With the (home) school year winding down, I am sure there are many parents sighing a sense of relief. One less (or many) thing(s) to be responsible for! With that however, comes a new obstacle of finding ways to keep children busy and entertained for the summer because, well… this summer will be different.

Here at WhatFriendsDo, we know having kids home all day every day can be a lot. The energy can build up and surpass any level of energy that you could ever fathom having, and sending them out the door every hour isn’t always an option when you have to be there to make sure they are safe.

We wanted to put together a list of options for you to consider this summer for your children or for those of a loved one who may be experiencing a life change.  

Start a Reading Club

There are tons of reading clubs children can join if they are an avid reader, but why not give them the opportunity to start their own club, with their own rules, and challenges. You can encourage them to invite friends and other family members. They can even have a grand prize at the end. Here is a link for easy access to  children’s books.

You may consider surprising your child or the child of a loved one with a book in the mail. Kids love to open up unexpected presents.

Pitch a Tent in the Backyard

With many travel plans no longer an option, your backyard can be the perfect place to get “away”. This is a great way to introduce kids to what camping can really be like, while also having the safety net (and bathroom) just feet away in case they don’t make it through the night. If you don’t already have a tent, here is one big enough for 6 people.

Virtual Summer Camps

Many of the summer camps have been cancelled for this year due to the uncertainty of Covid-19. There are however, loads of virtual camps kids can sign up for and attend weekly. If this is something that you may have interest in, I would check your local organizations and day camp facilities to see what they are offering this summer. Spots may fill up quickly, so you will want to stay on top of this!

Schedule a Virtual Zoom Character Visit

Through the California-based Hope, Love and Magic, families can sign up for virtual character visits with actors dressed as princesses and characters inspired from fairy tales and iconic kids' movies. A 30-minute Zoom visit includes conversation, singing and story time. This would be ideal to break up the day for your littles that may be a bit too young for full on camp activities, plus give them something special to look forward to.

Get a little help/Be the help for friends

It takes a village sometimes to be able to keep it together, and summertime is no exception. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family or neighbors for help this summer as you are handling everything that comes along with life changes. If you are the friend or family member or neighbor, be sure and reach out to your loved one to let them know you are available to help this summer.

Come together as a community to create an epic summertime opportunity for all the kids by having grown-up friends simply take turns volunteering to teach groups of socially distanced kids on subject matters that they know and love. Work together to teach kids something from your zone of expertise, and make a game of it. Wrangle seemingly random objects from around the neighborhood, then put all the objects into a basket and have child participants use them to create a new game. If you have a group of kids nearby, you can also purchase simple items in bulk for hours of entertainment.

Don’t let summertime become a burden to you or your loved one who is going through a difficult time. Be open to new ideas and opportunities that will allow kids to learn, play, and still make the most of their time away from school.

If you have some other ideas for kids this summer, we would love to hear about them! Be sure and reach out to us on Facebook, and share with the community what you are doing to keep busy this summer.

Also be sure and head over to our WhatFriendsDo Facebook group, where we are working to build a close knit space for friends to inspire each other through the difficult times.