COVID-19 has put a halt on mostly everyone’s summer plans. Families are not taking their previously planned vacations because of financial strain, travel restrictions and most importantly wanting to keep everyone safe. This doesn’t mean that you have to let COVID stop the fun you and your children can have together. Here a few out ideas on things you can to not only to keep your children occupied, but to build positive happy memories in a time where a lot of people are anxious and worried about the “new normal.”
Scavenger Hunt Hike
Scavenger hunts are fun, easy and FREE! Depending on the day & time, local hiking trails can be empty and a fun place to have your kids let out some energy. Make it fun by coming up with a list of nature related finds they can search for along the trail and offering a small prize once they’re done.
Stay at Home Camping
You don’t have to go far to go camping with your family this summer. Local CT campgrounds may be open depending on current COVID-19 status, however if that’s not your thing stay at home and camp! If you have a backyard you can set up a tent and spend the night out with your family. Brand new tents can be cheaper than bringing a family of 4 to the movies on the weekends! You can have a night of fun right in your own backyard using blankets from your house, games, flashlights and anything else you can find.
If your kids enjoy science the CT Science Center has uploaded “Science at Home” activities on their website to keep your young STEM geniuses busy. From Movie Mondays to Virtual Field Trips, they have it all. To check out all of the options, visit the CT Science Center Website!
What is geocaching? It’s an outdoor real-world treasure hunt. Participants have to download an app on their smart phones & register for a free account. After this, you and your kids can follow GPS coordinates that others leave to find hidden treasure. There are rules to geocaching, so make sure to do your research before taking any of the hidden items. Children should be supervised at all times when geocaching. For more detailed information about Geocaching, check out this article from REI Co-op.
Make Homemade Popsicles
Popsicle molds are easy to find in the store this time of year! You can buy your favorite fresh fruit, blend it with unsweetened coconut milk or vanilla yogurt & fill the mold to have healthy fresh fruit popsicles. Your kids will have a healthier snack option and they can be proud that they made them!
Tie Dye Shirts
Tie-dye kits are also fun right now. They come with everything you need to create tie-dye masterpieces, the only thing additional you’d need to purchase is the items you want to tie-dye. You can get creative and tie dye t-shirts, headbands, pillowcases, shorts, etc. You can purchase tie-dye kits at most stores includeing JoAnn Fabrics and Amazon.com.
Any way you choose to spend time with your family this summer is great! Get creative! COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone to navigate, but it does not have to stop you and your family from spending quality time together. Your children are going to remember the time you spent being creative, doing things together. Enjoy!
Janet Peterson, LCSW
Behavioral Health Clinician/Manager
StayWell Health Center