School’s out for summer, but this summer break is shaping up to be very different from what you and your kids are used to because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many childcare centers, summer camps, and entertainment venues are closed, leaving a lot of parents feeling stressed over the idea of keeping their kids busy and happy all summer long.
Every suggestion in our list below is designed to happen at home or at a local park (while social distancing, of course!). Here are some ideas:
Camping in the backyard has become a surprisingly popular activity since the start of the pandemic. Even if local campgrounds are closed because of the pandemic, you can still have fun setting up the tent in your backyard. No sleeping bags? Don’t worry about it—just bring out some blankets and pillows from the house. And of course, be sure not to forget the most important part: s’mores supplies!
Embark on a Summer Reading Challenge
Check with your local library or school district to see if they’re hosting a summer reading challenge. If not, start one yourself, or find one online. For a bit of friendly competition, invite your kids’ friends to participate, too.
Start a Garden
Planting a flower or vegetable garden with the kids is a great way to teach them about the life cycle and environmental sustainability. Plus, you may even help them develop a green thumb that they can use throughout life. One great thing about gardening is that it isn’t a single-day activity—this one will keep you all busy all summer long, as long as you get the kids involved in the whole process, from planning to planting, weeding, harvesting, and beyond.
Lay Out a Blanket for a Picnic
If you feel like you’ve been spending too much time indoors, head out into the backyard or to a local park for a picnic. Ask the kids to help pack supplies or maybe even prepare a snack for the picnic spread.
Hold a Movie Marathon
Set up a fort indoors, prepare some of your favorite snacks, and get cozy for a movie marathon. This one is great for hot afternoons or rainy weekends.
Head Out for a Scavenger Hunt
For a fairly simple activity that doesn’t take much prep work, kids love scavenger hunts. You can even add an educational twist by making the activity nature themed. Start by making a list of natural objects that can be found either in your backyard, your neighborhood, or at a local park or beach. Then print a list for everyone and head out to see what you can find.
Tip: For little kids, consider making your scavenger hunt color themed, where you ask your little ones to find an object to match each color of the rainbow.
Have a Dance Party
Most kids love dancing, especially when they see their parents getting involved. Whether you’re all dancing it out to an upbeat playlist or learning a dance routine that you’ve found online, this is an excellent way to get some exercise while having fun together. Don’t forget to film some of your best moves to share with friends.
Safety is important all the time, but especially these days. If you’re heading to a public space for any of these activities, make sure to bring some hand sanitizer, wear masks, and follow social distancing guidelines. Find more safety recommendations from the CDC here.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.