Summer Camp at Home! :: 12 Themed Weeks


Well, it’s summer folks! I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but here we are in the glorious Texas heat and it’s time to figure out our new summer rhythms and routines (unless you already have, and in that case I applaud your proactive planning)! If you are still on the lookout for summer camps in Dallas make sure to check out Dallas Moms Summer Camp Guide for the Dallas Metroplex as well as our VBS Guide.

I think that keeping a somewhat loose interpretation of our regular schedules is best for everyone’s sanity. To add some fun activities and structure to our summer days I thought we would do a “At Home Summer Camp” of sorts. I am a teacher by trade and planning this little guide for an at home summer camp was SO fun – I hope you and your kiddos enjoy and if you join in on the fun be sure to let me know!

summer camp

While my summer camp ideas are more ideal for toddler and preschool aged littles, I did find some awesome resources for older kids while doing my research: like this fun printable of your summer weekly rhythm, the blog post SAHM Camp: My Plan for summer by Orlando Mom Collective, and Guide to Creating your own Summer Camp at Home by Tampa Bay Moms!

summer camp
Photo credit: Kelly Mock

If the idea of theme weeks and activities overwhelm you, you could print off this Daily Checklist inspired by fellow DM Contributor Kelly Mock, or make your own! Laminate, hang it in a prominent area, and keep your kiddos accountable for some sort of routine in their summer days!

Theme Weeks

I am breaking down our summer into themed weeks. Obviously you can mix and match or nix as you like for your particular needs. I am planning 12 weeks overall because we have VBS, vacation, and a move to throw into our summer mix so I’ve left some wiggle room for other plans or breaks!

My basic format for the weeks will include: theme-related books from the library (requested the week before!), episodes of theme-related shows/movies, and three simple activities to do with my kids to escape the afternoon heat. This gives the flexibility to skip a day or make room for other summer fun. Some of my all time favorite inspiration for kiddo activities are: BusyToddler, Simply Learning, The Book and the Bristle, and Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading.

summer camp

At-Home Summer Camp Curriculum Outline & Ideas:

Week # : Theme Books Shows/Movies Activities Additional Resources
1. Creepy Crawly Critters: Insects and Spiders
  1. I Like Bugs
  2. Children’s Guide to Insects and Spiders
  3. Bugs A to Z
  1. NatGeo Kids YouTube Playlist on Insects
  2. BeatBugs on Netflix
  3. Charlotte’s Web
  1. Watercolor Resist Spider Web art
  2. Bug Hunt Outdoor Adventure
  3. Insects in Jello Sensory Bin
PBS Parents Expert Tips & Advice on Helping Children Overcome a Fear of Bugs
2. Deep Sea Diving: Beach and Ocean
  1. Commotion in the Ocean
  2. Duck & Goose Go To The Beach
  3. National Geographic Readers: At the Beach
  1. Daniel Tiger: A Day at the Beach
  2. NatGeo Kids YouTube Playlist on Deep Sea Creatures
  3. Octanauts
  1. Ocean Zone Bottles
  2. Pipe Cleaner Fishing Game
  3. Ocean Stained Glass
Wow in the Word Podcast: Invasion of the Sea Pickles
3. Rainbow Connection: Colors
  1. Planting a Rainbow
  2. Little Blue and Little Yellow
  3. What Makes a Rainbow
  1. Color Crew
  2. Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow
  3. Sesame Street: OK Go – Three Primary Colors
  1. Printable Cereal Sorting Mat
  2. Scooping and Sorting Lids
  3. Color Changing Flowers
Koala Crate: Rainbows Crate
4. Won’t you be my neighbor? Discovering your neighborhood.
  1. My Neighborhood – Places and Faces
  2. Where do I Live?
  3. A-Z Community Helpers Book
  1. Urban, Suburban, and Rural Communities for Kids
  2. Reading Rainbow: Communities
  3. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
  1. Community Worker Sorting Mats
  2. Post-it Note City Mural
  3. Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
Peaceable Kingdom Friends and Neighbors The Helping Game
5. Creature Feature: Animals and Zoo
  1. National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia
  2. Dear Zoo
  3. The View at the Zoo
  1. Wild Kratts
  2. Zobomafoo
  3. NatGeo Kids Amazing Animals Video
  1. Animal Cracker Counting
  2. Animal Habitat Sensory Bins
  3. Zoo Bingo
Dallas Zoo Summer Adventure Camps
6. Foodie Finds
  1. Eating the Alphabet
  2. The Vegetables we Eat
  3. Thunder Cake
  1. Chopped Junior (on Netflix)
  2. Kids Baking Championship
  3. The Kids Menu Documentary
  1. Paper Plate Pizza
  2. Apple Fruit “Donuts”
  3. 5 senses taste test
Kidstir Cooking Kits and Recipes for kids
7. ABC’s
  1. Alphabet Rescue
  2. Alphabet City
  3. AlphaOops! The Day Z Went First
  1. SuperWHY
  2. Wallykazam
  3. Word Party
  1. Melissa and Doug Alphabet Train Puzzle
  2. Erase the ABCs
  3. Playdoh Letter Mazes
Learning Resources POP for Letters Game
8. 123’s
  1. How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?
  2. Chicka Chicka 1,2,3
  3. Fish Eyes: A book you can count on
  1. LeapFrog: Numbers Ahoy
  2. Cyberchase
  3. Peg + Cat
  1. Roll and Cross Math Game
  2. Rainbow Number Match
  3. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Counting Cards
Learn to Write Your Numbers Dry Erase Book
9. Creative Camping
  1. Fred and Ted Go Camping
  2. Fancy Nancy Stellar Stargazer
  3. The Berenstein Bears Blaze a Trail
  1. The Parent Trap
  2. Peppa Pig: Camping
  3. Clifford the Big Red Dog: Camping it Up
  1. Kid Approved Trail Mix
  2. Handprint Campfire
  3. Bird Finder Binoculars
How to Plan a Fun Backyard Camping Adventure
10. Blast Off! (Space & Planets)
  1. Roaring Rockets
  2. What’s Out There?
  3. The Darkest Dark
  1. Wall-E
  2. Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space
  3. Space Racers
  1. Sticker Stars and Chalk Constellations
  2. Galaxy Sensory Bin
  3. Galaxy Slime
NASA Kids’ Club
11. Sports
  1. Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn
  2. Sports Day!
  3. Llama Llama Learns to Swim
  1. Peppa Pig Sports Day
  2. Kody Kapow
  3. Reading Rainbow Sports Pages
  1. Balloon Tennis
  2. Build a LEGO Mascot
  3. Water Bottle Bowling
Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall at the Perot Museum
12. Back to School!
  1. First Day Jitters
  2. The Night Before Kindergarten
  3. Pete The Cat: Too Cool for School
  1. Emily’s First 100 Days of School
  2. Schoolhouse Rock!
  3. Daniel Tiger: A Visit to School
  1. Simple Shape Pencil
  2. Back-To-School Sensory Bin
  3. Back-To-School I Spy
Edutopia: Back-To-School Resources for Parents

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe summer!

Want more ideas? Here’s another Dallas Moms post on how to Create Your Own Summer Camp at Home.


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