This year many families have opted out of summer camp. We have, mainly because I waited too long to register my kids and now there is no space, but  also because I wasn't quite ready for a schedule that forced us to mobilize early in the day and pack lunches. 

This means families have pockets of time to fill! Here are some ideas and activities  of how to bring a little summer camp energy to our homes. 

1. I'm Bored Jar

The activity itself is fun for kids but there is an ulterior purpose that will help get through some of those particularly long summer days. After creating The I'm Bored Jar, leave it in a visible area in your house and direct the kids to it whenever you hear those infamous summer words: "I'm booooorrrrrrred". This one encourages self regulation... woo hoo! 

You need:

  • A jar
  • 10+ popsicle sticks
  • Markers 
  1. Allow the kids to decorate and funkify their jar however they like using whatever crafty stuff you have around. 
  2. As a family, brainstorm simple activities they can do around the house if they get bored. You can even include some light chores in here, just for fun.  Using the marker, write one task on the end of each popsicle stick.  
  3. Place popsicle sticks task-side-down in the jar.
  4. Leave the Jar in a visible place for kids to visit whenever they run out of things to do.

*find a great list of activities for your I'm Bored Jar here: 

2. D.I.Y. bubble wands

Bubbles are a summer staple in any home. In our time we’ve gone through a lot of bubbles!  Why not save some plastic and have some summer fun creating bubble wands with the kids. 

You need:

  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Beads 
  • Bubble solution
  • Small bottle to hold bubble solution 
  1. Place the two ends of a pipe cleaner together and twist the bottoms together until a circle is formed at the top. 
  2. Thread beads onto the bottom of both pipe cleaner ends and push them to the top, stopping at the base of the circle. 
  3. Continue threading beads until the pipe cleaner handle is complete. 
  4. Fold the ends of the pipe cleaner over the last bead to secure it.
  5. Mix up some solution (below), pour it in your small bottle and get blowing! 

Best Ever Bubble Solution

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons dish washing liquid

Thanks to: for this great recipe! 

3. Neighbourhood Photoshoot

My kids love being behind the camera as much as being in front of it. For our shoot we decided to go on a walk in the community and find some fun locations to pose in front of. We took turns taking the pictures of each other and other things that sparked our interest along the way. I allowed the kids to bring along a few accessories and props just for fun. 

You need: 

  • A camera (either on your phone or a point and shoot) 
  • imagination


  • brainstorming multiple locations in advance
  • choosing a theme 
  • bringing along fun accessories, props  or outfit  changes 

4. Field Trip

No summer camp is complete without a field trip or two. With many city attractions still closed we’ve had to get creative. We’ve been out exploring some great trails and beaches around our city. We make a day of it, packing a picnic lunch and lots of snacks.  I encourage you to explore what great nature trails are close to you!