If you're on a budget and sending your kids to camp is just not possible, then take a look at these tips to create your own summer camp.

Summer camps can be pricy and if you have more than one kid at home it can get rather expensive. Camps can range from $300 for a week up to $2,000 for some sleep away camps..

Yikes.That's a lot of money for one kid if you have more than one kid at home I don't even want to calculate that cost.

Good news though, MomsEveryday.com has a few great ideas for you to create a summer camp and activities for your kids that won't break the bank or leave your budget drained and in the red. Plus, your kids will have fun and it will keep them from watching TV and playing video games all day.

    • Day 1: Learn survival skills—show kids how to use a compass and a map. Then send them on a scavenger hunt that requires them to use their new skills. If you have older children, teach them about animal tracking and head to the woods to see if they can find and identify tracks.
    • Day 2: Pick berries—take the kids to a pick-your-own berry patch early in the day before it gets hot. When you get home with your bounty, you can make jam, scones or muffins. Then celebrate your hard work with a tea party that includes what you and the kids made. You can either do this all in one day or spread the activities out over a week.
    • Day 3: Take a hike—an easy activity in your own yard, which makes it easy for younger children, is a bug hike. Use a magnifying glass, jars and paper to examine, collect or record the bugs you see. You can also take a wild edible hike, sampling the things in fields, forests or your backyard that can be eaten. Another option is a creek hike; many state parks have waterways that are accessible to the public. Hike upstream through a shallow creek, turning over rocks and discovering what lives under and around them.
    • Day 4: Create a wildlife habitat or garden—show kids that it’s ok to get their hands a little dirty by planting vegetables and herbs they can eat or flowers and native plants to attract wildlife. You can even do this in a few large pots if you don’t want to dig up your yard.
    • Day 5: Camp out—show your kids how to pitch a tent, either in your backyard or at a campground. Teach them how to build a fire and bring along food that you can cook over an open flame. When it gets dark, look up at the stars and try to identify constellation.

As a kid I never went to summer camp. Partly because I really had no desire to go, I liked being home in the summer and secondly my family, like this article, was on a budget. Although, I may have missed out on that camp experience, my parents made sure my sister's and I always had fun in the summer. From planning a camping trip vacation where we would go and visit historical sites like Gettysburg, Washington D.C., Valley Forge, etc... or walking the old railroad tracks picking blackberries, we were always doing something fun. Much like all of those tips above.

Funny now that I read those over, because I guess I was in a summer camp after all.


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