The weather is warming up and we see across the nation some retailers starting to open their doors with precautions and using social distancing. While our nation is not fully out of this pandemic, many Americans have been in quarantine and are ready to experience a change of scenery. As a parent, I had lots of great plans for my two active boys for this summer: various summer camps, swimming lessons, and playdates. Unfortunately, most of these programs will not be hosting children this summer. Therefore, I have come up with some great ideas for the whole family to try this summer while continuing to practice safe social distancing:
As temperatures start to warm up across the nation, there is no doubt that going outside is a must on many families to do list. Families can explore a new park and enjoy the hiking trails. Plan outdoor picnics or even host a social distant picnic with family and friends. Planning an outdoor scavenger hunt or creek stomp is also a fun way to get everyone outdoors this summer.
Travel Around the World
While most families will not be travelling to new countries this summer, a great way to show your kids the world is through a virtual around the world experience. Families can choose various countries to discover each week, make unique cuisines and do special crafts pertaining to the country.
Set Up a Summer Camp
Setting up a summer camp at home can be exciting for some and a bit daunting for others, but with good planning it can be a fun family experience. I found the best way to do this is to make a schedule for each day of the week and within each day divide up between indoors and outdoors activities. Each week can feature a different theme and activities pertaining to the theme. Setting up a “summer camp” at home will make the days enjoyable and will keep kids busy all day.
With most pools closed or opening late in the summer, whether you have a large backyard, patio or balcony setting up a retreat to have that “pool” feel will make summer feel much more like a vacation. Grab an inflatable pool, some pool toys and games, and a towel.
When the weather starts to really heat up and you have exhausted all other pool and sprinkler ideas, and are looking for something new why not try some water activities? A water balloon fight is a childhood classic. Bike or care wash, water balloon pinata, DIY slip n slide, water obstacle course and ice cute chalk painting are all great ideas to try this summer.
Set Up a Campsite
Camping at home whether in your backyard or indoors can be a fun and unique alternative to the usual camping trip. If you’re able to safely camp outside in your backyard, you can set up tents, a bonfire to cook dinner, make s’mores, and tell spooky stories.
Outdoor Games and Sports
Do you have kids who love sports and competition? Unfortunately, lots of summer sports have been canceled. You can set up your family’s very own soccer field, or maybe a baseball field. There are lots of great competitive obstacle courses as well that can be put together in your backyard or indoors.
Sensory Bins and Quiet Time Boxes
Sensory bins and Quiet time boxes provide opportunities for kids to build their fine motor skills and for parents to introduce a new subject to learn and it keeps kids entertained for hours. There are all sorts of great ideas such as using colored rice or pasta, water or sand, shaving cream, or cloud dough. The possibilities and themes are endless. A great site that I enjoy using is Little Bins little Hands, it boasts lots of great themes and ideas.
Library Program at Home
Every summer our public library hosts fun reading programs for adults and children, like most libraries across the nation our library will be closed or offer short hours to pick up books. A great way to keep a fun summer reading program at home is to set up a little library station. With every book or number of pages read; it allows your child to earn a little toy, stickers, or a yummy treat. Also, if your local area has the little free libraries, visiting different ones around the city makes a great opportunity to “check out” new books.
Act of Kindness
With everything going on around us, having kids participate in a Random Act of Kindness each week during summer will give them a sense of feeling good that they made someone’s day special. One idea that I will be having my kids participate in is the “You’ve been RACK’ d” act. It was originally designed for Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, but I think during this time a lot of individuals need something thoughtful in their lives. The idea is to purchase a gift card, basic groceries, toy, or whatever your children would love to get and leave it either at a public place or a little free food pantry. There are lots of great random acts of kindness ideas that you and your family can participate in.
I hope these ideas help your family have a great summer. What are some great ideas that you’ll be participating in while practicing social distancing this summer?