Summer Fun Activities for Kids in 2020

Yesterday was the first day of summer break so we embarked on a leisurely bike ride through town. Baseball fields were empty and overgrown with weeds. Playgrounds have been roped off with CAUTION tape. The pool filling with crystal clear sparkling water will not be opening this year. Without warning, tears streamed down my face as I grieved the loss of our normal summer activites due to social distancing ordered in Illinois because of coronavirus. The tears flowed for a few moments as I hid my face from my three sons. Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself that we are incredibly blessed and there are so many other fun things to do in summer. I just need to remember what they are so I can focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot. I hope you can find some inspiration as well.

Indoor Activities Without Screens (except as needed to learn a new skill)

  • Put together a puzzle (bonus if while listening to an audiobook)
  • Create a cardboard box maze for a marble or hamster
  • Make something yummy in the kitchen
  • Try a new fruit or vegetable
  • Plant indoor herbs and move outside when the weather is nice enough
  • Read and dramatize short stories out loud : more drama = better
  • Practice character voices reading out loud
  • Try to talk in a British accent
  • Then try a Scottish accent
  • Build a DaVinci Bridge from sticks (popsicle sticks, tree sticks, paper straws- be creative)
  • Learn to count to ten in Spanish
  • Practice counting to ten while doing jumping jacks
  • Learn to count to ten in Japanese
  • Practice counting while doing squats or push-ups (do them on your knees if you need to)
  • Create and send cards to family or friends
  • What and who do you really miss? Let them know how much you appreciate them
  • Clean, really deep clean- it feels so good afterwards!
  • Rearrange a room
  • Paint a room for a fresh look and feel
  • Learn a new way to make an old recipe Did you know you can cook eggs in the microwave?
  • Reminisce through old photos
  • Create a photobook
  • Read a book
  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Construct an obstacle course using pillows, chairs, broomsticks, blankets, anything
  • Have races through the obstacle course
  • Listen to encouraging music
  • Play balloon volleyball
  • Make paper airplanes
  • Play a board game
  • Construct a racetrack with painter’s tape
  • Draw a picture of something you love to do
  • Draw a picture of something unique to this year in your life
  • Sword drills with a bible
  • Pretend you are royalty
  • Dress up nicely to stay home and practice uber fancy table manners (stick your pinky out when you hold a cup!)
  • LAUGH out loud!! Smile often 🙂
  • Memorize your favorite poem and practice saying it in different voices
  • Learn to solve a Rubik’s cube
  • Kids swim in the bathtub with swimsuits, googles and waterproof toys
  • Play an intrument
  • Make a drum set with unbreakable pots, pans, bowls or tupperware – experiment with different sounds
  • Make a stringed instrument with rubber bands
  • Read a book from every continent
  • Read your favorite old picture books (do you still memorize them?!)
  • What have you wanted to do ….. someday?…. Do it this summer!
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Paint rocks
  • Campout with blankets and pillows to sleep in a different room
  • Take close up pictures of everyday objects in your house
  • Create “A Day In Your Life” album by taking pictures of everything for a day

Outside Activities – Practice “Leave No Trace.” Take Only Pictures and Leave Only Footprints

If you are outdoors during daytime hours, don’t forget to protect your skin by wearing protective clothing and/or sunscreen.

While you are driving to your next destination, play games in the car!

  • Walk around the block, neighborhood or local school track
  • Plant flower seeds – Zinnias are our favorites because they bloom beautifully, cut well and attract butterflies
  • Bike ride in town
  • Bike ride on a trail (public restrooms may be closed)
  • Hike a trail – they are everywhere when you learn to look (in a MAPS app, look for nature center or park)
  • Bring a bag with you to pick up garbage you see on your walk and help your community
  • Play in a creek – this is an absolute FAVORITE! Creeks are everywhere (have permission) so when you hike a trail and find a creek, stop and play in it. What can you find in it? Bring a net and magnifying glass. Make boats from sticks and have boat races. Use stones to build a dam or interesting structure. Climb a wall of mud and slide down it. Fun is all around you!
  • Beach ball volleyballplay-in-a-creek
  • Waterballoon battle
  • Support local restaurants by ordering to-go and have a picnic
  • Backyard camping
  • Geacache
  • Stargazing at night
  • Campfire, roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows
  • Tell scary or silly stories around campfire or candle if you can’t have a fire (practice fire safety)
  • Say hello to neighbors you’ve never talked to (with social distance)hammock
  • Fishing
  • Wash the Car
  • Read a book in a hammock
  • Find shapes in clouds
  • Listen to the breeze through the trees
  • Feed the birds then watch them (how may different varieties can you attract?)
  • Camera scavenger hunt – have your kids take pictures of anything they find interesting then sit down together and let them tell you about their pictures. It’s fascinating to see the world from their view. Make sure to have a high quality protective case before handing it over to your kids.
  • More nature activities for kids

Games without Screens

  • WAR card game is easy for even the younger ages
  • Go FISH
  • TIC TAC TOE
  • Hangman
  • “Try to guess” quotes from books or movies you’ve enjoyed as a family
  • I SPY something….
  • Alphabet soup games – Start with A and go through Z trying to think of things that start with the letter…
    • Animals
    • Boys names
    • Girls names
    • Instuments
    • Cars
    • Movies
    • Songs
    • Foods
  • Guess Who
  • Memory
  • Clue
  • Anything from Melissa and Doug
  • Puzzles
  • Carcassone
  • Charades
  • Pictionary

Activities with Screens

There are no shortage of games for kids to play but I try to find sources that bring some value to the fun.

  • Search “How to draw….” in YouTube to learn to draw anything you want
  • Zoom games
  • “Smarter Every Day” YouTube channel
  • Learn Our History to watch cartoons and learn all about US History (we stream just for the summer)
  • Operation Math or Math Evolve app to practice Math facts
  • Mindbenders apps to encourage deductive reasoning
  • Greek Latin Word Roots apps
  • Stack the States App
  • Stack the Countries App
  • Nitrotype to practice typing
  • Mekorama to practice spacial reasoning
  • Brain Out to practice thinking outside the box
  • Tinkercad to learn 3D Design
  • Chess online or app
  • Marco Polo to send video messages to family and friends from a safe social distance
  • Audible App
  • Bible App for Kids
  • Monument app for 3D puzzles
  • Math Analogies for math challenges
  • Camping with Grandpa App
  • Starfall online or app for preschool to 2nd grade for learning through songs

Conclusion

Coronavirus, or COVID 19, has changed everything. What has not changed is my determination to learn as much as I can, love intentionally and live fully. I encourage you to do the same! Today you are making the memories of tomorrow!!!

I’d love to hear your experience. Leave your comments below 🙂