A Pandemic Summer

We are halfway through summer and many working parents are realizing they have exhausted their list of “fun activities” to keep their children entertained during the pandemic. Seeing as COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise, it is clear that life will not be returning to normal anytime soon. To help you and your family stay happy and healthy, here are a list of activities that adhere to CDC guidelines that you can try!

Fun, Family Activities to Try

Outdoor

Getting your family outdoors not is not only great for their physical health, but also their mental health. Spending at least 120 minutes a week outdoors has been proven to improve overall wellbeing. Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to travel to exotic locations, simply being in the backyard counts! Here’s a list of fun outdoor activities the whole family will love:

  • Daily Exercise: This may not sound exciting at first but getting your family into some sort of exercise routine helps improve everyone’s mental and physical health. Let the kids decide what they want to do, whether it be a bike ride, a walk around the neighborhood, a local hiking trail, etc. If you live near the water, investing in paddle boards or kayaks would also be an exciting way to get the family more active.
  • Create a Backyard Waterpark: Have sprinklers, slip-n-slides, water balloon fights, or any other fun water activity set up in your backyard and do a whole fun-filled, waterpark day!
  • Go Camping: Visit a nearby campground (as long as you can socially distance your family from others) or even try camping out in the backyard! Set up a tent, cook over a campfire, indulge and make s’mores, and focus on the beauty of nature. For an even better experience, make it a “no technology” night.
  • Start a Garden: Gardening is a fantastic family activity. Everyone can work together on choosing what fruits and vegetables to grow and you can schedule a time for the family to tend to the garden every day. This is also a great learning experience for children and, bonus, you’ll also have some fresh produce to incorporate into your meals.
  • Have a Field Day: Do you remember how fun field days were? Replicate that experience for your family this summer! Set up different games, sports, and activities for a day full of fun and exercise.
  • Have Themed Picnics: If your family loves to travel, this summer may be especially difficult for you. To help satisfy your wanderlust, create themed international picnics with all the foods you might try in a certain country. You can do one each weekend and your family can bond throughout the week while researching and planning food items to try from each country!
  • Adopt a Dog: If your family is able to, consider adopting a dog. Research has proven that dogs help you live a healthier lifestyle and they can help reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, with many of us working remotely and children home from school, there is plenty of time to dedicate to training and playtime. As a family you can work on teaching the new family member tricks and work daily walks into your family’s routine. If you already have a furry family member, teaching him or her new tricks and incorporating daily walks is a great way to stay active and improve your relationship with both your family and your dog.

Indoor

For rainy summer days, or days when your family just wants to kick back and relax, here are some ideas to keep you entertained indoors:

  • Take a Virtual Tour Together: There are so many free virtual tours you can enjoy as a family that are not only fun, but also educational. Check out a list of our favorite ones here!
  • Have a Family Game Night: Put the phones away and set up your favorite board game for a fun night indoors. If you are looking for a new board game to try, we recommend any of the Ticket to Ride games or Trekking the National Parks. They are engaging, educational, and strategic games that will keep you entertained for hours and leave you feeling like you just took a vacation!
  • Cook or Bake Together: Getting the whole family together to cook or bake is a lot of fun! And for our travel lovers, you can try out international recipes and share your thoughts and opinions afterwards. If everyone loves cooking or baking, you can also try recreating your favorite Food Network challenges in your own kitchen!
  • Have a Movie Night: We don’t know about you, but our family is definitely missing movie theaters. So, try recreating the experience at home! Pick a movie no one has seen yet, select a screen time, gather some snacks, turn the lights off, shut the curtains, silence your phones, and enjoy!
  • Do Arts and Crafts: If your family enjoys drawing or painting, consider having arts and crafts nights! You can also search through YouTube for some fun craft ideas to try out.

For more family fun activities, check out this article by keynote speaker, author, and Senior Contributor at Forbes, Dana Brownlee!

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