Super Fun Stay-at-Home Summer Camp Ideas

Sleeping under the stars. Best friend bracelets. Catching fireflies. There’s something special about attending summer camp that lives in a child’s memory long after the late-night storytelling has ended.

Want to create that summer-camp experience at home — saving money and spending quality time with your kids? It’s easy. Just borrow these fun ideas.

Stay-at-home summer camp tent

Pitch It
Part of the novelty and excitement about sleepaway camp is the “sleep away from home” part. Set up a tent in the backyard to create the experience of visiting someplace new. Toss in sleeping bags, lantern, flashlight, and lots of snacks.

If you don’t have a backyard, bring the outdoors in. Make a fort in the living room with blankets and pillows. Sheets draped over dining room chairs also work great.

Name It
Divide your crew into teams, and ask each group to come up with a clever team name. Nicknames (positive only!) are also a fun way to foster friendships.

Get Crafty
Arts and crafts are a staple for sleepaway camps. And because popsicles are too, you have a great excuse to eat plenty and then reuse the sticks for your creations. Check out this site for imaginative ideas.

Stay-at-home summer camp s'mores

The Roast
If you have a fire pit, grab a skinny tree branch or a roasting stick and toast marshmallows to make s’mores. (You’ll also need graham crackers and chocolate.) This recipe is handy for making them on the grill, and this one explains how to make them in the oven.

Game On
Your summer camp at home is complete with lots of fun and games. From kickball to obstacle courses, here you’ll find hundreds of ideas.

Stay-at-home summer camp ghost stories

Scared Silly
The cover of darkness is the perfect time to tell ghost stories. Put the patio chairs in a circle and turn on a single flashlight to create a spooky ambiance. See who can share the scariest tale.

Look the Part
You can also make it fun to dress for camp by tie-dying t-shirts (socks too!). You can also decorate plain tees with iron-on decals, ribbon, gems, and more.

Summer camp at home is the season’s perfect staycation. From all of us at Rent-A-Center, have a great summer!