By now, we’re all social distancing and tired of reading the headlines on summer camp closures and virtual alternatives. In the good old days, just a year ago, summer was a time to break away from the screens and have some adventurous fun. But a summer at home away from others and without extra help can be better than you imagine. You’ll just need to be creative!
Ugh, right? We’re all tired of thinking up new ways to spend our days. To help out, here’s a master list of items to consider for an epic – if isolated – summer. And we’ve got you covered inside and out – whether you’ve got a yard or not.
Indoor Family Fun
Whether it’s a rainy day or if you’re living without a yard (no judgement – we were apartment and condo living for seven years outside the Big Apple), there’s plenty of ways to make staying inside and social distancing exciting.
- Game time. You don’t need to spend a ton to have fun. Classics like Operation are great for small kids and involves little strategy and setup. (Just make sure you have some batteries.) Uno is another good choice. If you have access to a Five Below store, you can get lots of games for less than $5 – like character-based Connect 4 and Lion King board games. Our family favorite at the moment is Yeti Forgetti. But this Shark Bite game looks pretty good, too.
- Independent creative fun. In addition to family games, get some things for individual play like puzzles, Play-Doh and slime. You can never go wrong with epic arts and crafts supplies.
- Science experiments. Little Passports is offering some amazing kits – even a few Summer Camp in a Box kits! You’ll get everything you need to have some educational, indoor activities.
- Fort building supplies. Let’s face it, you probably have everything you need to make an amazing indoor fort. Pillows, blankets, and some furniture for support. IKEA even came out with a guide to building forts if you’d like to check that out for inspiration. But if you don’t want to dismantle the rest of the house or create extra laundry, you can get a tablecloth designed to transform your kitchen table into an adorable playhouse. It’s definitely on the pricy side, but if you have the means it’s pretty cool!
- Movie night magic. You may be stuck at home watching movies in the living room, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice experience. For less than a trip to the theater, you can create a theater-feel at home. First, these adorable reusable popcorn buckets set the mood. You can even get movie theater butter topping to complete the experience. Then, stock up on your favorite movie theater candies, grab a cozy blanket, and buy, rent or Netflix a new film and you’re in business!
For those blessed with backyards
First, be thankful for having your own private outdoor space. There are many in apartments and condos who aren’t so lucky. To them, social distancing feels different. Regardless of how large your outdoor oasis is, you can make it magical with a few great purchases.
1. Comfortable outdoor furniture. Getting outside can really improve your mood. If your patio furniture isn’t something you enjoy spending time in, you’re likely to avoid it. Invest in outdoor furniture that is inviting and suits your needs. Be sure to be realistic about what you want out of your outdoor space. Some want to curl up with a great book. Others want a place to put their beverage while they take an edge off. You may want the option to dine outdoors. Be mindful of how you like to spend your days and get the perfect furniture for you. After all, due to social distancing there’ll be less obligation to entertain. So instead of thinking of how guests would use your space, be selfish and enjoy!
2. Passive entertainment. We’ll get to the fun and games in a minute, but sometimes it’s nice to have the option of simply taking in your surroundings without effort. A great bird feeder can lead to a hobby in bird watching. And this adorable squirrel picnic table is sure to bring a smile.
3. Water sports. Look, the days will be long and hot. With the community pool closed and the beach not such an appealing option for distancing reasons, you’ll want some fun water activities to do in the yard. You can splurge on something epic like a Pottery Barn Kids sprinkler, or go with a dual-purpose lawn sprinkler. Each are guaranteed to put a smile on your kid’s faces. Don’t forget to stock up on water balloons, water blasters, splash pads, and inflatable pools, too. This summer is going to be fantastic.
4. Giant outdoor games. No matter what your family’s favorite is, there’s guaranteed to be a big outside version. If you’re feeling spendy, this personalized giant Jenga from Uncommon Goods is a great investment. But you can also grab a more affordable option on Amazon. There’s also a bright and cheery 4-to-score set, lawn chess board, Scrabble, tic-tack-toe – you name it!
What did we miss?
Have you found an amazing way to keep the family safe and entertained during this global pandemic? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by! Please share this article with anyone who’s got kids at home during COVID-19.