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Haley Lieberman

The Eco-Friendly Guide to Backyard Summer Camp

Photo Credit: @minnidip instagram 

Ah…. Summer camp. A fun filled escape for kids and a break for parents who, well, need to escape them (no judgement, please). Unfortunately, with the effects of the pandemic in full force, most summer camp programs have been cancelled. But have no fear – we’ve got tips for a fun-packed sustainable summer, right in your back yard. Can’t go to camp? We’re bringing camp to you.

So, friends.

Welcome to Camp Tomorrows!

Below you’ll find a line-up of eco-friendly kids’ activities that can easily be set up in your backyard for your kids to enjoy with a sibling or solo. The only requirement is sun, fun, and some creativity. No shopping, never. What will you sign up for? Water sports? Athletics? Arts + Crafts or music? Go get ’em, happy camper!

Eco-Friendly Water Activities 


Photo Credits: @minnidip instagram 

Water sports might not have been our go-to activity at sleep-away camp (cold murky lake, anyone?) but when it comes to outdoor fun for our kids, there’s nothing like cold splish-splashing on a hot summer day. No pool? No problem. We’ve got you covered with these simple, sustainable activities. No purchase, use what you’ve got outdoor ideas are below:

Drip Drip Drip

Have you ever played an aquatic version of Duck Duck Goose? Whether you have or haven’t, the game Drip Drip Drip is exactly that. Enjoy it with your family big or small.

Sustainable DIY Slip n’ Slide

Number one fan fav! Got a yard? Just add a painters tarp, pool noodles, and duct tape. And there you have it, a reusable eco-friendly slip n’slide! For some extra fun, put in some dish soap (make sure it’s not harmful to the environment), shampoo, or bubble bath to create a pool of bubbles.

Photo Credit: All Things Thrifty 

Eco-Friendly Product Recommendation

If you or your family is looking to install a pool of any size, check out Modpools. This Canadian based company creates eco-friendly swimming pools made out of recycled shipping containers. Now that would be a highlight for a sustainable at-home summer camp. 

  • FYI: be careful with kiddie pools. Most are made with PVC plastic which is both toxic and non-recyclable.

Zero-Waste Games and Sports

Photo Credit:

Lets get moving! For your little athletes out there, these games are a great way to stay active. Check out these social-distanced outdoor games for kids of all ages:

  • Wiffle Ball

  • Kickball

  • Tug of War (Literally, could there be a better social-distanced game to play with friends?)

We are loving the DIY mini gold course ideas on Pinterest, too.

Talent Show!

Photo Credit:

Try an assortment of our favorite role playing games.

  • Backyard Dress-up: Who doesn’t love running through the sprinkler in a princess costume? Kind of like “Frozen,” but melted.

  • DIY Theatre: Hang curtains from a tree branch, or build a mini stage with cardboard boxes.

  • Explorers: Deck your kiddos in tools, magnifying glasses and flashlights for some very serious scavenging.

Eco-Friendly Arts and Crafts

Photo Credit: Simplify Create Inspire

Crafts over kickball might be your kid’s jam, so why not re-create their favorite station in the backyard by giving them the tools for sustainable crafts?

Some of our camp favorites include:

  • Friendship Bracelets: Any and all types will do! We love letter beads, string, even some macaronis. Share your summer stack with friends and teachers. Why not send a little care package in the mail, camp-style?

  • Flower Crowns with details here.

Photo Credit: Say Yes
Photo Credit: Craftea

Crafting Kindness

We could all use a little extra kindness in our world right now. Encourage your kids to show that motif through their artwork. Bonus: Hang the artwork on your door or porch to thank essential workers.

Photo Credit: Stella McCartney Kids

Sustainable Campfire Essentials

Friends, friends, friends, we will always be. Whether in fair or in dark stormy Covid… Camp Tomorrows will keep us together….


Essential to campfires are the songs, s’mores, and homemade up-cycled instruments.

  • Youtube’s best camp Sing-a-longs 

  • S’mores: Get fancy with organic, go zero-waste with package free graham crackers from your local bulk spot, or keep it simple and traditional. It’s all eco-friendly if it goes in your belly.

Photo Credit: BigOven 

Homemade Instruments 

With eco-friendly DIY instruments, kiddos can upcycle household stuff into one of our most favorite sustainable activities.

Photo Credit: Artsy Craftsy Mom

So, happy camper. What’s your favorite summer memory? Please email us at to share your favorite eco-friendly kids’ summer activities.

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