Your children’s summer vacation should be a time for them to relax, play and explore — but those traditional experiences aren’t exactly possible when there’s a global pandemic. While you may not be able to send your kids to sleepaway camp or keep them busy with a sports league, it’s still entirely possible to have a little fun this year.
Here’s how to keep your kids occupied this summer:
1. Cook and Bake Food Together
This summer can be a wonderful opportunity to teach your children how to cook and bake. They don’t have to be a certain age to learn from this experience. As long as you involve them one way or another, it’s a beneficial chance to convey a new skill. Plus, you’ll find that this time helps you and your kids build a stronger relationship. You can even use these moments to implement healthy habits, which lead to happy, positive attitudes overall.
Don’t be afraid to make a mess! A hands-on approach makes for a better experience.
2. Make a Home Art Studio
Children can always benefit from a creative outlet. A home art studio allows your kids to express themselves daily. They can stay occupied with different art projects throughout the week. You don’t need to have an extra room to make an art studio. You can create a workable space on your kitchen table or outdoor patio. Make sure to create a storable art kit with pencils, paints and paper you can stow away.
Let your kids create their own artwork so they don’t have to follow any rules. A guided project can be enjoyable, but it’s always fun to see what they come up with by themselves.
3. Go for a Family Hike
You can still explore the outdoors safely despite COVID-19. This activity can keep your kids healthy with regular exercise — and it’s always fun to pick up mysterious rocks and jump over puddles as you walk through nature. You’ll want to choose a short hike that lasts no more than a mile, so your kids don’t become worn down. It’s also essential to pick a less popular location to avoid other hikers.
A weekend hike can be a terrific way to let your kids explore nature on their own terms. Feel free to incorporate some facts about trees, water and other outside elements to make your hike more educational.
4. Build a Backyard Garden
Here’s an effective way to engage your kids throughout the summer. A backyard garden can provide you with delicious home-grown herbs and edible flowers. These ingredients will keep your meals healthy and flavorful. Plus, they can teach you and your family more about nature. Your kids can play around with soil as they watch their work blossom before their eyes. What’s more fun than dirty fingers and grass-stained clothes?
These hands-on encounters with nature can open your children’s minds to knowledge that they’ll use forever. Try to stick with plants that don’t take too long to grow. Otherwise, you may not be able to enjoy your hard work.
5. Start a Summer Book Challenge
Your local library may not be able to host its annual summer book challenge, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read at all. You can put your own spin on this experience at home. You’ll want to work with your kids to pick different genres for their age groups. Try to curate a mix, so they don’t have to read similar books each month. You can then set up a calendar to keep everyone on track.
Some children can experience a knowledge deficit when they leave school for summer break. Activities like a book challenge can keep your kids’ minds sharp. If your kids have to read an assigned book for school this summer, you’ll want to include that as well. Feel free to make this experience more fun with rewards and incentives if you wish.
6. Have an Educational Movie Night
You probably won’t be able to endure summer without a few movie nights. That’s okay! Media can help viewers absorb information, so why not try a few educational movies rather than another “Frozen 2” rewatch? You can choose from kid-friendly documentaries about animals, nature, sports and music. Feel free to let your kids think up a topic they want to learn more about and see if there’s a relevant film or TV show to watch.
Try to supplement your kids’ favorite TV shows with at least one documentary a week. You can even try to find media that focuses on lessons your children may learn this school year. You might end up learning a few facts, too.
Keep Summer Fun With These Experiences and Activities
Your kids can have a memorable summer even if you need to spend your time at home. Try these ideas to engage their minds and keep them occupied until it’s time to return to school this fall. You’ll create lifelong memories along the way.