11 Fun Ideas For Summer Activities With Kids During Coronavirus

11 Summer Activities For Kids At Home
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Many parents look forward to having a list of summer activities for kids to do. But this year, it's going to be different.

If you're anything like me, you may be thinking to yourself, "What in the world am I going to do with my kids this summer?"

I've been asked this question quite a lot these past two weeks.

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After sitting around the table with my family reminiscing about our childhoods, we came up with the ultimate list of recreating our childhood summers — think 1980.

People are calling this time period "The Endless Summer."

School's out. Camps are canceled. Vacations have been halted. Flying seems risky. The past two weeks have been filled with questions and confusion for many families.

You can still make this a summer to remember!

We're in a new and confusing time. 

Is a road trip safe? Is swimming in a pool okay? Can we go camping? What if we fly and no one is really on the plane? Will school start back up in the Fall? School just ended, now what?

The end of the school year is normally filled with exciting transitions, parties, carnivals, fun runs, and goodbyes. This year, it seems like summer fun was replaced by more of the same long days at home. Maybe now with a little more social interaction than previous weeks, but it's nothing like it used to be.

Parents are burned out. Kids want to go outside and enjoy the weather with their friends. There is a great discrepancy between what parents are allowing.

This doesn't feel good to anyone — especially parents who, by and large, don't know where to turn to for guidance on what is safe.

So, what will summer look like this year?

Well, it needs to be intentional.

Parents can no longer rely on the usual summer activities. Instead, look to your childhood for ideas on how to make summer manageable — even memorable — for you and your kids.

To start off, here are 11 summer activities for kids at home.

1. Play outdoors.

Get your kids to play with water hoses, water balloons, tag, cops and robbers, flashlight tag, and freeze tag.

You can even set up a slip-and-slide at home.

2. Family game nights.

Old school-style game nights can include puzzles, playing cards (like UNO), Bingo, musical chairs, kick the can, or stickball.

3. Family movie nights.

Create a list of your favorite movies growing up and create fun movie nights. Include the candy you ate, soda you drank, and, of course, the classic movies you love.

4. Backyard camping.

Set up a tent in your backyard, basement, or bedroom. Then, roast some marshmallows (or microwave them) and make s'mores.

You can also tell ghost stories or try levitating each other by chanting, "Light as a feather, stiff as a board!"

5. Explore the great outdoors.

Visit campgrounds, go fishing, or take a hike for a day or a week.

You can even go tubing, rafting, or some other lake, river, and ocean activity.

Go ahead and let the kids climb trees, skip rocks, and play with dirt!

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6. Build and create.

Use recycled goods — up-cycle the cardboard boxes that are coming in daily. Let your kids create forts, robots, and anything else they can think of.

7. Cooking and baking.

Get an Easy Bake oven, make Rice Krispy treats, try canning fresh jam. Make Kool-Aid, Jell-O, and pudding from boxes.

And if all else fails, make homemade ice pops!

8. Plant a garden.

It doesn't take much space to start a garden. Pick flowers, plants, or vegetables that would be fun to watch grow, and start soon.

It will be an exciting part of your summer to watch what you planted grow. Choose plants you can eat or cut and bring into your home.

9. Put on a neighborhood play or talent show.

For those of you who put on group shows, you remember the fun and excitement that came with them.

Even if you missed out, you can rally your community or family. You can even make a decade theme like the 1950s — think Grease!

10. Ride bikes, go-karts, or big wheels.

Remember the fun of a Green Machine or Huffy Big Wheels?

They still sell them, so treat your kids to the fun that you had as a kid cruising around the block or racing your friends.

11. Print photos and create a COVID-19 summer 2020 scrapbook.

Take pictures, maybe on a Polaroid or a "real" camera, and print them.

Make a summer of 2020 memory book complete with pictures, stickers, art, letters, and memories.

Happy parenting!

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Dr. Sheryl Ziegler is author of Mommy Burnout: how to reclaim your life and raise healthier children in the processFor more, listen to her podcast and sign up for her newsletter.  For parents of daughters, check out her online class, Start with the Talk.

This article was originally published at Notes From The Couch Blog by Dr. Sheryl Ziegler. Reprinted with permission from the author.