The last several months have been unlike anything mankind has experienced in the last century! While 80 million American households found their children suddenly sequestered at home since March, parents were forced to scramble for ways to maintain the academic rigor that comes with attending school on a daily basis. Parents need summer ideas for kids.
Now, school is out across the nation and the many activities that are normally available to children including camps, summer school, sports and more – continue to be out of reach. So, parents must find opportunities that will keep children occupied and happy while also ensuring their health and safety! That’s a tall order! This blog will provide eight great ideas that are sure to fill your needs!
1. Create an Exercise Routine
Create an exercise routine and stick to it each day. The quarantine has been lifted (for the most part) but social distancing is still recommended. The good thing is children and adults can now venture back outdoors. Engage in healthy activities such as bike riding, stroller walking, and running. Get a city map and identify different areas that may have historic value and will enhance the family’s knowledge of their local community. Get books on fowl and foliage and participate in scavenger hunts to identify popular trees, birds and animals. In other words, get outside and move.
Most libraries will be running a reading program for the summer even if the building itself remains closed. Check their homepage and sign up to participate in the events planned for your children’s age group. Most libraries will have curbside service but there are online resources that will allow your child to access the material from home. Keep them reading.
3. Write (or Draw) a Book
The internet has created dozens of opportunities for children to write and be published. Conduct a search for magazines or publishers that accept children’s writing or art work. The greatest surprise is that there are many companies such as Scribblitt that will publish your children’s work for a nominal fee!
4. Internet Summer School
Many organizations have placed their summer camps and summer schools online. Although children may be a bit ‘internet weary’ after months of online learning these activities are designed to be more fun and interesting than the normal school curriculum. They are definitely worth investigating! Take the time to look at multiple options. Some will be free, and others will charge a nominal fee. Allow the children to choose one or two but emphasize they must complete their chosen activities.
5. Family Game Night
Hold regular game and puzzle nights as a family. The quarantine should be looked at as a blessing in disguise! Now, the family has the opportunity grow closer together and build cherished memories in a whole new way! Card games such as Old Maid and Uno, board games such as Payday and Chutes and Ladders, and puzzles that may take several nights to complete are all fun, absorbing and challenging activities that are sure to be memory builders as well! There are also many fun online games that will get the whole family involved in everything from dance moves to trivia. Have fun!
6. Invent a Product or Business Together
Encourage your children to exercise their entrepreneurial skills! Invite them to sit down and brainstorm ideas for businesses or products that would be valuable in this pandemic environment. There are many online outlets that will purchase your ideas or direct you to an organization that would be interested in the product or concept, and plenty of kids’ inventions have already been turned into real products. You could also find a way to manufacture the item or develop the concept in your own home and then create a website for sales. This allows children to develop their economic, math, creativity and real-world knowledge. A win-win for everyone!
7. Support your Community
There is no better time than the present to teach your children how to help others. While it is still advisable to social distance – children can contact neighbors through messaging boards and other means to learn if they can provide support. The elderly are the most vulnerable to the disease so direct contact is unadvised. But speaking to them online, writing letters, doing some of their yardwork, pet-sitting or pet-walking, taking food to their homes and leaving in on the doorstep and ordering groceries are just a few of the ideas that teach children the value of ‘giving back’. There will always be options for supporting your community.
8. Cook Together
Develop their culinary skills. In this ‘fast-food’ nation we have found the need to stay home and create meals from scratch. Now is the time to drag out grandma’s family recipes and make cooking a family experience. There are dozens of online cooking programs that will take children and grownups through the basic steps of creating meals from scratch. Create family menus that include children’s input. Take turns with all the steps of home cooking including preparation, presentation and clean up.
That’s it for our summer ideas for kids. If we look at this current climate as a way to strengthen our families – it will allow us to create lasting memories! Enjoy the summer!