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How to Have a DIY Summer Camp Experience  at Home

How to Have a DIY Summer Camp Experience at Home

Mom with two kids leaning on bunk bedCamp is a memorable part of summer for many kids all over the country, but it can also come with a painful price tag. Plus, not every kid wants to actually leave home for a week. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or travel across the country for a classic summer camp experience. Forget the bug bites and the high costs – here’s how to create your own DIY summer camp at home for less.

Brainstorm a list of camp activities as a family, and create a schedule.

First, you’ll need to decide how long your at-home summer camp is going to be, whether it’s a week, a weekend, or even a single evening of fun. Once you’ve figured that out, ask your children for input on the DIY summer camp activities they’d love to do most – they’ll enjoy helping you plan, and you’ll have happy campers on your hands. If you’re in need of suggestions for free or cheap activities, use the following list for inspiration!

  • Arts & Crafts: There are so many options for DIY summer camp crafts, from simple things, like coloring, finger painting, or sidewalk chalk, to more in-depth activities, like flower pressing, tie dying t-shirts, and beading!
  • Hiking: Become one with nature at a nearby hiking trail or park. Don’t forget to bring water and some healthy snacks!
  • Rollerblading/Biking/Scooters: Go for a spin around your neighborhood or in a local park.
  • Backyard Water Park: Load up on the sunscreen, and turn your lawn into an aquatic theme park with a slip & slide, water balloons, and a sprinkler.
  • Video Game Tournament: If your children are less into outdoor activities, plan a video game tournament! Make it affordable with Rent-A-Center, where you can snag a great deal on everything from a SkyTech Gaming Bundle to a PS4 Pro or Nintendo Switch.
  • Drama: If your children are aspiring thespians, put on a play! Challenge your kids to write a script or act out a book they love. Their play will debut on the final night of camp.
  • Sports: What’s camp without sports? Plan a mini-rally, where your kiddos can compete with each other in different athletic drills, like shooting free throws, doing laps with a soccer ball, and sack racing!
  • Movie Night: Finish a long day at camp with a family movie night. Make it special by pushing furniture out of the way in favor of sleeping bags, and serve up a special movie night snack, like ice cream sundaes.

Set up your camp “cabin” or tent.

Half the fun of camp is sleeping somewhere different. If you own a tent and sleeping bags, set up a campsite in the backyard! Put solar stake lights around your campsite for a flame-free, fire-like glow, and dust the area around your tent with dry grits to help repel ants. A couple of DIY camping hacks are all you need for an enjoyable evening under the stars. Backyard camping combines all the excitement of sleeping outside with the conveniences of indoor plumbing and a fully stocked kitchen.

If sleeping outdoors isn’t your family’s thing, that’s alright! Roll out sleeping bags in the basement or living room, or build a blanket fort in the kids’ bedroom. Upgrade their bedroom with bunk beds from Rent-A-Center, and they can have summer camp (and space saving!) sleeping arrangements all year long.

White Ashley Leo Twin Over Twin Bunk Bed Black Ashley Leo Twin Over Twin Bunk Bed

Plan a menu of fun camp foods.

No summer camp is complete without a whole lot of yummy, kid-friendly foods. Get a little creative with your menu planning, skipping your staple meals to make their camp experience feel unique.

Turn mealtimes into interactive experiences by setting up things like a taco bar or a make-your-own pizza night. Set up an around-the-world picnic for lunch one day, and end camp with a homemade ice cream social. If your kids are interested in cooking, summer camp is also the perfect opportunity to try out fun new recipes together, like these Hatching-Chick Deviled Eggs.

Hosting a DIY summer camp experience at home isn’t just a fun way to save some major cash, but it’s also a wonderful way to make long-lasting memories as a family! And while you’re giving the kids a mosquito-free summer camp experience without leaving the house, you can shop for your DIY summer camp necessities online with Rent-A-Center’s doorstep delivery and curbside pick-up options, no credit needed!

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. RAC is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.