Bestow offers some great tips on creating your own DIY summer camp, including themes, games and free printables to get started. Make your own camp experience from the comfort of your living room or backyard! With just a little imagination and planning, you can create a DIY camp experience that will help your kids experience the fun of a summer camp without breaking the bank or social distancing rules. 

Read on for tips and free printables:

Step 1: Theme

You can choose the traditional route of log cabins, canoes and campfires or choose a more unique theme that aligns with your child’s interest. The beauty of a DIY summer camp is that it can be totally yours. 


The traditional theme is all about recreating a traditional American summer camp from the comfort of your own home. Think log cabins, canoe rides, stargazing and hiking. Don’t forget the campfire songs! 

Activities for this theme include: tag, tug-of-war, swimming, building a campfire, climbing trees and birdwatching. 

You can also download this welcome sign and coloring page activity to help create the ambiance of the outdoors in your very own home. 

A Pirate’s Life

For kids who love the ocean and dream of life on the Seven Seas,  a pirate-themed camp is a must. Complete the experience with bandanas, eyepatches and some hidden treasure. 

Activities for this theme include: crab walk races, foam sword fights, water balloon fights and a hunt for hidden treasure. 

You can also download this welcome sign and maze activity to help get the ideas flowing. 


For kids who love to dream of fairytale adventures, a storybook-themed camp is the perfect time to let them live their magical fantasy. Think princesses, knights, dragons and a challenging quest. 

Activities for this theme include: dress up, a royal relay race, a dragon’s egg scavenger hunt and face painting. 

You can also download this welcome sign and fill-in-the-blank word game to give your house and DIY camp the royal treatment. 

Animal Kingdom 

Kids who love animals will love this animal-themed camp! Recreate a safari, rainforest or jungle from your backyard. 

Activities for this theme include: pin the tail on the donkey, animal walk races, tag and scavenger hunts. 

You can also download this welcome sign and scavenger hunt activity to get yourself in the wild mindset. 

Step 2: Budget 

At-home summer camps can be tailored to your family’s financial needs and are typically more budget-friendly than regular camps. Keep track of your camp’s costs by using a printable budget tracker

Remember: your summer camp doesn’t have to be extravagant! The true summer camp spirit is all about togetherness, fun and creativity. 

Step 3: Enjoy

Once you’ve got your theme, decor, activities and budget squared away, you can begin your camp experience! Consider having a welcome ceremony for your kids to make them feel like they’re participating in something special.

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