It's that time of year again, yes the dog day's of summer are in full swing. The children are finishing up the year and graduations dot the calendar. Like many families, preparations are taking place to determine what to do this summer. Why not send the kids off to summer camp and give yourself a much needed vacation away from the kids? Perhaps you could enjoy a few days relaxing in peace in quiet, or take a day at the spa. Whether you send the kids to a established summer camp or decide to take them camping yourself, here is five fun ways to entertain your children this summer.

Ghost stories around the campfire – If you plan on taking the kids camping then you can not miss the classic that goes back through history as one of the many favorite activities to do while camping. Get the marshmallow's and hot dog's ready, it's time to scare the children. Browse the internet for some scary stories that are easy to remember, but pack a punch. Being prepared with a good story is vital to keep the action intense and the children entertained and interested.

Nature Hike – Kids are chalk full of energy and one way to burn off some of that energy before the evening sets is to send them off on a nature hike. Travel in a group to a selected destination, or set out and separate into pairs and make it a race or marathon. This is sure to tire the kids, keep them entertained, and provides a few hours of fun. Make it more difficult by completing tasks along the way or by finding certain items.

Scavenger Hunt – The good ole scavenger hunt is a sure classic. Bring a bag or box full of small items you can hide, or just locate things in the forest, camp ground, or mountains to add to the list. You can try riddles, fill in the blanks, trivia, etc. to keep the game fun and interesting. This summer camp activity is one of my personal favorites as you must work it like a puzzle with a time limit to complete it successfully.

Fishing – How can you enjoy a camping trip without a day of fishing. Find a local stream, river, or lake and grab the fishing pole and tackle. I know as a kid my father took me fishing once a week and it was some of my most memorable and enjoyable times of my childhood. If your fishing trout, bass, or many other types of edible fish then you can make it a learning experience and teach them how to clean it and cook it for dinner.

Bug identification – So your in the forest with a group of kids that are driving you nuts and your second guessing your camping trip? No worries, send them scattering about trying to locate and identify the thousands of bugs crawling around the area. You can give a list of ten or twenty and try to get them to find them all, or you can look for certain ones in groups. Some easy choices are black ants, grass hoppers, slugs, grubs, moles, crickets, frogs, etc. Add some rare ones to keep them looking. You can also swap this out for certain types of tree's, leaves, exotic plants, or whatever you choose.

Regardless of your choice, starting the camping trip with a preplanned agenda will keep your family entertained and your boredom at bay. Remember to bundle up, apply sun screen, and bring first-aid in case of an emergency. These kids camp activities should keep your children excited, engaged, learning new things, and provide them some enrichment in their time off this summer.

Source by Christopher M Reed