Keeping the kids busy and entertained during the long summer days can become a fun at-home family activity to enjoy while in quarantine. Here are some ideas to get you started.
It is almost halfway through summer and the kids have been home for months. By now, most parents working from home are out of patience and out of ideas. They have surely exhausted their list of fun and exciting activities to keep themselves busy and their kids entertained during the pandemic.
As caution and health and safety measures are still in place restricting movements and activities, it is clear that things will never be the same, and life is not going back to normal anytime soon. Family vacation trips, summer outings, and camps for kids may not happen this year and a lot of parents might be wondering what else they can do especially when the classes are over.
If this sounds like you, it is time to refresh that list and research on some affordable summer activities to keep your children (and yourself) happy, safe, and healthy this pandemic summer.
Keeping the kids cool and entertained during the long summer days will not only help fight boredom but can also become a fun bonding activity for the family. If you are a remote working parent out of ideas, here are some safe, affordable at-home family summer activities for your children to do while you are working and some fun and exciting family activities you can do together on weekends.
Simple activities when you are working
Managing work from home and kids’ schooling is very challenging, more so if it is school break.
You could be wondering, what could the kids do while you try to work? In this time of no playdates, how will you keep your kids occupied and entertained until you can spend more with them?
The key is to have as many summer activities ready for them so you can switch things up throughout the day. As with children, the activities have to be something new, interesting, and fun - something that they will enjoy doing every hour or so.
Drawing, sketching, and coloring
A tried and tested way to keep the kids engaged for hours! Give them a box of crayons, pencil, sketch pad, and coloring book and they will surely be quiet and busy until you finish your work.
You can also be a little more creative and play pretend office. Make use of an old briefcase or a plastic envelope where kids can put their coloring and drawing materials. Encourage them to bring it out and start doing their activity when you start working so they feel part of your workday.
Create a 7-day drawing challenge
Keep them engaged by initiating a 7-day drawing challenge where they have to come up with their artwork per day and showcase their accomplishments by the end of the week through a mini-gallery.
Get them outside to play
Get the kids outside and let them play with some colorful chalks. Teach them how to play hop-scotch or identify an area where they can draw using chalks.
Do scavenger hunt
Get the kids moving as they solve clues and find things around the house. Try doing scavenger hunts! You can easily modify the said activity if you think it will only create mess in the house.
Instead of having them search for things, why don’t you ask them to draw or take pictures of the items that you are looking for. You can also try color and shapes hunt as options. All you have to do is to create colored shapes then ask the kids to hunt for items that match the colors.
Need more ideas on scavenger hunt? Try the one-time hunt where you have to think of items that come in different kinds. For example, challenge your kids to find 15 green-colored items or 10 different types of candies in the house.
Explore virtual activities
In this digital world, gadgets have become a big part of everyone’s life. From the comforts of your own house and lot, make the computer time fun and educational for the kids by allowing them to visit different museums virtually. There are a lot of museums that showcase different art pieces, fun and interesting virtual tours on culture and history, as well as zoos and aquariums that introduce different kinds of animals to kid viewers.
There are so many free virtual tours that they can enjoy that are not only fun, but also educational and kid-friendly.
Aside from museums, you can also access online summer camps and workshops that the kids and the kids-at-heart can enjoy. There are a lot of classes to consider like guitar or voice lessons, chess, painting, and many more. There are also a lot of free resources available online for download or streaming.
Although kids want to have fun in summer (and having fun means playing and not reading books), you can still make it easier and interesting for them to read books this hot summer season. Encourage them to read by suggesting reading lists and giving them prizes for achieving reading goals every week.
Make it look cool by downloading e-books or audio books that the kids will surely love.
Take a few minutes off to enter the world of your kids. Play their favorite game of pretend while enjoying your coffee. Whether you are glamming it up with Barbie, or singing like Elsa, joining your kids during their playtime will somehow clear your mind. It will surely be appreciated as well by the kids that you have given them time out of your busy schedule.
Make some desserts
Bond with your kids (during lunch break or after work) by baking or making some easy-to-do desserts! Check on no-bake desserts, buy, and prepare the ingredients, and schedule the fun activity!
