Welcome ROCmommas, ROCpoppas, and Friends!

Have fun with your kids - that's what it's all about. If you're looking for fun places to go in Rochester, NY (ROC), awesome
crafts to make, and yummy treats to bake with your kids - as well as some ideas for Date Nights - then you've come to the
right place. Welcome to ROCmomma. Happy reading, and please share your comments. Thank you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Backyard Summer Camp

Are you home with your kids for the summer? Looking for distractions and things to do to keep everyone happily occupied? I have some solutions for you!

Yes, I love my kids and I love being able to stay home with them...but sometimes (okay, a lot of the time), I need some help. My plan was to be prepared like a camp counselor for this summer, so I came up with 10 weeks worth of activities to get us going. Actually, 11 weeks, just in case one of them doesn't work out. Feel free to come along for the experience: Backyard Summer Camp with ROCmomma!

I've included some reading and writing time in all the plans. One more item we are including is to visit BedtimeMath.org for a daily math problem (available for three age ranges). Take that, "Summer Slide."

10 weeks: June 24 – August 30, 2013

Step 1: Choose 10 themes your child(ren) would enjoy. Examples:

Step 2: Brainstorm some activities that coordinate with the theme. Be sure to include a variety of activities, including:
  • ·      Some active, high-energy activities for outdoors
  • ·      Calmer activities that could be done inside or outdoors
  • ·      Field trips
  • ·      A trip to the library for books about the theme
  • ·      Some “writer’s workshop” time to come up with your own story about the theme. This could be just a few sentences; then let the child(ren) illustrate what you’ve written together. 
  • ·      Write down more ideas than you think you’ll use in the week, this way there are back-up plans and so that your child(ren) has/have options.

Step 3: Use the Internet to find additional activity ideas.
If you are tapped out of brilliant activities, use a searchengine, Pinterest, or consult your favorite blog or magazine web site for more ideas.  Be sure to check local eventcalendars - including your local library, too. You may find some festivals or other activities that fit in well with some themes, or ones you just won’t want to miss. See below, and stay tuned this week for lots of ideas to get you started!

Step 4: Find a fun way to select the weekly theme and the week’s activities.
  • ·      You could write each theme on a popsicle stick and place the sticks in a container. Have the child(ren) select a stick on Sunday night to determine the week’s theme.
  • ·      Or make a paper chain, writing one theme on each paper link. As you end the week, pull off the link and see what comes next.
  • ·      Write each theme on a piece of paper; fold them up and place in a jar or a beach pail. On Sunday night, let the child(ren) select a theme.
  • ·      Write each theme on an envelope and decorate with coordinating stickers. Place all envelopes into one large manila envelope; let the child(ren) reach in and choose one for that week’s theme.

Step 5: On Sunday, check the weather to determine the best days for your field trips, outdoor activities, and indoor activities.

Step 6: Accept the fact that the kids will guide your activities & your list will just get you started. Keep the camera handy and have fun!

We picked our first theme for this week: Wacky Sports. We started out this morning by setting up materials for Ping Pong Ball Art. 
This morphed into finger painting...
...which then turned into painting handprints on the trees (it's non-toxic, washable paint)...
...and using them as targets for water guns. 
Anything goes, as long as we're having fun and no one is whining! Here is the list we started with for this week:

Wacky Sports

Active Play
  • ·      Obstacle Course (set up anything you have around the house for kids to go over, under, through, and around)
  • ·      Soccer – with a volleyball
  • ·      Floor/Street Hockey – use brooms!
  • ·      Baseball – run backwards around the bases
  • ·      Basketball – throw underhand
  • ·      Frisbee – use your opposite hand to throw and catch
  • ·      Frisbee golf (decide on the holes, such as: hit a tree, between a swing’s chains, into a garbage can, onto a chair, etc.)
  • ·      Volleyball – with a balloon
  • ·      Football – with a sprinkler on in the middle of your “field”
  • ·      Horseshoes
  • ·      Cricket
  • ·      Bocce Ball
  • ·      Kickball
  • ·      Punchball
  • ·      Mini golf

Quiet Play
  • ·      Ping Pong Ball art (ping pong balls, paint, straws, paper, drop cloth)
  • ·      Design a pennant for your favorite sports team
  • ·      Use sports-themed foam stickers to decorate a foam visor (available at craft stores)
  • ·      Make LEGO sports equipment
  • ·      Read books about sports
  • ·      Write a story together about playing on a sports team. Let kids illustrate. 

Field Trips
  • ·      Fly kites
  • ·      Play mini golf at a family entertainment center
  • ·      Go to a minor league/local game
  • ·      Go to the library for books about sports or a sports team
Have fun, and be sure to Post a Comment about your fun plans this summer. As always, thanks for reading!


  1. This is SO amazing Kim, your ideas are so creative. I'm trying to pin things for work - can I pin directly from your site or just repin from your pintrest?

    1. Wait, just kidding, realized you just need to click the pictures, oops!


Blogging tips