Have the Summer Time Blues been keeping your school-age kids down since school ended? Has social distancing made your entire family restless? We all know why… because of Coronavirus schools have ended the year early, summer camps have been canceled, and open daycares (especially the ones with summer programs for older kids) are difficult to find. The kids are climbing the walls, complaining they are bored and driving all of us parents crazy! How will you keep your kids busy for the entire summer?
Summer Schedules For Kids
If you’re like me, you are desperately trying to find your “new normal” while juggling your job and stressing about how far behind your kids might have fallen while they were homeschooling with stressed-out parents. It’s time to find a summer schedule for your kids or activities to keep them busy. Especially if their summer day camp is no longer an option.
So where do you start? And who has the time to figure all of this out right now? I certainly don’t. But, since I have already done some of the legwork researching this blog, I’m taking a “we’re all in this together” point of view and sharing the best boredom busting ideas I have found.
Once you or your kids choose their favorite activities, create a schedule, and stick to it! Pick certain activities for certain days so each day of the week is a little different. Trust me, if you need time to focus on working from home, you need your kids to stay busy with as little assistance from you as possible. Here are a few ideas…
Summer Activities For Kids
If you’re reading this, your probably looking for summer activities for kids close to home this year. And by close to home, I mean in or around your home. So what is a parent to do when most of us are dealing with kids who have their noses glued to a screen all day? …Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right – if you can’t beat them, join them!
Play and Learn at Home
A family book business that offers free downloadable activities and coloring pages for toddlers to kids up to age 11. Check back weekly for new themed downloads.
If you don’t know who Mo Willems is, your kids will! This kids’ book author/illustrator will teach your kids how to draw all of his book characters in 15 short instructional videos.
Do it yourself Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math projects that are fun for the whole family!
A problem-solving game created by Youth Services Librarian Sydney Krawiec from Peters Township Public Library in McMurry, Pennsylvania. A former teacher, Sydney created her first virtual escape room for her Algebra students years prior. For this game, she utilized the same concepts to create this version with a Harry Potter theme. Play with one or more participants.
A self-described former NASA engineer, YouTuber, and friend of science posts educational STEM-themed videos. Warning, these videos are super cool and addicting. You can easily watch them for hours… or at least a very long time (working parents, you’re welcome)!
STEM-themed camps for grades preschool through 9th grade. It was recommended by one of my co-workers whose child has attended one of their physical camps for a few years. This summer they are offering the same programs as virtual camps!
This STEM camp is completely FREE! Created by the website, wonderopolis.org, that poses an intriguing question each day then explores it in a multitude of ways. Camp Wonderopolis is a continuation of this idea in the form of a virtual camp. It’s full of interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by experiments to make learning fun!
A virtual summer camp for your teen(s) that is also free! It started in May and lasts for four consecutive Mondays. From first glance, it looks like your kids can join in on the fun any time because all four assignments are posted online. The four assignments include exploring the world with Google Earth, learning a new language with Google Translate, taking a virtual vacation with Google Arts & Culture, and creating an animation using Scratch coding.
Virtual Field Trips
Take a self-guided tour around The National Aquarium Denmark. Known to the Danes as Den Blå Planet, this aquarium is Northern Europe’s largest. The Danish Architecture firm, 3XN’s 2013 building design was inspired by the shape of a whirlpool.
Virtually visit one or more of our National Parks and historic sites from anywhere! From their webpage take a journey to Crater Lake National Park, The Statue of Liberty, Clara Barton National Historic Site, and so many other National Park locations!
Take a 3 minute, 360° virtual reality tour of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Use the video’s arrows to rotate to a different view. If you’ you’d rather discover this 324 meters tall tower from different perspectives, click the onsite visitor’s guide.
A low Earth orbit research lab commonly referred to as the ISS. It was created by five space agencies from the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia. The next best thing to traveling to space is virtual touring the modules of the ISS. As of June 2020, 16 modules comprise the space station (9 United States, 2 Japanese, 4 Russian, and one European).
For more virtual tours of museums, zoos, and theme parks, Good Housekeeping magazine has compiled a helpful list.
Family Fun: Geocaching
In most instances, Geocaching is a free activity that can be fun for the whole family. It’s the perfect way to encourage your kids to get away from their computer screens and explore the outside world.
How to Geocache
Geocaching is a relatively simple activity. Using a cell phone, or other GPS device, families from all over the world can search for “treasures” hidden in obscure locations. Once the Geocache container is located, Geocachers are encouraged to take something someone has left in the container, and leave something of equal or greater value in its place. Last, they sign the logbook and return the geocache to the exact location it was found. To keep track of their finds, Geocachers log their experience at www.geocaching.com or in their Geocache app.
Where to Geocache
There are approximately three million Geocaches in 191 different countries around the world. They can even be found in Antarctica! The only place they cannot be found is in North Korea, where it is illegal to own or use GPS devices like a cell phone.
Another Outdoor Activity
If your child prefers the outdoors over a tablet, here are four fun ways to teach your kid how to garden.
GourmetGiftBaskets.com is a family-owned and operated small business, located in scenic Seacoast, New Hampshire. Known for our delicious gourmet gifts and, most notably, our Halloween, Christmas, and Easter gift baskets. Many of us are also parents, trying to maintain our sanity while working from home during this “new normal.”