Make sure to record a video of your fun dessert-making activity!
Simple activities for the family
As soon as work hours are over or better yet as soon as the weekdays are over, it is finally time to get everyone involved in summer family activities.
Getting the family outdoors is beneficial for both physical and mental health. According to studies, spending at least 120 minutes a week outdoors has been proven to improve overall well-being and fortunately, this does not even require traveling to far off locations, simply being in the backyard counts!
While there are a lot of outdoor activities that the family can try, going out is still restricted and there are things that the family will not be able to experience anytime soon like visiting theme parks, glamping, and attending sporting events. Good thing, you can still find some fun at-home family activities to try this pandemic summer.
Whether you have a small or big backyard in your affordable house and lot, with a little planning and creativity, you can transform them into a picnic spot, campground, or a place for a trampoline.
If your family loves to travel, this pandemic summer may be especially difficult for you. To help satisfy your wanderlust, you can create themed international picnics with all the food and drinks that you might try in a certain country.
You can do one each weekend and your family can bond throughout the week researching and planning food items to try from each country.
Another option would be to try camping out in the backyard! All you need to do is to set up a tent, cook over a campfire, enjoy your favorite s’mores, and just focus on the beauty of nature. You can set some rules like no technology for the night so everyone in the family can simply appreciate life.
To add to your backyard adventures, you can also try gardening activities with the kids! It is a fantastic family activity where everyone can work together on choosing what fruits and vegetables to grow.
You can also schedule time for the family to tend the garden everyday. This way, the kids can learn how plants grow and how to maintain them. It is also a great learning experience for the kids and at the same time, a healthy experience for the family since you can incorporate them into your meals.
If the family is open to a more adventure-packed weekend, you can also create a backyard water park and enjoy sprinklers, slip-n-slides, water balloon fights, or any other fun water activity set up in your backyard and experience a fun-filled, waterpark day!
Another fun and exciting way to get out of the house without violating social-distancing rules is to go fishing. You can check which sites are allowing family fishing time as well as the requirements and schedule.
This may not sound exciting at first but getting the family into some physical activity and exercise routine will go a long way, especially in improving one’s physical and mental health. You can subscribe to virtual group classes and convert your garage or backyard into a home fitness gym where you and the kids can do different exercises.
Adopt-a-Dog for a week challenge
Moreover, since many of us are working remotely and children homeschooling, there is plenty of time to dedicate to training and playtime. As a family, you can work on teaching the new family member some tricks and work daily walks into your family’s routine.
If you already have a dog in the family, teaching him or her new tricks and incorporating daily walks is a great way to stay active and improve your relationship with both your family and your dog.
Aside from enjoying outdoor activities, you can also try at-home family activities that would require lesser physical movements but same level of bonding and happiness.
Family game night
Schedule a night where you can put your phones away and set up your board games for a night of healthy competition. There are various board and card games to try that are not only fun but also educational and strategic at the same time that will surely keep you entertained for hours!
Get the whole family to cook together! If you miss travelling, this is the perfect time you showcase what you miss eating in your favorite countries or local places.
Try different cuisines! Assign each member of the family a role in the cooking activity. There are a lot of available resources online if you want to explore different recipes.
Who says you cannot enjoy movies at home? If your family is missing movie theaters then movie night is a perfect bonding activity to consider. Try recreating the cinema experience at home - pick a movie no one has seen yet, silence your phone, serve some popcorn, dim the light, and enjoy!
Arts & Crafts
If your family enjoys drawing or painting, try having an arts and crafts night where you can be as creative as you can in doing your own craft. You can paint, crochet, saw, do modern calligraphy, among others.
This COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how families have faced an almost overwhelming challenge adapting to the restrictions, protocols, and responsibilities of life.
However, we should not allow this circumstance to affect our bond and relationship as a family. We should also not feel limited with what we have, where we live, and what the available resources are in our community.
Whether you live in a luxurious home or in an affordable house and lot, you can enjoy similar activities that provide an equal level of happiness for the family.
By incorporating these summer family activities in your routine, you can make this a fun and relaxing pandemic summer with your loved ones.
With a little patience and creativity, the long summer days will surely transform into lasting memories the whole family will forever cherish.
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