If you’re like me, your summer plans have changed a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My summer vacation went from Canada to cancelled. But, I’m lucky - I don’t have any kiddos at home that are counting on me for their summer entertainment. But, I know many of you do and many of you may have been counting on summer camps welcoming your kiddos. For those of you rethinking plans to send your children to summer camp or if your camps were cancelled altogether, be sure to see if your favorite camp has switched to offering a virtual version. If not, check out these great ideas to keep your children busy all summer long.
Stamp Your Passports – You don’t have to travel overseas to experience the fun of getting your passport stamped. Introduce your kids to geography and have fun traveling to unexplored places in your home, yard and neighborhood. Pick up a bunch of different stamps and ink pads at your local craft store. Follow clues and travel to find stamps hidden in different places:
- Clue #1 – This country is the most populous in the world. Answer: China (hide stamp in the china cabinet)
- Clue #2 – This U.S. state is, not only the largest in area, but it’s also the iciest (glacial ice that is). Answer: Alaska (hide stamp in freezer)
- Clue #3 – The Great Pyramids are found in this middle eastern country. Answer: Egypt (hide stamp in anything shaped like a triangle – a plate, a paper weight, a lamp shade)
- Clue #4 – This country shares the longest border in the world with its neighbor America. Answer: Canada (hide stamp with your maple syrup)
- Clue #5 – This desert is almost the size of the U.S, and is the largest non-polar desert in the world. Answer: The Sahara (hide stamp in a sand box at your local park or school)
Once found, your kids can stamp their passport. There are a ton of printable passports online or you can make your own with this Passport Template
Go Geocaching - It’s known as the world’s largest treasure hunt! Geocaching uses a smartphone app to find hidden "caches" in your neighborhood. Caches are containers of all sizes that may be camouflaged to blend into their surroundings. Inside there will be a logbook to sign or some caches even leave trinkets inside to take or trade. Geocaching.com tells you how to download the app and lays out geocaching basics. The site also lists millions of active geocaches worldwide, so you should be able to find several good caches just about anywhere.
Get Slimy - What child doesn’t love gooey slime? Be creative and have messy, gooey fun making slime balloons, slime cakes and slime rainbows. Bonus – slime is a great stress reliever for adults too! For safer slime, check out this link: How to Make Slime
Get Your Kids Cooking - Want your kids to get excited about the food on their plates? Let them help make it! Try out a few of these tips from the experts at Food Network to see how quickly you can turn your resistant eater into a budding chef!
- 1. Decorate plain aprons as a weekend art project. Then during the week, the kids will be excited to wear their aprons while cooking and taking ownership of meal making.
- 2. Look through cookbooks and recipe websites together. Have the kids choose a few recipes they would like to try making.
- 3. Take them grocery shopping with you. Let them pick out a new fruit, vegetable or meat to try with dinner tonight.
- 4. Assign age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen, like measuring ingredients, pressing the button on the food processor or overseeing the kitchen timer.
- 5. Taste everything together. Talk about the colors, textures and flavors of ingredients. Then talk about how they're different after being cooked.
Splash & Play Outside – Splash into summer by taking a dip in your own inflatable pool. They come in all shapes, sizes and prices to fit your family and your budget. No pool, no problem! Your regular old lawn sprinkler can provide hours of fun. Play Freeze Tag by having the kids run and dance around the turned-off sprinkler while you man the tap. Turn the water back on and players must freeze (yes, in the spray) until you turn it back off again. Any player that moves while the water is on (no matter how shocking the cold water is) is out! If your yard has extra space, try a Slip ‘n Slide. Check out this link for making your own Insane Backyard Slip ‘n Slide If you prefer to stay dry, spend time in your own backyard. Backyard scavenger hunts and obstacle courses are cheap and easy to plan. Of course, running around and riding bicycles are great options too.