Summer Activities for All Abilities
8 Kid-Friendly Activities to do Right at Home
With COVID-19 still making summer plans uncertain, parents are trying to find ways to keep their children active and engaged throughout the long days ahead. Travel and social distancing restrictions have caused most summer camps and outdoor activity centers to close or limit access, presenting a challenge for parents.
We’ve put together some great activities for children of all ages and abilities, so everybody can have something to look forward to this summer!
Campout in the Backyard
Kids love tents and the adventure of camping. While many national campgrounds have limited access right now, if you have a yard or driveway you can pop up a tent and recreate the magic right at home! Many outdoor supply stores are selling products with curbside pick-up or online, or you can get creative and make your own tent with 15 Ways to make tent (DIY tents). Bring a flashlight or lantern and tell spooky stories once it’s dark, and make sure to pre-make some s’mores in the oven!
Scavenger hunts provide entertainment for the entire family. There are many websites that offer free printable scavenger hunts for both indoor and outdoor fun. Themes you can explore include spring scavenger hunts, flower garden scavenger hunts, nature scavenger hunts, or create your own theme!
Let your children help pack a special picnic lunch for the family. Put down a blanket in the yard, or the living room if it’s raining, and make sure to make lots of yummy finger foods!
Nature walks make for wonderful adventures, and you don’t have to travel far to discover something new. Have your child collect rocks to paint a “pet rock,” play a game of “I Spy” to challenge your child’s attention to detail, or bring along a wildlife identification book and learn about the plants and animals in your neighborhood. This is also a great time to teach your child about caring for the environment by bringing a bag and rubber gloves to collect trash and beautify your community parks and trails!
If your child loves to draw or color you can provide hours of entertainment with washable paint or sidewalk chalk. Help your child make their own short storybook to practice writing skills along with their drawing, repurpose old crayons and make your own to draw with, or if your child has trouble holding drawing tools, purchase a pack of super jumbo crayons or jumbo sidewalk chalk which are easier to grasp for children that struggle with fine motor skills. You can also cover a large surface with craft paper and try finger painting!
No surprise here: children love to play in water! Turn your yard into a water park by hooking up the hose to a sprinkler or fill the kiddie pool, squirt guns or water balloons. Young children will also enjoy splashing around in a DIY water sensory table which you can make on a budget.
Plant a Garden
Children love playing in the dirt, so let them help you plant and maintain a garden! Container or window gardens are great options that provide easy accessibility for children with mobility challenges. Most vegetables can be grown in a 5 gallon container or bucket. Plant things that are quick and easy to grow such as snap peas, beans and leafy greens, and we guarantee that your kid will be more than willing to eat their veggies!
With a little imagination, and a few pieces of furniture and household items, you can make an impressive blanket fort that will provide hours of entertainment.
Check out these great ideas and tips and tricks for making an easy, creative blanket fort. To make it super cozy, fill it with blankets and pillows and string through a set of small battery operated lights!
Including one special activity a day gives your child something to look forward to and gives them a source of structured play and learning.