As the dog days of summer drag on, it can be difficult to keep playtime interesting for your kiddos. And as we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, safe and relatively worry-free playdates that moms can feel comfortable with hosting or attending are few and far between. To get your creative juices flowing, here are just a handful of tips to help you and your kids beat the boredom.
Host a Virtual Playdate
Use a virtual phone call program you already have available like Zoom, House Party, and even FaceTime or Skype to connect with family and friends! Even just a simple call with friends, cousins, or a grandparent can brighten your child’s day. Color together (download and print Step2 coloring pages here), read a book to each other, play a scavenger hunt, and even make a quick snack together over a video call to make a connection and spend a few hours interacting with loved ones.
Send Some Love
At a time when folks are in nursing homes unable to accept visitors, you can put some spare hours to good use by writing notes and drawing pictures for others. Many nursing homes and assisted living communities are accepting letters and cards for their residents, including some possibly in your area. Call around or search online for organizations in need of kind words and inspirational artwork (there are plenty), and get creative!
Do you follow us on Facebook? Check out our DI-Live video archive for a variety of craft how-to’s, often using materials found around the house! From easy slime to paper crafts and old jar hacks, we’ve got something for everyone to unleash their creative side.
With just a few outdoor décor items, your kiddos (with your assistance) can transform your porch to spread some cheer for passers-by! Maybe it’s planting some fresh flowers in hand-painted pots, making an easy fabric scrap and wire hanger wreath, or even using window paint to create murals for everyone to see. Spend some time browsing some inspiration online with your kids and form a plan, then put it into action on a sunny summer day!
Explore the Outdoors
Ahhh, fresh air does a body good, young or old! Make it part of your daily routine with the kiddos to take a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, or on any local tracks that are open to the public. It’s a fantastic way to connect with each other and the world around you, while getting some healthy exercise in as well. Keep the routes fresh with quick games of “I Spy” along the way, changing it up each day.
Driveway Drive In
Host a socially distanced drive in movie for the little ones in your neighborhood. Move the TV to the driveway for a night and let the little ones show up in push cars and wagons. Imagine the delight on a child’s face when you use sidewalk chalk to create their own VIP section of the driveway! This makes them feel special and also teaches them the concept of social distance. If you have a healthcare professional in the neighborhood, you can also have them give a short presentation on what social distancing means to kids.
Set Your Sports Goals – and Start Practicing!
Fall sports for the little ones, like soccer, are just around the corner. All activities that help endurance, physical conditioning and hand-eye coordination are important as the sports season ramps up. Create a summer practice chart and use toys like soccer goals and basketball hoops to get them started. Then, set a goal of 15 minutes per day and gradually work up to 45 minutes or an hour. This approach not only encourages active play, but also teaches them about goal setting and provides a sense of accomplishment as they check off the days on their practice chart. Having a regimen of scheduled times also stops kids (and parents) from letting an entire day just slip away.
Get Your Study and School Spaces Ready
The last school year ended with many kids learning remotely from the kitchen table. That was a great short term solution, but with remote learning continuing for many, it’s time to get serious about the school space. First, they need a desk or table that’s right for their size. Pick a desk with plenty of storage that can be used for crafts, work sheets, tests and remote learning. Then, get a dedicated bookcase for school books and supplies. Designated spaces will help your student stay organized and focused, ready to tackle the school year and make it great!