Without a doubt, this 2021 summer holiday will look quite different for most families and will be anticipated by most people. Many trips and summer camps have been suspended. Therefore, it is necessary to get creative and look for the best summer activities for kids to enjoy as a family. Here, we present several ideas to enjoy the upcoming summer.
Virtual Summer Camps
Many companies that offer vacation courses decided to change their modality to give more security to parents and their children. Now you can find camps and courses online for kids of all ages. The virtual camp helps children to have a different experience at home and that they can also socialize with other children their age. Kids can sign up from countries other than the United States. Most kids will receive lessons and engagement on crafts, music, yoga, and art.
By the summer, several natural parks and reserves should hopefully begin to receive visitors again. This is a safe way to spend time with your family, as you don’t need to be in large groups. A walk can be arranged along the trail. You can also have a picnic or camp. It is important to carry all the necessary items in order to avoid contact with other people. In addition, you must be prepared for the weather, both for cold and heat, and bring an extra change of clothes. Another option is to visit private reserves that offer lodging and food services and that limit their capacity to a few visitors.
Organize a Scavenger Hunt
This is one of the most entertaining activities to do as a family and everyone can participate. For this, it is not necessary to leave home. This game can be played inside the home, particularly on the patio, if you have one. It is ideal to hide an object and organize teams. The organizer will place clues and challenges so that each team can reach its goal. The winners will be those who find the treasure faster and a prize can be given such as medals and trophies. The kids can choose the evening meal or dessert or receive a small gift.
Your family can take advantage of the summer months to learn new recipes and also to instill healthy eating habits in children. In this activity, all members of the household can be involved and responsibilities can be distributed so that everyone is part of the creation of a different dish. The little ones can be in charge of gathering the lettuce or mixing the ingredients with a spoon and washing the vegetables. Older children can contribute by cutting or chopping vegetables and seasoning meats. During the process, children can be invited to try new products to broaden their palate and prevent them from always looking to eat the same thing.
Sometimes, we forget that our children are full of potential and abilities, which they can only develop in a timely manner if we are willing to create an environment that facilitates that development and constantly challenges them. This is why we often remove them from spaces or activities that we believe could result in tragedy, such as accidents while using a bread knife. However, let’s be calm and keep things proportionate because this doesn’t have to happen. Participating in the preparation of food makes them feel important (even if they are still very small) and also makes them aware of the tasks that parents have to do every day for them and for everyone in the family.
You can choose a recipe a week together to prepare as a family and enjoy it too. Depending on the tastes of your children, the recipes will surely contain certain ingredients, but this is a good time to encourage them to try those things that they would normally say no to.
Board Games or Movie Nights
It is time to dust off Monopoly, Ludo, Checkers, or Chess. Sitting down to play with your children is a rich experience than you can imagine and any game is a perfect excuse to spend time with them. Board games are one of the most entertaining activities for families. Different alternatives can be found so that all members of the household can participate. Dedicate one night a week to these games. There are also some applications with questions or challenges that you can do at home. Each night, you can choose the favorite movie of one household member or you can watch a series. In the end, families can talk and discuss the characters, the story, and what they learned or enjoyed. It is important to take age into account when choosing an option. In addition to board games, you could sign up for one of the good Minecraft server hosting services to allow your kids to play their new Minecraft game. Be sure to play the game with your children and not just leave them to do it on their own. It could turn out to be fun for you.
You can do an artistic exploration, indoors or outdoors. If you are in your living room, be sure to protect the furniture so that this is a positive experience for your children. You can also take the materials to the park and take advantage of nature as a reason for learning. The different shades of green in the leaves, the shape of the trees or of the birds, are great stimuli that can help them develop their talent and artistic qualities. They can work with paint, markers, pencils, colors, India ink, crayons, collage, clay, chalk, and anything else they can think of. Each session can be about the material and the best way to use it.
Although we all try to consume less plastic or other materials that are not kind to the planet, there is always a bottle or can that we can give a new purpose, using a little imagination. For this, you must take into account the age of your children to be clear about what part of each project they can carry out and which ones will require your help. Together they can build boats, planes, cars, magic castles, spaceships, or entire cities using bottles, toilet paper cones, boxes, DVDs, masking tape, glue, paint, and a few scraps of fabric. They can also put together unstructured materials such as objects to thread, transfer, build and thus help with their fine motor skills. Here you can get super creative and use clothespins, plastic tubes, shower curtain rings, measuring spoons or cups, bottles, plastic lids of different colors, rubber bands, cans of milk or formula, and ice cream sticks.
