Stuck at home this summer? Print this list of family fun you can do safely while practicing social distancing.
THE STRANGEST SUMMER EVER…
For all the moms out there struggling: ditto. This is rough. I’m enjoying this new dynamic our family has going, but life is feeling a little chaotic to say the least. I need some kind of normalcy! I went to print off my Summer Bucket list from last year and I was bummed when I realized that being “high risk”, I can’t do half the stuff on my list anymore.
So what did I do? Pouted for a minute and then made a NEW one. Yes, here it is. Your modified Summer Bucket List—because it’s still summer, and I’m still getting outside and getting a tan this year—as long as the murder hornets stay away from my little part of the world…
While we try to figure out what in the world is going on around us, take a minute to print your Summer Bucket List – QUARANTINE EDITION now and bring a little normalcy, joy, gratitude, whatever you need—to your day.
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Now that you’ve printed your Quarantine Bucket List, here are a few more resources to help you cope with the quarantine blues:
Instead of an End of the School Year Party, give your child something to look forward to this month as schools wrap upwith a First Day of Summer Party.
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.
THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BLUES
This week, my kids’ school year ended. Instead of class parties, hugs good-bye and autographed yearbooks, they had a teacher parade and a pickup line to grab their stuff left behind. It was hard on them. The past few months have been excitement of “no school” only to realize what that really meant. This week they didn’t want it to end.
While teachers and districts did their best (I mean, we got a parade!) it wasn’t closure for my kiddos. My daughter graduated three years of preschool and missed her spring show and ceremony. My son missed a field trip, end of the year activities and being able to tell his friends good-bye.
Parents and teachers all over the world are trying to make these last days special for kids and it is so encouraging to see. But if your kids are feeling a little lost like mine, and bummed out after they only get to wave at their teacher instead of give them a big hug like they love doing, then maybe these few ideas will help give them a little more closure for the school year.
Instead of naming it the End of the School Year Party (which emphasizes the bummer you’re trying to avoid), name it The First Day of Summer Party. Studies show that having something to look forward to boosts your mood and planning something fun (like a vacation) provides the same benefits of actually going on a vacation.
HOST A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER PARTY AT HOME
1. DECORATE THE HOUSE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Use streamers in the doorway, set up some surfer-themed music, lay out beach-towels and activities in the living room, and a summery tablecloth and banner in the breakfast room.
2. HAVE A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER BREAKFAST
Dress donuts up as pool floaties with little umbrellas, milk with silly straws, and bowls of fresh fruit on skewers.
3. GIVE A FIRST DAY OF SUMMER GIFT
Find a few special goodies such as a new summer shirt, brand new art supplies, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, blow up pool, seeds for a garden, and set them all in a beach bucket.
4. MAKE A FAMILY BUCKET LIST
I’ve updated my original Summer Bucket List so to only include activities you can do while social distancing. Add more of your favorites in the blanks. Print yours here.
5. PLAY A FEW GAMES TOGETHER
Our favorites are Limbo, Musical Chairs, Bingo, Charades, Go Fish, and Sorry. You can print my summer charades games here.
6. HAVE A PICNIC AT THE PARK
Take the kids to a local park and bring a snack lunch from home (carrots in peanut butter, string cheese, trail mix, cut up fruit and veggies with hummus, etc). Spread out a blanket or set up some camping chairs. Toss a Frisbee around, fly a kite or feed the ducks.
7. TAKE A REST WITH A NEW BOOK
Give each child a new book they can enjoy on their own in their room for an hour rest time. It could be the start of a series, or one of your favorites as a kid. We like Choose Your Own Adventure and anything by Mo Willems.
8. PLAY WITH WATER
Set up a kiddy pool, a sprinkler, water balloon fight, a water table or fill a bucket with water and let them get creative with toys, buckets, rocks and plants. Anything to get them excited to play outside.
7. WATCH A SUMMER-THEMED MOVIE WITH DINNER
Wrap up the night with dinner outside and a movie under the stars. Exhausted and ready to turn in? That’s ok! Order pizza and watch a movie inside. At intermission, break out the ice cream sundaes or individual bowls of popcorn.
Quarantining with Kids: Parents have a unique challenge during this time. I offer some encouragement and tips.
SO THIS WEEK’S BEEN…DIFFERENT.
It started out fun with spring break and a family trip to New Mexico, but as soon as we arrived, my Lyme flare up got out of control and I spent most of the trip sitting in the car watching the kids play or laying around our rental.
We arrived home last Wednesday and I’ve been using my walker and been bed ridden ever since. That day Trump declared the Coronavirus pandemic a national emergency and my doctor advised my family to self-quarantine.
So with that being said, I know this will pass, but life is just plain hard right now.
HOW’S EVERYONE DOING OUT THERE??
I know I’m not the only one stressing out—so many in the medical field are still having to work even though they are fearful as well. There are parents who don’t know who will watch their kids, and high schoolers worried about graduation. The sick and elderly are at high risk, people can’t get back in the country, and DISNEY WORLD IS CLOSED!
And then I remember:
TIPS ON QUARANTINING WITH KIDS
While I can’t fix these problems, I can offer a bit of encouragement:
Pray with confidence and hope, not doom and gloom. Trust that the God who created you knows what you need in this moment, and he wants to hear from you.
Remember, just like raising kids, everything is a phase–this will pass. Just take it one day at a time. You’ve got this!
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
Make time for what your family needs and write out a basic routine for the kids to follow each day. You can print my template here.
2. HOMESCHOOL, BUT KEEP IT SIMPLE
Pick a few things to do each day. Don’t try to fit them all in so that your kids are stressed out, but stay at a pace where they’re learning without realizing it! If your kid loves worksheets, use them. If not, there are tons of other creative ways to teach.
READING: Read books together, work through a chapter book, or have quiet reading time
SCIENCE: Take advantage of all the free programs being offered and go on a virtual field trip!
SOCIAL STUDIES: Have your kids FaceTime, send texts, and email friends and family
WRITING: Decorate and keep a daily journal on what they’re feeling
SPELLING: Word search, crossword, have a spelling bee, play scrabble
MATH: Play cards, dot to dots, games online, flashcards
PE: Get outside, play catch, ride bikes, go on a walk, exercise in the house
FINE ARTS: Legos, painting, cooking, learning an instrument, woodworking, crafts
3. SCHEDULE FAMILY TIME
Schedule family time?! YES! Even while quarantining with kids!
Family time is about creating intentional moments during the day to connect so that you are present with one another. Create an ongoing movie marathon where you work your way through a series or theme each night or rotate through old board games and puzzles.
4. GIVE EACH OTHER SPACE
In saying that, it’s equally important that you are intentional in taking breaks from each other as well. Have older kids that don’t nap? Schedule a daily “quiet time” where everyone has to play quietly in their rooms with the door closed for an hour.
5. OPEN YOUR BIBLE
Whether it’s as a family, part of your school lessons, or during your quiet time, use this opportunity to dig into your Bible. Don’t have one or not sure how to start studying your Bible? Check out my post which takes you through the basics.
PRINT THIS FREE PLAY CHART
This chart has been so helpful for keeping the kids entertained when I need a break. I post it on the fridge, and they cover up the independent activity they choose with a magnet. Read more in my post: Printable Play Chart for Stay at Home Moms or download here:
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Then check out these posts on activities for kids: