If you’re trying to parent while working from home, you’re not alone. COVID-19 has thrown most of our summer plans out the window and it hasn’t been easy. It can be challenging to try to balance everything, as well as create memorable experiences for your kids this summer. However, with a little creativity and a lot of self-kindness, it’s possible.
Here are some at-home ideas that may work for your family.
1. Create themes
Take a few moments to jot down some topics that your child might enjoy. Maybe they would like to learn about the ocean, dinosaurs, or construction vehicles. Maybe they’ve shown interest in ballet or cooking. These ideas can all become “themes” that could last a weekend, a week, or longer. Then brainstorm some activities that could work for each. Can you print out coloring sheets, do crafts, or eat themed meals? Maybe you could watch a related movie or sing a related song.
Have fun with it! Why not go crazy with a dinosaur fossil dig in a sandbox or backyard? You might even learn something new—it can be a chance for the whole family to explore a new topic together.
2. Go online
There’s no shortage of online content to dive into, and that includes virtual classes and summer camps too. From music to karate, many schools are offering courses that kids can take at home. Look online: you may be surprised at what’s available.
3. Be inspired by nature
Whether you have a backyard or just a balcony, there’s a lot of nature activities you can do. Here are some suggestions:
- Create an outdoor scavenger hunt, with a checklist of things to find (such as “a smooth stone” or “a feather”).
- Grow something, even just a little container garden of herbs.
- Press flowers.
- Go camping in the backyard.
- Make a bird feeder.
- Learn to identify trees, flowers, insects, or birds.
- Make a flower crown.
4. Get active
Backyard games are always a classic! Don’t stop at just throwing the ball around—consider some unconventional ideas such as croquet, badminton, horseshoes, or water balloons. Even indoors, active games like obstacle courses or dance parties can be a fun and healthy way to pass the time.
5. Unwind as a family
No matter what you do, try not to worry about sticking to a rigid schedule, and don’t stress it if you have more screen time than usual. This is an unusual time, and it’s okay to go with the flow a little bit. Try to practice self-kindness: kids don’t require perfect parents. If possible, try to allow some time for relaxing family fun together. Play a board game or have a family movie night complete with snacks: whatever your family enjoys!