Mom of 6 here. Every year I put together a "bucket list" of fun things for my kids to do during the summer. It's usually a good mix of activities and crafts with a little bit of education review thrown in every once in a while. Usually, at the end of each school year I just do a quick update to last year's bucket list, removing anything that was deemed "too boring" from the year before and adding a few new ideas found from a quick Pinterest search. This year, however, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic means now I also have to factor in the limitations of social distancing. No longer is it just MY sanity I'm protecting - this bucket list is now our family's only hope to keep from going stir crazy!
Below is my 2020 Stay-Home and Stay-Sane Summer Bucket List. Gone are the trips to theme parks, free movies, and indoor play areas. Hello, backyard scavenger hunts and kiddie pools!
Board games (I love this idea to use an egg carton for the younger kids.)
Color (Do they need ideas? Give them a 30 day drawing challenge!)
Watch a movie (Make cereal/snack necklaces ahead of time and encourage the younger kids to use patterns. If it's a movie you've seen before, make it a bit more interesting by giving them a scavenger hunt of images or popular lines they have to find while watching.)
Playdoh (Here is a great list of homemade recipes and activities.)
Puzzles or tangrams
Let them play in the bathtub (Have them wash dirty toys, use lots of bubbles, play with shaving cream, etc.)
Cosmic Kids Yoga is always fun!
Play paddle balloon
Try new recipes (On our list: smoothies, cookies, granola bars, popsicles, and snack mix. Have older kids? Let them pick a new recipe for dinner - and then cook it!)
Outside activities at home:
Fun with a water table or big bin (You can add soap and have them clean dirty toys, or empty a few cans of shaving cream in the table instead of water, or even make cloud dough in it.)
Take a walk (Scavenger hunts are a great addition! Here is a nature one.)
Picnic lunch in the yard or at a park
Have a tent? Set it up and turn it into a shady play space.
Wash the car
Paint rocks - for yourself or for our community
Chalk/Hopscotch (Here are some great ideas, and remember you can use the hopscotch sqares for multiples, letters, symbols - anything!)
Hold a relay race
Start a garden (There are so many ideas on Pinterest!)
And, of course, there is always the kiddie pool - and they're not just for water anymore!
Looking for something more educational? For a nice break from workbooks, give these fun websites a try:
Teach Your Monster to Read (computer version is free)
IXL math practice
With the libraries currently closed, I'm not sure what sort of summer reading programs they will be offering this year. Of course, you can always make up your own incentive program! Here are some worksheets you can use to keep things interesting.
I hope this post has given you some good ideas for keeping your kids busy this summer. I know there are many more ideas out there and I would love to hear what you are putting on YOUR bucket list! The summer of 2020 will be different for everyone, that is for sure, but lists like this can ensure it will still be FUN!
Stay well, everyone!