For many kids, this summer looks a lot like my childhood in the 1960s.
Or even my kids' childhood, since we did a lot of at-home, low-cost activities.
But what's a working parent to do when the kids are home and bored?
Edward-Elmhurst Health has ways to keep kids busy this summer.
And I have one more: make homemade holiday gifts and cards for everyone on your gift list.
For years, our family made homemade cards from blank post cards (buy on Amazon). We decorated the front and everyone signed them. Postcards are less expensive to mail, too
Now if you do head outside for some fun, be sure to:
• Wash hands often and use hand sanitizer.
• Wear face coverings when out in public (don’t put a mask on a child under age 2).
• Stay 6 feet away from anyone outside the same household.
• Avoid crowded places and group gatherings.
Visit local parks and playgrounds.
Set out early in the morning before it gets too hot and take a family hike along a trail.
Set up a picnic in a local park or grill out in the backyard.
Practice social distancing and have extra hand wipes and sanitizer gel on hand.
Set up a splash pad, slip-n-slide or mini inflatable pool in the backyard.
Have a water balloon fight or let kids play under a sprinkler.
Have a family game day.
Pick out favorite games and rotate who chooses one each week.
Try Pictionary, HedBanz, Monopoly, Jenga, Scrabble, Twister, etc.
Head outside for basketball, racquetball, cornhole, Spikeball, freeze tag, etc. Try an old-fashioned game of flashlight tag or “capture the flag” at night.
Find fun outdoor activities.
Try activities like Frisbee, playing catch or kicking a soccer ball, hopscotch, jump rope, hide and seek, etc.
Make sure kids wear proper-fitting helmets at all times when riding a bike or scooter, rollerblading/rollerskating and skateboarding.
Set up a family challenge.
Create a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood with fun clues.
Make an obstacle course in the backyard (relay race, potato sack race, Limbo, hula hooping, balancing an egg on a spoon, etc.).
It could be parents vs kids, and the winner gets a prize, such as picking a dessert or movie for the night.
Make a mini carnival or fair.
Set up different stations such as a tie-dye t-shirt station, face painting, chalk drawings on the driveway, paint rocks, make balloon animals, etc.
Turn on the music and have a dance party or play freeze dance. Or break out the instruments and make music together.
Have a family movie night.
Find a local drive-in movie theater.
Set up a projector and watch a movie outside in the backyard.
Pop some popcorn or set up an ice cream bar with all the toppings.
Find a nearby campsite or camp out in the backyard.
Set up a tent and sleeping bags. Enjoy burgers on the grill, s’mores by the fire and stargazing from the backyard.
Or, build an indoor fort or put out sleeping bags for the night.
For updates on COVID-19, check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.