How to Keep the Spirit of Summer Camp Alive: 5 Easy Activities for the Family

While this summer may feel a bit different, for families with young children, the extra time at home is the perfect opportunity to get creative and explore new ways to have fun — right in your own backyard.

Your kids may not be able to participate in traditional summer camp experiences this season. The good news is that OshKosh B’gosh, the clothing brand that’s been associated with fun over multiple generations, has you covered with camp-inspired games and crafts you can enjoy at home with your entire family.

Introducing Camp OshKosh, an interactive virtual summer camp featuring a series of exciting activities led by camp co-directors, Team OshKosh and Molly Sims, to help families enjoy this summer and make the most of their time together. Consider these ways to keep the spirit of camp alive while inspiring and entertaining your kids over these warm and wonderful months.

Backyard Camping with Molly Sims and Kids

While camping trips may not be on the calendar, your backyard can be the perfect campsite according to Molly Sims and her family. Choose a day with good weather in the forecast and set the stage for your outdoor escape with a tent, chairs, blankets or sleeping bags and some of your favorite books, board games and cards. Grab some easy camp foods like hot dogs, chips and veggie sticks. Don’t forget the ingredients for the quintessential camping treat, s’mores, including chocolate bars, graham crackers and marshmallows, as well as something to cook them on (a fire if you have a safe space or buy a s’mores maker). The whole family can enjoy this together for just a few hours or into the night, complete with a good night sleep out under the stars.

Tune In For DIY Guitars

DIY rock-and-roll guitars are easy to make with construction or wrapping paper in assorted colors, tape, rubber bands, glue, empty paper towel rolls and scissors — and everyone can customize their own if you provide stickers, sequins, beads and other glue-on bling. Start with a guitar-sized rectangular box and a paper towel roll that can represent the body and neck, using tape or glue to cover each with decorative paper. Cut an oval-shaped hole in the body, tightly stretching five rubber bands across the hole enough so they twang convincingly. After cutting a small circular hole on the topside of the box, slide in the paper towel tube as the neck. Finally, glue a pencil or elongated cardboard piece under the “strings” to create better sound. Now plan out the national tour for your family band.

Let’s Paint a Rock Garden

Remember your own childhood and unleash your kids’ inner artist by setting up an outdoor art studio exclusively for the painting of rocks. All you need are smooth stones in various sizes, paint brushes, acrylic paint or paint markers, a paper plate or palette for mixing paint, paper, a pencil and/or fine-tipped permanent markers and a work surface that can accommodate a mess. Start by brainstorming designs, perhaps seeking inspiration through books, magazines, household objects, clothing or the Oshkosh website. You may wish to sketch out designs on paper to ensure they fit onto your rocks of choice. During painting, go easy on the application and let each coat dry for 2-3 minutes before resuming. Use the fine-tipped markers to add final details. Camp counselor hack: For best color coverage start with one or two coats of white paint, and consider setting up paint-by-number designs for younger artists.

We’re Off to the Race Track

In this variation on the simple chalk drawing, kids use even more imagination by drawing and adding features to a life-sized “racetrack” through which they can ride their bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller blades or battery-operated kiddie cars. The path can wind around your driveway, cul-de-sac or any other paved area that’s safe for kids to ride around on, and it should avoid sharp turns for reasons of safety. Encourage your kids to draw in or otherwise add traffic signs, stoplights, billboards, bridges, ramps, stores, gas stations or other elements that suit their fancy. Camp counselor tip: The drawing part may be easier if you duct tape the chalk to the end of a broom or pole first.

Yum, Yum, Fun Toast

Break the rules and mess around with your breakfast, lunch or snack by staging a creative Toast-a-Rama. You provide the toast, perhaps spreading it ahead of time with peanut butter or avocado so the artworks begin with a slightly adhesive base. Then you offer up multiple edible media with which to experiment — fruit, cheese sticks, apple slices, pretzels, cereal or other foods with interesting shapes, colors and textures. Some of the best options may be easily configured into ears, eyes, noses, mouths and hair. Remember to take pictures before devouring your masterpieces.

For more information about finding fun activities for summer, visit and follow @oshkoshkids.

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