This is not the summer anyone had planned. Summer vacations have been cancelled, kids camps are going virtual, and everyone needs a break. We have to keep moving forward. It just might all look a little different. The rules have changed, and that means we need to get creative. We have the tools to be safe, so let’s think outside the box and create that summer that we all need. Let’s aim to do one thing productive each day, with a little guidance and routine it really sets the tone for a happy ending for all.
It is proven that being outside is good for our health, not just physically but we mentally also need nature. You do not have to go far, of course, your backyard counts!
-Plant a Garden – Teach your kids what it’s like to make their own food. They love to see what it takes to make it grow. It also teaches them to appreciate where food comes from. And, it is a lot of fun.
-Field Day – Who doesn’t love field day? You can actually buy a field day kit online. Get some sacks (or pillow cases) for your sack race. You just need an egg and spoon for a spoon race. A ribbon to tie two legs together for your kids for the one leg race. There are so many to choose from!
-Backyard Camping – If your kids are old enough, let them stay overnight in the backyard. For the younger ones, set the tent, make s’mores, and let them feel like they are really camping even if they end up in their own bed.
-Picnic – Pretend you are in different places in the world on a picnic. Have snacks and food that take you there. Be in Mexico by making tacos, snack on chips and salsa, and play fun Mexican music.
-DIY Projects- Anything science or messy do these outside.
-Scavenger hunt- Have themed hunts. Print out free maps online. Look for birds, flowers, trees. The options are endless. There is fun and some education.
-Water Park -Amazon has everything you need. Order a slip ‘n’ slide and a baby pool. You already have tons of soap, so use it to make everything super slippery. Water activities are always a hit with the kids and even order a sprinkler attachment or splash pad.
-P.E- Get your kids active. There are tons of great ideas for free on YouTube, also cosmic yoga is great as well. you can play them on a Bluetooth speaker and do an outdoor fun workout
You will have some days when it is too hot, or rainy days that you just want to enjoy being in your home. But, the fun doesn’t have to end.
-DIY-Tye-dye is a huge trend this year and fun for all ages. If you want to make it simple, you can order a kit online. Also, try DIY science projects. This is where they can learn cool stuff but feel like they are just having fun.
-Theater- lots of kids love to perform. Let them recreate their favorite or explore writing their own. You can also show them broadway shows and plays for free online.
-Art- YouTube has endless art projects. Set daily or weekly art classes, so they can get creative. Art for Kids Hub is a great one.
-Chores- Why not give prizes or make doing chores a game? There is a prize for each challenge.
Fun Learning Ideas-
Just because it is summer doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. But, make the learning fun. If your child was going to a specialized camp for music or science, let them still have that opportunity.
-Virtual Summer Camps –Outschool connects you with hundreds of camps and classes all over the U.S. They are also offering some resources for free.
-Peanuts Worldwide- The beloved characters of Peanuts have a free classroom from home platform called-Young Minds Inspired Classroom. There are tons of activities and printouts for each day.
–Audible– You can download any book through audible. Why not start a new book series with the family and make it into a book club?
Virtual Field Trips-
-Zoo’s- You can virtually access most Zoo’s animal cameras on their website. Go to the zoo virtually for the afternoon. My favorite is the San Diego zoo. –National -Parks- American History museum is just one of the thousands offered on google arts & culture. You can access landmarks as well as National Parks. You can zoom in on different features. It really feels like you are there in the room or on top of the mountains.
Themed Family Nights
-Movie Nights- Place movies off a projector. All you need is a simple one you can order online and a white sheet. Set it outside too. Have everyone put their favorite movies in a hat and each week draw a new one so everyone gets a chance to pick one.
-Dance Party- Go through the decades and dance your night away. Dancing is a fun way to get all the stress out, laugh a lot, and get some exercise.
-Scavenger Hunt – Place things throughout your house. Give hint of past trips or clues from summers before to guide them on their way. Bring some happy memories to lead them to each clue.
-Game Night – Play your childhood favorite games. Introduce them to your children.
-Food nights- Ice cream party, pizza night, DIY nachos, Ballgame food
Give Back Night- Gather food for the food pantry, good food for the homeless or neighbors that might be lonely.
-Bake off- Make it a challenge. Here are the 3 ingredients you can use to make the meal. Put teams against each other to create the most creative and delicious meal in a set time. There are tons of options.
-Karaoke- Sing your heart out. There are apps that you can download to get all the lyrics and music for the entire family.