Let’s be honest. This is a strange summer. With many recreation activities canceled or significantly altered because of this year’s pandemic and social distancing guidelines, families need to be creative to keep their kids energized and engaged. Never fear! Here’s a list of activities to create a memorable summer for your kids:
- Organize a family Olympics. The summer Olympics were supposed to be starting in Tokyo later this month. Instead, you can bring it to your back yard! Each family member can choose a country to represent and then participate in several competitions. They can be physical, like a race or throwing balls in a bucket or mental like a board or card game. Keep track of the winners and host a medal ceremony at the end!
- Create a fun summer reading program. Just because school is over doesn’t mean kids should turn off their brains. Reading is a great way to stay sharp through the summer months. Create a goal of eight or ten books by Labor Day. Then sit down and figure out each child’s preferred genre. The goal is to find a topic or two that will energize your reader so it seems more like fun than a chore. Then go through your stash and check local libraries (if they are open) to find options.
- Plant a midsummer garden together. Most people think you need to start a garden in the spring, but that’s not the case. There are several vegetables that can be planted in July and even August that will grow in time to harvest in the fall. The list includes beets, broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, kale, peas and turnips. Even if you already have a garden, start a new one!
- Host a bake-off. Divide into teams (or individuals if you don’t have enough) and search for a cake recipe to bake against each other. Go bold! Tackle a recipe or design that will challenge you. If it works out, you get to eat some yummy cake. If it doesn’t, you can post a funny picture of your not-so-great attempt.
- Make a time capsule. This is a good idea, but especially interesting during a unique time in your life like right now. Besides the normal time capsule stuff, jot down some of your feelings and predictions for the future. It will be fun to look back and compare against what really happened. Don’t forget to set an open-by date so you can look forward to celebrating your family history.
- Go on a scavenger hike. Hiking is fun, but hiking with a scavenger hunt twist is even better! Map out a route and make a list of things to find while you are on the trail. Make some of the items easy and some of the items hard. You can even mix in some geocaching while you are at it by looking for pre-hidden treasures. Check out https://www.geocaching.com/play to learn more.
- Take a moon walk. Gather some bug spray and flashlights and go on a walk after dark. Some very interesting creatures roam the ground and sky when the sun goes down. Watch for bats, owls, foxes and more. Just make sure to keep proper distance and select a safe location for your walk.
Don’t let this unique summer keep you from making amazing memories. With a little imagination, you might be able to make it the best summer ever!