Play Water Games
Summer is hot, and what children (and adults too) want most is to cool off. If you have a garden at home or a patio, the logistics are simpler than you imagine. If not, surely there is a park or square near your house where your children and their friends can play freely. Get some sponges, cut them into strips, tie them from the middle and you have some great “water bombs”, which (unlike balloons) can be used over and over again as long as the body asks to cool off.
– Team races. With some large sponges (like those for washing cars or the ones you made for the little bombs), some basins and water, you can organize the best races in the neighborhood. Form two teams (or more) and place a water basin at the start and an empty basin away from the first. The idea is to load the sponge as much as possible and transport the water to the empty basin. In the end, the team that fills up more and faster the far punt wins. You can also do it with those glasses in which the cereal with yogurt comes (so you are reusing single-use plastic).
– If your children are very young, you can prepare some containers with water and some objects that have opposite characteristics, such as strainers and glasses, translucent materials, and others not, etc.
– Paint with colored ice. Use baking coloring, you can make ice cubes in a bucket. Do not forget to put some ice cream sticks so that they have a place to hold the ice without getting too messy.
Parents can use the summer months to complete kitchen remodeling home projects. What better way to do this than to include the kids. You can make them contribute to things such as cleaning their rooms and passing the hammer while you drive a nail in the wall. You could even take your kids to the hardware store with you to buy the materials you are going to need for your home project. This can be fun, but also a learning process as you explain what each tool does and how you will use the materials. If you have a large painting job, then it might be best to hire a local painting service, but you can still allow your kids to watch while the job is done by the expert and ask questions. That is how they will learn.
Whether you are competitive or not, you can involve your kids in sports activities throughout the summer. This is a way that you will become informed about what your kids like and how competitive they are. It is also a fun activity to go to the closest high school track and start a round of racing to see who the winner will be. You could also take your children to the batting range to try their hands at baseball batting. It could even be a golf course where they have miniature golfing. Don’t be surprised if your children love a new game that you introduce such as hockey, golf, basketball, and racketball, just to name a few. Purchase sports team lanyards for the kids to represent teams such as New York Yankees and the Chicago Bulls, for example.
If your child is interested in playing a musical instrument such as a piano or drums, you can purchase the instrument and give lessons in your home. You can let each child take turns in trying to outdo the other in a competitive way. As a parent, you should also participate so you can show the kids that you are really cool and that you might be a good piano or drum player. The kids will love the fact that they are doing something so fun with you and it will give them the urge to learn more about this new instrument. Giving your kids music classes is a way to spend time with them.
You can buy fishing supplies and plan a fishing trip with your kids. To make them feel important, be sure to buy them their own fishing kit and fishing rod. Check out the weather forecast and choose a day when it is sunny and nice. Choose a location that allows fishing. You can fish on land or you can go out in a boat. If your child does not catch any fishes, then you can plan another trip. The summer is long and you will have time to go fishing more than once with your kids.
Paddleboarding is another activity that you can try with your family. If this is the first time and you have no paddleboards, you can consider paddleboard rentals. This is a favorite water sport for many people, especially those who love the ocean. By doing this activity with your family, it will encourage them to like the sport too. The sport is a combination between kayaking and surfing. For that reason, waves aren’t really necessary in order to use the paddleboard. In fact, it is best to keep the kids in calm water, if this is their first time. You can divide everyone into teams and race across the ocean while remaining in the flat water.
Finding New Restaurants to Try
It can be quite fun to go online with your children to search for new restaurants in the area that you want to try with them. You could give a prize to the child that finds the most restaurants. You could go a step further and have them complete a worksheet with the name of the restaurants, the address, phone number, and a little blurb on what kind of food is offered. It can also be done while driving around town. Go to places where you have never been to check out the location with your kids and go into different restaurants to ask questions or to sit down and eat. Choose restaurants that offer Italian cuisine. It could also be a Hibachi restaurant if your family would enjoy the live cooking demonstrations, or a steak restaurant if they prefer some comfort food. Let the kids make their own choices. Have your kids take pictures of the meal and later do an exercise where you compare the different restaurants and their menus. Make a promise to your kids to return to the restaurants that stand out the most. They will love that.
There are a lot of options when it comes to summer workshops or useful things to do for both girls and boys. Some of these include swimming, surfing, dance, painting, sports, mini chef, exploration of fossils, collage, languages, little scientists, and more. All of these are interesting, fun, and educational. Can you imagine having your children fill all day, five days a week, with summer workshops? Luckily, all activities can take place in your living room, dining room, patio, or in a park near where you live. The only thing that is needed is time, desire, and a list of activities and games that you can do with your children. Let the summer begin!