As kids are spending more time than ever at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new initiative is helping parents with fun tips to keep their kids entertained throughout the summer.

A group of parents and teachers has created Backyard Camp to share free daily and weekly newsletters with activity suggestions to help run your very own camp-like program at home.

Parents will receive both indoor and outdoor suggestions based on the age of their children.

Backyard Camp co-founder Erin Elfassy is a parent of three and says the idea for the newsletters came after talking with other parents about possibly not having access to summer camps this year.

“We know we need routine for our kids,” Elfassy told CP24. “We know we need to keep them active and busy so we thought about putting out a newsletter to help parents and caregivers and reduce the stress of trying to figure out what you’re going to do with your children all day long.”

The Ontario government announced last week that day camps will be permitted to operate during stage 2 of reopening. Most regions will be in stage 2 as of Friday, except for Toronto, Peel and Windsor.

As many parents are struggling to keep their kids entertained right now, Backyard Camp offers a helpful resource to find creative and affordable activities for kids to enjoy.

“We have a team of teachers helping us with the activities,” Elfassy said. “All of us as co-founders are parents that have tested these with our own children. We have also in our pasts been camp councillors so we come with a wealth of ideas.”

Outdoor activities include making an obstacle course using items around the house, such as hockey sticks, hoola hoops and a basketball net. An obstacle course can also be created indoors using pillows and broomsticks.

As for indoor activities, Elfassy said arts and crafts is always a big hit. One idea is decorating greeting cards with shaving cream, paint and marbles. The painted marbles can be used to stamp the front of the card with different designs and patterns.

Elfassy also suggested that kids can make and colour their own costumes and put on a play for their family, and painting coffee filters to make butterflies is another easy activity that can be done on a rainy afternoon.

To sign up for the Backyard Camp newsletters visit the group's website or Facebook page.