8 ways to keep kids busy this summer

July 02, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Moms

This summer is going to look very different as we grapple with COVID-19.

Many summer camps and community activities are closed. This leaves kids at home with nothing to do and parents wondering how they will keep them entertained (while trying to hold down full-time jobs in some cases).

First and foremost, families need to stay safe and continue taking precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn how to keep your child safe this summer during COVID-19.

Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. Continue wearing face coverings when out in public (don’t put a mask on a child under age 2), stay 6 feet away from anyone outside of your household, and avoid crowded places and group gatherings.

Here are 8 ways to keep kids busy this summer during coronavirus:

  1. Visit local parks and playgrounds. Set out early in the morning before it gets too hot and take a family hike along a trail. Set up a picnic in your local park or grill out in your backyard. Continue to practice social distancing and have extra hand wipes and sanitizer gel on hand.

  2. Splash around. If you have a pool, lucky you! But if not, you can still have some water fun. Set up a splash pad, slip-n-slide or mini inflatable pool in your backyard. Have a water balloon fight or let your kids play under a sprinkler. Learn how to keep your kids safe in the water.

  3. Have a family game day. Pick your favorite games and rotate who chooses one each week. Try Pictionary, HedBanz, Monopoly, Jenga, Scrabble, Twister, etc. Head outside for basketball, racquetball, cornhole, Spikeball, freeze tag, etc. Try an old-fashioned game of flashlight tag or “capture the flag” at night.

  4. Find fun outdoor activities. Try activities like Frisbee, playing catch or kicking a soccer ball, hopscotch, jump rope, hide and seek, etc. Make sure your child wears a proper-fitting helmet at all times when riding a bike or scooter, rollerblading/rollerskating and skateboarding.

  5. Set up a family challenge. Create a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood with fun clues. Make an obstacle course in your backyard (relay race, potato sack race, Limbo, hula hooping, balancing an egg on a spoon, etc.). It could be parents vs kids, and the winner gets a prize, such as picking a dessert or movie for the night.

  6. Make a mini carnival or fair. Set up different stations and have fun with it. Make a tie-dye t-shirt station, have fun with face painting, make chalk drawings on the driveway, paint rocks, make balloon animals, etc. Turn on the music and have a dance party or play freeze dance. Better yet, break out the instruments and make music together.

  7. Have a family movie night. Find a local drive-in movie theater or set up a projector and watch a movie outside in your backyard. Pop some popcorn or set up an ice cream bar with all the toppings.

  8. Camp out. Find a nearby campsite or camp out in your backyard. Set up a tent and sleeping bags. Enjoy burgers on the grill, s’mores by the fire and stargazing from your backyard. Or, set up camp inside your home. Build an indoor fort or put out sleeping bags for the night.

While this summer won’t be like any other, we can still make the best of it.

Learn more about children's services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

Get more information about coronavirus from Healthy Driven Chicago.

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