Bringing Summer Camp Home – Activities to Keep Your Children Busy and Engaged Over the Summer
Posted on July 21, 2020 by CHS
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the summer landscape for many parents. In an effort to flatten the curve and safeguard the health of the community, many of the children’s summer programs that parents rely on have closed or reduced their enrollment. However, there are still plenty of summer time activities and experiences parents and child care providers can create for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are a list of summertime activities you can easily create for your child or children in your home.
Instead of discarding those stained white t-shirts, save them for your first tie-dye project! Kits can be purchased at your local crafts store or online. This activity will allow your children to express their creativity and exhibit their artistic talents all summer long. Be sure to wear clothes that you will not mind getting a little dirty and rubber gloves for this activity, as it has a tendency to get a little messy, making it perfectly suited for the outdoors.
Ice Cream Social
There is nothing like sharing a cool treat on a hot summer day. Gather a few bowls, some ice cream, and your favorite toppings and hold your own ice cream social with your children. This activity is all about presentation! You can prepare toppings in muffin tins and have your children form a line to craft their ice cream treats. Have young school age children practice their math skills by counting the number of scoops of ice cream everyone has or counting the number of toppings they have on their own ice cream serving. Once everyone is enjoying their snack together, you can also talk to the children aboutother summer activities or interests they might have. For a healthier twist, you can use flavored yogurt and an array of fruit toppings.
Journaling or Scrapbooking
Journaling or scrapbooking can be an excellent way for children to record and reflect on their summer days before they have all passed by. All they need is a notebook, something to write with, and some colored pens/pencils. Encourage your children to write about their day. What did they do? What was the weather like? Did they try anything new? You can also encourage your children to draw and color what they felt that day. You can take this activity a step further by helping the child take or draw pictures of their surroundings and then asking the child to write about why they chose the pictures.
Backyard Camping and Taking it Outside
Though much of our time is currently spent indoors, there are still plenty of activities you can do outside of your home. For a change of scenery, take a camping trip in your backyard. Telling stories, using flashlights, and making s’mores will really set the scene for this ageless summer activity. Regularly spending time outdoors can be beneficial to physical and mental health. Adding fresh air and natural light to each day will help reduce time on the couch in front of the TV. Walking, bicycling, and even just sitting on the porch and chatting can make for a change of pace.
If you are looking for an excellent sensory activity to do with your children, try making homemade playdough. There are many recipes online, some involving light cooking and others requiring no cooking at all. Ask your children to help you gather the needed ingredients and let them measure out what the recipe requires. An added benefit to this activity is that your children will incorporate elements of science and math as they create something that can be used for creative play. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully and properly store playdough to make it last.
Share Campfire Stories via Walkie-Talkies
Though neighborhood sleepovers may be out of the question, you can still share campfire stories in a creative way! Share a set of well-powered walkie-talkies among your child’s neighborhood friends; the closer the children are, the better depending on your walkie-talkie’s range. Have the children participate in a camp story session just before bed-time. Your children will enjoy the community atmosphere combined with the interplay of using a walkie-talkie. This activity also helps children learn to take turns in conversations as they have to push a button to speak and release it to listen, plus the unique quality of walkie-talkie audio makes for an excellent listening experience. If necessary, keep a spare walkie-talkie handy to announce “lights out” or jump in at the perfect time to surprise your kids!
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