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Hi, friends! I’m really excited to welcome my good friend, Kristie, as a guest blogger today! Kristie has two boys that are roughly the same ages as my older two boys…so needless to say, we have a lot of very active play dates together and we share a lot in common!

Kristie{Kristie with her boys!}

Kristie is an experienced educator who taught at Millstone of Ivy while attaining her Master’s degree in Education. She also taught at The Peabody School and for Albemarle County Public Schools before ultimately deciding to stay home with her own children and open Charlottesville Beautiful MINDS Preschool. Kristie’s preschool is an amazing resource for families in Central Virginia, and for the first time this year she is even offering summer camp options for local preschoolers.


kristie-and-s_thumb.jpg{Look! I even found this old pic in the archives — Kristie holding MY newborn baby Spence!}

Most importantly, Kristie is an incredibly loving mother and a dear friend, who was kind enough to answer my request for some fun summer ideas for regular ol’ moms like me! I can’t be the only one who is in a slight panic at the thought of having all 3 kids at home all day and BORED for the summer. These suggestions for How to Create Your Own Summer Camp at Home should get us all off to a good start!

Summer Camp at Home

Warmer weather is here just in time for you and your little ones to explore the environment nature offers. Using the clues Mother Nature provides us; your child can explore all of their senses with a Nature Week. Activities can include nature walks where your children can learn about insects, plants, the elements and more.

Discover the great outdoors as little campers during a “camping-out” themed day. Using fallen bamboo reeds from our neighborhood and bungee cords, you and your little ones can create a teepee. This winter’s snow may have left large fallen limbs – a great alternative to bamboo reeds. Have them help you hold the lightweight reeds while you secure them at the top. Use imagination to tell stories in your teepee nature house or gather logs and make pretend fires that “roast” your marshmallows on sticks.

Kristie Teepee

A Nature Scavenger Hunt can be a great way for your child to get in tune with their senses by exploring their environment while exercising some competitive spirit. The good news for you, nature has provided most of the materials you need! You can either print or hand-draw the items available in your yard or neighborhood on a sheet of paper. Issue the sheet and a crayon and see which child is first to find all the items. Some of the items may be fleeting, bugs, birds, butterflies. Have the children describe what they saw. This will help to exercise recall memory, communication and imagination.

Kristie Body PartsSource

Kristie Scavenger HuntSource

Being outdoors is a great time to exercise with nature walks. Start this day with painting walking sticks and decorate nature wands for our nature walks. Painting uses your child’s imagination as well as fine motor skills. Prepare you young ones for the adventure they’re about to embark with their walking sticks and nature wands (while the paint dries). Then let nature frame your narrative while you all talk about what you see.

Kristie Walking SticksSource

Kristie WandsSource

In addition to outdoor fun, your kids can enjoy some indoor camping without bugs. Build your own indoor tents from a Discovery Kids Build and Play Construction Fort. Share camp stories, enjoy camping snacks and create your own camp fires. Of course, there are also plenty of other arts, crafts, and sensory play activities to include as well. It’s also a perfect opportunity to discuss fire safety!

Kristie Camp Fires                                            Source                                          Source                                           Source

Here are some fun snack ideas to go along with the theme of your summer camp:

Kristie Snack 1Source

Kristie Snack 2Source

Kristie Snack 3Source

Plus a few arts and crafts ideas:

Kristie Crafts 1Source

Kristie Crafts 2Source

Kristie Crafts 3Source

Sensory Play Options:

Kristie Sensory 1Source

Kristie Sensory 2Source

And don’t forget the Camp Stories!

Kristie StoriesSource

Kristie Story StonesSource

Start your planning now for a fun summer at home with your little ones! And if you’d like even more ideas and themes, visit Charlottesville Beautiful MINDS Preschool, LLC on Facebook or head over to the school’s website.


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. Love these ideas, every year I look for fun and creative things to do and I feel like I have hit a little jackpot! 🙂
    Thanks so much Blair for sharing these on Making Memories Mondays! 🙂

  2. Great ideas! I have four kids and was actually thinking about hosting a summer camp. Linking up through the Linky Party!

  3. All the pop ups make it so hard to maneuver and learn from your website….it’s overwhelming and even intentional to mislead ur consumers.

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Marilyn. The pop-ups are how we make money and are able to continue to share so many free recipes. However, we do understand they can be bothersome and will look into their positioning. We hope you still enjoy our recipes!