Summer Is Not Canceled: Activities to Get You Through Quarantine
With summer approaching, it feels as though everything is canceled: vacations, camp, even playdates. While the kids are feeling like everything around them is canceled, I keep reminding them one very important thing: summer is not canceled!
I have promised the kids a fun-filled summer, one that they will remember forever. After my partner and I moved in together recently, our family dynamic changed, and we are now a blended family. That means we have gone from two kids to four kids, which adds a whole new dynamic to our family. With two girls, 6 and 7, and two boys, 8 and 10, the house will be busy and we will need activities of all shapes and sizes to keep everyone occupied. The boys are very into sports, while the girls love dancing and arts and crafts. Sometimes, one game for all four is a great idea, while other times, we need activities for the boys and girls that are separate, to give everyone some space. However, we plan on doing many family activities this summer. Here are some ideas for summer activities:
Redecorating...with the Kids: While redecorating may seem like more of an activity for parents, we are including the kids and making it fun. Since we have moved in together, we need to make the house feel like a home for everyone. This summer, we will be creating a big family piece of art that we can hang on the wall to remember this summer. We will be doing lots of practice on smaller canvases, so that everyone can contribute their idea before making a final piece of art.
Learn a New Skill: It’s time to learn a new skill. After all, when do you have this much time to spend on something new? The whole family will be taking up rollerblading this summer. Since rollerblading is back in the “cool” books, it was a challenge to find blades for everyone, but now they are back in stock, and we finally have blades for all the kids. Jonah, my 8-year old, is a huge hockey player and for him, the thought of not skating for so long is a scary one. This is a great way for him to keep active. This summer, we will be taking the city by storm — on our wheels.
Get Wet: A hot summer calls for time in the water. Whether it be the pool, running through the sprinkler, or water-balloon fights, we will be getting wet this summer. With a quick trip to the dollar store, you can invent so many fun games for the kids to play. Have fun making up the rules: sometimes, the crazier the better, as the kids will see it as a challenge.
Explore, Explore, Explore: It’s time to explore the city around us. There are so many beautiful trails, parks, and so much more that we have never had the time to investigate. This is the summer for exploring. We will be taking our bikes, blades, and feet around the city to discover new adventures.
Picnics for the Win: For a change of scenery every now and then, we plan to go out and explore, to find exciting places to enjoy picnics together as a family. One of the best parts of quarantine has been all of our family meals together. We will be taking our meal times together a step further by enjoying picnics and eating outdoors. Not sure what you need for a picnic? Start with a blanket, and make sure that each kid has one of their favorite items in the basket.
Fun City Activities: We will be looking for activities in our area that are operating differently. Our city has opened its zoo for “scenic tours.” Instead of walking through the zoo for a regular experience, the zoo is open for cars to drive through. We will be visiting the animals from afar, while having the same great experience.
At Home Vacation: How about creating your own adventure? Make it fun for the kids with a "passport" that they can create — and that you can stamp along the way! Whether it’s a trip to the “theatre” in your living room or a visit to the “ice cream shop” in your kitchen, there is lots of fun to be had in the house.
Baking with the Kids: As a child, I used to always look forward to my grandmother’s baked goods, made from recipes passed down from the generations before. This summer, I will be taking time to bake and teach my kids about our history and the amazing traditional food and baked goods that have been passed down from generation to generation. We will be starting with chocolate babka.
Family Band Time: All four kids have demonstrated a lot of interest in creating a band. We have one kid who plays the keyboards, another learning guitar, singers, and dancers. I will be contributing my old piano skills, and we will be working as a family to create a band. Whether or not anyone hears the songs is up for debate, but the memories will be well worth it.