Keeping your children busy this summer

The summer of 2020 will be different. Families won’t be going to public swimming pools, children won’t be attending local park district programs during the day, and summer camp opportunities will be limited. Finding time to work from home and entertain your children during the summer months may be a challenge with less activities available. Vitality has a few ideas that you can try from home or in your backyard this summer to keep the whole family active and engaged while we continue to navigate through this pandemic as a community.

Start a board game day of the week. Who says you can only play games during a family game NIGHT?! Many of us have a ton of board games at home that we have played less than a handful of times. Make a list of all of your board games and check them off one by one throughout the summer weeks.

Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Pull your pool/beach toys, sports equipment, and/or anything with wheels into your backyard. Lay out pool noodles to jump over, kick soccer balls into buckets or trash cans on their side, walk through hola-la-hoops, carry a water balloon while weaving through cones, march through kiddie pools filled with water, or army crawl under streamers; the possibilities are endless! Click here for an example from HGTV.

Get crafty. Here are some easy DIY ideas for children of all ages.

  • Grab some colorful string and learn to make “friendship bracelets” that your kids can send to their friends. This will help them feel connected even though they may not see each other as often as they would like. Here’s a great how-to video with 4 different styles of string bracelets.

  • Make a cardboard car. Take a large empty cardboard box and tape down or cut off the flaps. Decorate the box as you wish--consider using paint, stickers, colored markers, or glitter. Attach wheels made from paper plates to the bottom of your box. Attach rope or ribbon to the four corners of the box to create straps to wear your new car!

  • Make easy playdough. Combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with a cup of salt. Add 1 tablespoon of oil (such as vegetable oil), two drops of food coloring, and ½ to 1 cup of water. Mix until ingredients are combined. Knead your playdough and play! Store in an airtight container and consider refrigerating when not in use to extend the life of your playdough.

Have a weekly dance party. Consider doing an at-home dance fitness video with our lovely and talented team member, Lynnea. She has classes tailored toward kids in her “Dance the Sillies out” category. These classes feature easy to follow, gentle movements, clean lyrics, and are 30-minutes long: Perfect for restless kids that love music!

Bring the waterpark home. Grab the hose, fill some water balloons, pull out the slip-n-slide, and fill up the kiddie pools. Set up stations for each activity, similar to creating different “rides” like at a water park. You can lay out some towels or chairs to make a lounging area for older children.

Create a masterpiece. Have your kids try to fill the entire driveway or back patio with artwork using sidewalk chalk. Each week, pick a new category for them to draw. Need theme ideas? Try underwater, farm, superhero, or outer space.

Try an outdoor movie night. A lot of us have been watching movies to pass the time while at home, but an outdoor movie night is a fun new twist on this classic. Check out this article for more information on how to create your own home theater!

Send your kids on a scavenger hunt. Make a list of items that you can find in your house or outside in the yard. Give your kids a basket to collect the items. Whoever comes back first with everything on the list gets to choose the snack or movie for that day!

Make some music. Get out some pots, buckets, or trash cans and have your children use sticks to hit them to make some noise! You can turn on their favorite song and have them try to match the beat with your “home drum set.”

Tag @VitalityWomensPT if you try any of our suggestions or if you come up with some of your own ideas!

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