14 Summer Camp Alternatives During COVID-19

Your summer plans are likely in a bit of disarray due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be rethinking plans to send your children to summer camp or your camps may be cancelled altogether. No need to worry! Check out these great ideas to keep your children busy all summer long.

Dad and sons set up tent in living room

  • Create a stay-at-home sleepaway camp: Keep your kids busy with art adventures, science adventures or cooking lessons. (Here’s our pediatric dietitian’s 8 Tips to Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen – Plus 3 Healthy Recipes to Start.) Just search online for fun activities and create your own curriculum. Spice it up by pitching a tent in your backyard or family room for a stay-at-home sleepaway camp!
  • No Child Left Inside: The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers plenty of fun ideas on their website, including the Great Backyard Pursuit, which they modified from the Great Park Pursuit due to COVID-19.
  • Letterboxing: Follow online clues to find a hidden container with a special stamp inside. Once you find it, you can stamp your book and add your family’s stamp to the container’s hidden book. Find out more information from Atlas Quest or the above-mentioned Connecticut No Child Left Inside websites.
  • Geocaching: It’s known as the world’s largest treasure hunt! Similar to letterboxing, this fun activity involves locating hidden caches through an app on your phone. You can mark that you found the cache on the app. Some caches even leave trinkets inside to take or trade. Check out this geocaching website for more information.

  • Slimy summer: What child doesn’t love gooey slime? For safer slime, check out this recipe made from contact solution.
  • Explore science at home: The Connecticut Science Center offers a Science at Home series for children, complete with STEM challenges and virtual field trips. Check it out!
  • Enjoy art around the world: Enjoy virtual tours of exhibits at world famous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, just to name a few.
  • Attend virtual day camps: Many organizations that offer traditional summer camps have switched to offering virtual versions. Reach out to your favorites and ask! 
  • Summer reading and math challenges: Check with your school district to see if they are making optional summer reading and math challenges available for students. There are also challenges available online. Just search “summer reading challenge” or “summer math challenge.”
  • Summer subscription services: Many companies offer subscriptions for summer learning and fun. Just search and order online, and they’ll send supplies right to your home!
  • Outdoor picnics and hikes: Enjoy the great outdoors this summer at a local park. Just check ahead to make sure the park you want to visit is open to the public. Be sure to bring masks and hand sanitizer and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

  • Outdoor play: Make sure your child spends time outdoors, even if it’s in your own backyard. Backyard scavenger hunts, obstacle courses and gardening are favorites. Of course, running around and riding bicycles are great options too.
  • Splash into summer: Enjoy relaxing at the beach or swimming at a lake in a socially-distant way, or set up a temporary pool, Slip ‘n Slide or sprinkler in your backyard.
  • Check out Parks and Rec: The Parks and Recreation Department in your community will likely have options for virtual classes, activities and even day camps for kids.

Related links
16 Creative Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy During Social Distancing

40 Ideas for New Family Traditions

8 Tips to Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen – Plus 3 Healthy Recipes to Start!

Advice for Athletes in COVID-19: Use This Time to Build Strength, Skill and Mental Toughness

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