activity for the whole family. Give everyone a journal to write and then share out loud with each other when you are finished.
For a nighttime meditation activity, choose some worship music to play. Look up everyone’s favorite worship hymn or song. Lay on the floor (maybe even in your tent) with your eyes closed and focus on the words to the song. How is God speaking to you in this moment? Ask kids to focus on breathing deeply and relaxing every muscle in their body as they listen mindfully. Share together what the song(s) made you feel like before going to bed.
These can be stressful times, and kids aren’t immune to the anxiety of the world around them. We know that spending time at home may not be ideal, but we hope these ideas help you to add a little camp fun and energy to your day. Did you try any of these activities? Let us know! We’ll be praying that everyone stays safe and healthy, and we’ll see you this summer.