12 Super Simple & Ridiculously Fun Summer Camp Activities on a Budget!

Looking for Fun, Out-of-the-Box, Summer Camp Activities that last hours and can be done on a tight Budget?

You’re going to want to take a look at these! I have a mixture of activities. Some take an hour to do to, while others will last an entire day! They range from energetic games, to artistic activities, team challenges, to helping others, and caring for nature.

They’re budget-friendly, easy to explain, low-prep, and just a ton of fun!

An image of my photo scavenger hunt printable for kids. It has the words photo scavenger hunt under a graphic of a pair of hands holding a camera phone thats taking a photo of a group of people. 25 unique challenges are written under that.

1. Photo Scavenger Hunt

This is such a great team-building activity for summer camp, so I’d plan to do it nearer the start of the week as everyone is getting to know one another.

It’s an easy activity to fill a morning or afternoon if you have older kids or teens. Simply hand out a Photo Scavenger Hunt Sheet and disposable camera (or have them use their phones) and send them off.

The winner could be the team who successfully completes all the challenges first, or the team who does the most challenges in the time you set them. Alternatively, it could be the team with the most creative photos! You could even allocate a certain number of points per item based on difficulty level.

If you don’t have time to create your own Photo Scavenger Hunt, or just want an easy, low-prep option, head over to Etsy to grab mine.

Pin text reads, low-prep summer camp activities for kids 8 - 10 and a photo of kids playing football.

2. Mini Olympics

This is a fun ‘whole day’ activity for summer camp.

Split up your kids into a number of teams and have each team choose which country they want to represent. Making up sporting competitions similar to an Olympics doesn’t take much time and will use mostly sporting equipment that you’d have on site.

There are a number of different races and games you could include in this day.

  • Basketball
  • Hurdles
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis (ping pong)
  • Running
  • Football
  • Cheerleading competition
  • Skateboarding

You could add a spin on these to make them more interesting.

One example of this was when my friend, Bexy, threw an Olympics themed party and had us do a fencing competition. The twist was that we fought with loaded paintbrushes attached to long sticks and wore old pillowcases. The person with the most paint on them at the end of the fight lost!

Pin text reads, out-of-the-box summer camp activities for kids 5 -15 and image of kids with a guitar

3. Create a Song about Summer Camp

A fun, light-hearted, afternoon activity for campers to do in teams and then perform around the campfire in the evening.

The camp song could be about the teams favourite activity, one of their leaders, how great camp is, or anything camp-related! If you have instruments they could use those, or improvise and create their own instruments.

4. Baking the Impossible!

A fun baking challenge with a twist!

In teams, encourage your campers to bake an amazing creation designed to look like another object. This could be a cake that looks like a cat, a pie shaped like a hat, or the leaning tower of chocolate brownies! The team with the best creation wins!

Pin text reads, summer camp activities for kids at home and there are 3 images of nature activities for kids: orienteering, planting little plants, and painting in nature.

5. Nature Day

Encouraging kids to connect with Nature is one of the many benefits of a Summer Camp, and these activities are such fun!

  • Make your own Bee Bombs
  • Plant Wildflower Seeds
  • Make a DIY Birdfeeder
  • Plant Trees
  • Make a bug hotel
  • Take Bark Rubbings
  • Make a DIY Fairy Garden
  • Collect Flowers for Pressing
  • Wilderness Skills

Pin text reads, Summer camp activities, 12 easy and low-prep ideas and there is an image of someone on a diy waterslide slip and slide.

6. Slip and Slide

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and this one is amazing!

A Slip and Slide can be made with some big sheets of black plastic, a hose pipe, and a bottle of washing up liquid. This makeshift waterslide is even better if you can run it down a hill, but even on flat ground you can go pretty fast with a decent run up!

An easy way to cool everyone down on a hot day!

7. Giant Obstacle Course

Who doesn’t love a big obstacle course!

You could even challenge the kids to create obstacle courses first before competing on them!

Your obstacle course can be completed in teams as a relay, or by individuals and the best times recorded.

Pin text reads, summer activities for kids 12 easy and low-prep ideas and an image of kids serving cakes at a bake sale for charity.

8. Help a Charity Day

This one is about encouraging our kids to think about others and how they can make a positive difference in the world.

In teams, get your kids to choose a charity they want to raise funds for and then plan a fundraising activity. The winning team is the one who raises the most money for their chosen charity.

This can be done over one day or two days with a planning day and an implementing day, depending on the numbers of kids, ages, and complexities of their fundraising goals.

Some ideas include:

  • A Bake Sale
  • A Coffee Morning
  • A Yard Sale
  • Making and Selling Jewellery
  • A Sponsored Silence / Readathon / Race
  • Lemonade Stand
  • Making and Selling Greetings Cards or Bookmarks

Text reads, kids summer scavenger hunts and then there are two images one of the summer backyard scavenger hunt and one of the beach scavenger hunt.

9. Summer Scavenger Hunt

A Summer Scavenger Hunt is the perfect, low-prep, activity for camp!

It gets the kids outside and running off some energy, they are low-prep for you, and a great way for your kids to explore their new surroundings and get closer to nature. You can create your own, or grab my FREE Printable Summer Scavenger Hunt here!

10. Put on a Play in Teams

A fun, collaborative, activity that can utilise all the different skills and interests of your campers.

This activity will quite probably take a whole day as your teams will be writing a short script, making or improvising their own costumes, designing some simple set, and then rehearsing their plays ahead of the the evening performance to the rest of the campers. Shyer members of the team can write, direct, or help behind the scenes.

11. Den Building

Do we ever really get too old for Fort Building or Den Making?

These dens could be created outside using natural materials or inside using blankets, upside down tables and giant boxes! They can be as elaborate as they choose to make them!

Pin text reads summer camp activities for kids and has a photo of 3 kids holding a chalkboard that says summer camp

12. T-Shirt Designing

Get creative with a plain t-shirt and some fabric pens!

Creating your own t-shirt may sound simple but it is so much fun and a lovely opportunity to be creative and use your imagination! It also provides a lovely keepsake for the children to remember their time at camp.

Fun Summer Activities for Camp

Summer camp has the potential to be so much fun for both kids and adults! These fun activities for summer camp ensure that you never run out of new ideas to try out whether you are running a camp or creating a camp experience for your own kids and their friends at home this year. I add to this list each year so keep checking back for more activities each summer!

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