Keeping Kids Busy This Summer
It’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been a unique and challenging year for everyone. The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 reshaped the way we live our day-to-day lives. Everything has been affected, from consumerism to employment to the way our kids learn.
Now that summer is here, remote schooling is finally over. However, COVID-19 is still a reality across the country and indeed the world. Many summer camp programs have made the difficult decision to cancel this year. Most parents continue to work remotely while others are still unemployed or on furlough. Still others are facing the prospect of returning to their jobs outside of the home. This situation has left thousands of parents and kids asking the same question: Now what?
If you’re one of the families facing an entire summer of bored kids and busy schedules, we have some ideas to help you get through the dog days without losing your sanity.
Ask For Help
As people begin to open up their social circles, consider asking a family member to give you a hand with the kids. That doesn’t mean you have to ask the grandparents or great aunt to take the kids eight hours a day five days a week. Even a couple of days or a few hours here and there can help you accomplish the things you need to do. That means you can be at your best both for work and for the family when you’re together.
Week-Long Camps and Programs
Even though many full and half-day camps are closed, there may still be plenty of week-long camps, programs, and classes in your area. These can include sports camps, art and music camps, and cooking and theater classes. Find out what your child would be engaged in and check to see if there’s still time to enroll. You could give yourself several weeks’ worth of quality time to focus on what you need to get done while giving your kids something fun and educational to do.
Get the Kids Involved
If you work from home or are an entrepreneur, consider putting your kids to work! For instance, if you’re selling on Amazon, kids of almost any age can assist in some way. They can pack up orders and help you organize your workspace. Older kids might even be able to help track orders, handle some accounting tasks, or help you source products.
Make a Schedule
While many parents are likely relieved that homeschooling is over for the year, it might benefit both you and your kids to continue to adhere to a schedule. Keep the little ones busy with arts and crafts, reading, and practicing the math skills they learned this year. There are a lot of great online tools to make it seem like more fun than work such as Prodigy, ABC Mouse, Scholastic, and Epic. Once you sit down and plan the day out, it can help you stay on task and keep the kids from getting bored (most of the time)!
If you have a social circle that you’re comfortable spending time with, consider helping each other out. You can agree to take each other’s kids once or twice a week. Maybe a close friend has a pool that the kids can all enjoy on the hottest days . On the other hand, you might have a huge yard they can all run around in. Think carefully about who you feel safe spending time. Get together and discuss how you can not only help one another but how you can keep everyone involved safe and healthy.
With more than two months of hot weather ahead of us and with many social distancing restrictions still in place, this summer will continue to test our patience and creativity as parents. Just remember that there are plenty of tools out there to help and that you’re not alone!