Your local recreation centers may not be running camps this year, but don’t lose hope - there is a solution. hosts live week long virtual courses from a wide variety of genres and there is something for everyone. Have a kid who loves to tell stories? Try a creative writing course. How about a little one who absolutely loves to help in the kitchen? There are multiple cooking class options. Want something more STEM related? Try some computer based programs, science based
programs, or even college-prep courses. You can exercise more than just your kid’s mind, too. Try one of the dance or yoga classes for a kid who just can’t sit still. With the amount of options, you can solve the ever-present groans of boredom with the simple click of a button.
Students can choose their course, you can pick the week that works best, and they’ll interact not only with the instructor, but with other students as well. Courses are available for all different ages, so check them out and let’s bring the fun back to summer!
Need a solid bit of time to yourself? Scavenger hunts are a great idea. They’ll keep the kids relatively quiet as they become occupied with task after task. Have them carry around a basket for items, or give them a disposable camera to collect pictures. They get to check off items as they find them. Elect a prize for completion of the list (it can be something as simple as a small treat like a popsicle). You can even turn this into a way to get stubborn kids to clean up their rooms or playroom. List each item to be cleaned up as a task, and see them get excited to put away their things.Click for our version, and here for a blank you can fill in yourself!
In times like these, social interaction is more valuable than ever before. Gather a group of friends willing to exchange addresses and assign each kid one of the other’s. Have them handwrite letters, postcards, greeting cards, etc. You may need to help out young ones with this, but they can always draw a picture or make a small craft to send instead.
Teach them to fill out an envelope properly (a lost art for their generation, I’m sure) and help them attach a stamp. Check the mail daily to wait for a response and see their faces light up when they receive a piece of mail with their name on it!
While I’m sure you’re trying to avoid the amount of time your kids spend watching videos online, there are some really cool and enriching things out there for them to experience.
For the animal fans: try watching beluga whales at the , witness the sea otter cam at the , or check out the puppy playroom live stream by the . For the history buffs: consider taking a tour of the or the G . For the earth enthusiasts: tour the Mammoth Hot Springs, Geysers, Mud Volcano, and more at .
Puzzles have never been cooler than right now. They’re great for occupying long days stuck indoors, and keep minds sharp and interested. Imagine your kid’s face when they get to put together a puzzle that they helped create! There are sites where you can have puzzles made with your own images. Take a favorite drawing or even a photo of a pet or loved one and see it become an interactive game.
Scan your drawing and upload the picture to have your very own puzzle printed. Want a cheaper option? Check out pack and draw right on it! (Tip: tape the backs of multiple puzzles to make an even bigger one to draw on!)
Here’s one that they can work on over a longer period of time. Try choosing a task a day and let them cross off what they’ve accomplished. Some require planning, others can be done right away. Arrange prizes for once they finish a line or the entire board to keep them motivated! If you have multiple kids, encourage them to complete different tasks to see who gets a line first!
Click for our version, and for a blank you can fill in yourself!
Have your very own little bookworm? Try your hand at organizing a virtual book club for friends near and far (that’s the benefit of having it online!) Get a group of kids together who love to read and create a list of some books that are equal to their combined reading levels. Assign a book a week, every 2 weeks, or every month - depending on their reading speed. Once they finish, have each child create 3 questions they want to discuss about the book. Then, over your favorite video conferencing platform, set aside a time to meet and talk about what they read!
For a fun added bonus, coordinate drinks and snacks related to each book they read for their meeting, to make them feel even more connected.
Do you have piles and piles of cardboard boxes mounting in your living from all of your Amazon purchases? No? Just me? Well, for those of you who do, put them to good use instead of just waiting for recycling day. Help out the kids with the cutting, but let them tape and arrange the boxes into a truly awesome fort. Get some markers and colored pencils and let the kids “draw on the walls” for the first time ever! For some cool inspiration check out videos.
Once it’s completed, grab some blankets and pillows, a lamp or flashlight and have yourself a camp out!
One of my favorite pastimes has always been going to the movies. Getting tickets, popcorn, and watching on the big screen are all things I’ve taken for granted now that I’m unable to do so. It’s a solid activity that keeps kids cool and entertained on hot or rainy days, and there’s no reason you can’t recreate that in your own home. Vote on a movie together, or have each household member put their choice on a piece of paper and choose from a hat. Have the kids set up a booth to sell tickets, popcorn, candy, etc. Get comfy and cozy and ready for showtime!
Don’t forget to make and decorate your own movie tickets, or download our template , and just fill in the details!
Let’s be honest, we’ve all spent way more time in our pajamas that we’d like to admit during this pandemic. It’s going to be quite the rude awakening when we all have to start changing into real clothes. To ease us all into it, I propose Fancy Fridays. Don’t let the title deter you, I’m not suggesting we all wear tuxes and ball gowns (though I fully support this option as well). I’m suggesting that every Friday (or Monday, or whatever day works for you,) get up in the morning and change into something other than pajamas or sweats. It will make you feel more in control, more put together, and more capable of conquering the day - something made difficult for a lot of us during this time. For your kids, it’ll bring back a sense of normalcy that they may be craving.
Make this a little more fun for them by doing a weekly fashion show, or maybe even have the kids choose an outfit for you. Let’s be honest, no one’s going to see you in it anyway!
Times are challenging for all of us, especially those of you with kids. You may find yourself out of work, or working from home, with kids who require constant attention. With so much else to worry about, having a bit of fun and staying entertained shouldn’t be one of those. Hopefully some of these help ease a little bit of that stress, and get everyone back to enjoying their summer!