Summer family fun- social distancing style
By Breanna Callahan, Marketing Coordinator
I don’t need to tell you this summer is a unique one. With businesses slowly reopening and social distancing being so important, many children’s activities and family vacations are canceled. This causes frustration and sadness in many. It’s ok to feel that way; this has been a long, isolating, frustrating road. But right now we have to do what’s necessary to keep ourselves and those we love safe. So, how can we make this summer fun?
- Make your own water play areas at home. Pools are opening, but if you are like me, you aren’t quite comfortable with sending your kiddo there yet. There are many ideas for making your own splash pad or even your own slip and slide (with a tarp) online. I have been checking for small kids pools but they are such a hot commodity they are hard to come by. At this point, we just hook up the hose and play “water tag” or even use the water as a jump rope. And don’t forget about good old fashioned water balloons and sprinklers!
- Go to the park. In order to make it easier for social distancing we go right away in the morning. When we get home, we make sure to wash our hands. Also, we take hand sanitizer with us to use. I am not encouraging you to go if there are a bunch of other people there, though. I will say when we are there, things feel “normal.” It’s such a fun way to get moving and enjoy playtime outdoors.
- Camp in the backyard. So, you might not be able to go to your favorite hotel or campground. You can still grab your blankets, and tent if you have one, and spend a night under the stars! Don’t forget to sing those silly campfire songs!
- Participate in online summer library programs. Many libraries are doing great things this summer. From story time, to craft activities and reading contests. This is a great way to keep your children reading this summer.
- Play sports at home. Even though your child might not be having soccer camp or t-ball, you can still practice these things at home. There are great YouTube videos containing drills and lessons to help kids practice their sports skills.
- Create a scavenger hunt or try geocaching. Not sure about geocaching? There is a ton of information online about it. Hunt for treasures outdoors, bring on the sunshine, fresh air, and detective skills.
- Rediscover fun backyard games. A few ideas include beanbags, croquet, lawn darts or ladder ball. I’ve even seen giant versions of Jenga, Yahtzee, and Connect 4. Throw on some tunes and have some fun!
- Attend a virtual summer camp. There are many offerings based on your child’s is interests- whether it’s a traditional summer camp, or based on a game they enjoy or a skill they want to learn. If they enjoy learning about animals, many zoos around the country are offering summer camps and Facebook Live events. There is a fee associated with some summer camps, while others are free.
- Backyard picnics are the best! Kids love planning the menu. And eating anywhere besides the kitchen table is a special treat, right?
- Try out some new summertime treats. Making new recipes involves creativity, math, and taste testing! A few summer treats you can try are homemade ice cream, pudding pops, and lemonade. Our kid loves to squeeze lemons and add the sugar (probably more than necessary) for lemonade.
A few final tips for summer fun include don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray. Also, we encourage you to continue social distancing, wear a mask if you are in a crowded space, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
Remember, this summer is unique and especially challenging. Though it may not be the “best” summer with the most fun activities, and it is going to definitely feel different than we are used to, we can still create memories. Do what you can, do what works for you. Be safe. Have fun!