These At-Home Activities for Kids are Both Safe and Fun

We’re used to summers filled with barbecues with friends, pool parties, and sightseeing vacations, but the coronavirus pandemic changes things. Despite the disappointment of canceled concerts, events, cruises, and camps,  it is still possible to have a fun summer as a family–and more importantly, stay safe while doing so. Here are some at-home activities to replace those that might be taking a hiatus this summer.

Swimming Alternatives
1. Use a lawn sprinkler. Provided you have yard space, go old-school and haul out a lawn sprinkler for kids to run around in. You might even get the urge and run through it yourself.
2. Get a kiddie pool. It may not be the height of luxury, but in a pinch, an inexpensive kiddie pool is better than nothing! Cool off in one of these refillable plastic shells.
3. Have a squirt gun fight. Sometimes you don’t feel like taking the whole plunge into a pool, anyway. Spritz each other with squirt guns instead.
4. Go to a lake. Pools may be off-limits, but many lakes are still open for public swimming. If there are lakes in your area, be sure check their current swimming restrictions before heading out, and practice social distancing as much as possible.

Vacation Alternatives
1. Camp in the backyard. Roast marshmallows, tell spooky stories, and spend the night under the stars—right in your own backyard.
2. Take a culinary vacation. Can’t travel the world? Bring the flavors of far-flung cuisines to your home kitchen. Once a week, try a new recipe from a place you’d like to visit someday.
3. Enjoy the great outdoors. After months of quarantine, we could all probably use more fresh air. Have a picnic in the yard, take a hike, or go for a scenic drive. Just remember to practice social distancing if you’re going to a park or other public place.
4. Take advantage of virtual tours. Famous sites and world-class museums all over the world have jumped on the virtual bandwagon during Covid-19. Destinations like the battlefields at Gettysburg, the Louvre, and the Smithsonian now have tours available online. Take an educational trip as a family to any of these bucket list attractions.

Party Alternatives
1. Take your party online. A successful online party should have an activity, so recruit your friends for a gathering with a definite agenda (like trivia or games) via a video chat platform.
2. Take your party outside. The great outdoors certainly simplify social distancing. Meet with family for a small socially distanced potluck with plenty of space, or sit six feet apart around a fire pit in the driveway.
3. Have a parade. A birthday boy or girl deserves to feel special! When a party isn’t possible, enlist friends and family to drive by in a celebratory parade.

Summer Camp Alternatives
1. Have a daily workout. Summer camp or no, kids need physical activity! Schedule a time each day for exercise, whether a bike ride, a walk, a dance party, or a kid-friendly Youtube workout video.
2. Bring on the board games. This classic family pastime has a hidden benefit: board games can be good for kids’ linguistic, cognitive, and social development.
3. Try a science experiment. Everyday household items like baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring are fair game for science experiments for kids of any age.
4. Schedule a virtual show and tell with other kids. Young kids love to show off their favorite stuff—a fact quarantine won’t change.
5. Dive into arts and crafts. At-home activities like this might even remind you of your days in Girl or Boy Scouts. You don’t have to be a creative master to help your kids enjoy arts and crafts.
6. Plan a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for kids to find around the house, then set them loose to search for a pink sock, a measuring spoon, a jingle bell, or other simple objects.
7. Crack open a good book. To motivate kids to read, find out if your local library is offering a socially distanced summer reading program for kids. Or, if audiobooks are your child’s preference, tune in to Audible, which is offering many kids’ titles for free as long as schools are closed.

Try out some of these at-home activities today as safer alternatives to traditional summer outings.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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