Summer is almost here. How will you keep the kids busy and having fun the next few months?
Host your very own summer camp in your own backyard.
From fun summer STEM activities to awesome camp crafts, these simple backyard summer camp ideas for kids 5-10 will have the kids learning and having fun all summer long.
If you are looking for fun ideas, you will also want to check out these backyard summer activities for kids.
Backyard Summer Camp
Most of these summer kids activities are low-prep and are good for a variety of ages.
Use them to create your own DIY summer camp, or choose one or two each week to try out with the kids.
From science and STEM, to creative summer craft ideas, there are plenty of backyard summer activities to make this the best summer yet!
Summer Camp Craft Ideas
Duct Tape Water Bottle Holder — When it comes to family summer activities, it’s important to stay hydrated. This colorful craft will help encourage your child to carry their own water on that nature hike.
Duct Tape Sit-Upon — What’s camp without a campfire? Make your own sit-upons and always have a clean, dry seat to take on picnics or use around that backyard campfire.
20 Watermelon Crafts & Activities — Watermelons are a favorite when it comes to summer picnics. These fun watermelon crafts and activities are perfect for celebrating everyone’s favorite summer fruit.
Paper Plate Crafts for Summer — Looking for a quick and easy summer craft? These summer paper plate crafts are a simple way to squeeze in craft time.
20 Sea Animal Crafts — Even if there’s no trip to the beach in your future, you can still create a little bit of the ocean at home with these adorable fun sea animal crafts.
Squirt Gun Painting — Squirt guns are part of summer fun for kids. Turn the classic summertime activity into art with this idea.
Splat Painting — Summer is perfect for this messy art activity.
Painting with Toy Trucks — This messy art activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. I know a few older kids that love it as well.
Leaf Creatures — Go on a neighborhood nature hike and then use some of those leaves and other fascinating findings to create unique artwork.
Seashell Art — This is the perfect summer art activity after that beach trip.
Firefly Nightlight Craft — Summer is the time for catching lightning bugs (or fireflies). This firefly craft makes a fun nightlight for that backyard camping.
Water Bottle Sun Catcher — Recycle some of those water bottles into amazingly colorful sun catchers that look gorgeous in the garden.
Tin Can Lanterns — Kids will have fun creating old-fashioned looking lanterns, perfect for lighting up the back patio on those summer nights.
Flower Petal Sun Catcher — Create gorgeous sun catchers with real flower petals.
Awesome Summer Camp Activities
Trail Marking Scavenger Hunt — Kids will have fun learning trail marking with this scavenger hunt activity, including a free printable.
Soap Carving — No knife needed! Teach kids basic knife skills and a little bit of whittling with this fun summer activity. Check the directions to see how you can use a craft stick instead of a real knife for younger kids.
DIY Shark Games — These easy to make shark games are perfect all summer long.
Tin Can Stilts — Make some classic tin can stilts and let the kids have some old-fashion fun using them to race and explore the world from a little bit higher.
Save the Sea Animals Game — This simplesummer kids gamewill have them cheering each other on!
Exploring Natural Clay — Ready for some messy fun this summer? Let the kids explore the squishy fun of clay and try their hand at making their own sun-baked pottery.
Water Wall — Your child will have fun creating their very own water wall from recyclables. Leave it up all summer for hours of water play.
Sand Foam — Sand is a must during the summer. The fluffy, sandy texture of this mixture makes it one of our favorite messy play summer activities.
15 Awesome Water Play Activities — Water balloons, squirt guns, and sprinklers are fun, but here are a few new ways to play with water this summer.
Water Wing Fishing Relay — This silly summer kids game is perfect for groups of 4 or more and guarantees a lot of laughs!
Make Your Own Water Blob — A totally unique experience. It’s water play, without getting as wet.
Make Soda Pop Slushies — Use science to make soda pop slushies at home in this super simple and delicious treat that is perfect for that hot summer day.
Spider Web Maze — The kids will have fun creating their very own over-sized web in the backyard that will inspire hours of fun as they weave their way through it.
Science and STEM Activities for Camp
Solar Oven S’mores — This summer STEM activity ends with a tasty treat everyone will love.
Tin Can Stove — Kids will have fun learning how to make an emergency stove that’s perfect for camping. Then, use it to cook a yummy snack!
Build a Solar Still — Learn how to use the power of the sun to filter water.
Make Sun Prints — Did you know you can use the sun to create some fun art? This one is perfect for kids of all ages.
Make a Soda Pop Geyser — Get ready for some serious fun science! This is one the kids will want to do again and again.
Elephant Toothpaste — Summer is the perfect time for messy science like this one.
Inflate a Balloon with Science — This is a fun twist to the classic baking soda and vinegar science.
Build a Shelter — Kids of all ages love making forts. Take it outside and build a shelter that will inspire days of pretend play.
Build a Boat That Floats — Which materials float the best? Kids will have fun designing their very own boat and then checking to see if it really floats.
Craft Stick Catapults — Kids love building things, and when you add in the chance to fling a bit of candy? We are talking an instant hit!
Make it the best summer ever with these simple and fun backyard summer camp ideas that will have the kids learning and having fun all summer long.
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Updated from May 20, 2018.