With summer plans looking a little different than usual, here are some ideas for keeping kids’ minds and bodies active all summer long.
Camp at home: As a way to keep your child busy and have the summer camp magic with them during the summer, make your own form of camp right in your home. Put up an indoor tent or make one out of pillows and blankets. Along with fun activities, this will make your child feel as if they are right back at camp.
Science: Camp is about learning while having fun. As a way to learn in an entertaining way, have your child participate in STEM challenges by going on the Connecticut Science Center website, https://ctsciencecenter.org/. This website offers an at home series that has some challenges and virtual field trips that will keep your child having fun, while still using their mind. The center also offers camp in a box which includes programming and mindfulness activities led by educators. Each box has a theme and fun experiments to engage your child.
Arts: Along with friendship bracelets and gimp, some other camp-inspired art activities you can have your child make are tie-dye and home-made slime. While slime can be a bit messy, this recipe is safe as it uses contact lens saline solution instead of Borax as an ingredient. Along with the contact lens saline solution, grab some baking soda and Elmer’s white glue to make the slime. Washable paint, glitter or beads add color and texture to the slime.
Go Outside: It isn’t truly summer if you don’t spend a few hours a day outdoors. Whether it is in your backyard or at a park, your child needs some fresh air. At home, to add some extra fun to this outdoor experience, set up a backyard scavenger hunt or obstacle course. Bike rides and hikes are also great options to add some fun to your child’s day.
Hikes: As a way to make a hike a learning experience, have your child come up with a list of animals, plants, birds and more that they want to see while hiking on a trail, such as the Riverbound Farm in Cheshire, or walking around your neighborhood. You can also find pre-made lists on Pinterest for hiking scavenger hunts. Once your child sees an item on the list, have them cross it off. At the end, see how many things your child saw while walking or hiking. This will make the walk/hike an interactive experience for your child. Encourage your child to come up with items that corresponds with science experiments they are working on. This will help them connect what they learned to the real world.
Obstacle course: While outside, challenge your child to build a new obstacle course out of at-home items each week. You can even make an obstacle course out of items from the Dollar Store. See how fast your child can go through the course. Maybe make it a challenge and see who in the family can get through the obstacle course the fastest.
Homemade bird feeder: Birding has become a popular activity throughout COVID-19 and kids can get involved by making their own bird feeder. After putting up the home-made bird feeder, have your child see just how much the birds will love this project. Seeing hard work pay off will be heartwarming for your child.
Gardening: Another outdoor activity that is a fun learning experience is gardening. You can have your child plant their own flower or vegetable and maintain it throughout the summer. If you have a family garden, have your child help take care of the garden with you. Teach them different jobs to do in the garden each day. This way, your child can feel a part of a grown-up activity.
S’mores: S’mores is always a sweet and fun activity to do once the weather is nice. Roast some s’mores and maybe have a nighttime camping trip in your backyard. Set up a tent and watch some movies under the stars.