I am fortunate that as a teacher, I get to spend my summers with my children. Although this year, there didn’t seem to be much separation between the school year and summer with everyone being home!
For those of you whose children go to public school, summer likely started a month ago. However, my children were not off until the end of the first week of June. My school didn’t end until last Wednesday. So this week is our first official week of what I like to call “Camp Mommy.”
Camp Mommy usually includes a few weeks of going to Scout Camp and the rest is filled with outings almost every day. Last year my husband took the kids to a week of overnight Scout Camp, which gave me a week to myself! We also did a week-long sewing class together last year at Joann Fabrics. It was awesome!
However this summer is unlike any other. Many camps have been canceled (including Scout camps and the NCSY program my older son was supposed to go on). My kids are antsy to get out of the house, though, with the quarantine restrictions of the past several months. I am reluctant to do anything with crowds or anything indoors (besides in our house). So I am trying to find amusements that are outside, have low traffic, and still fit the bill for low cost. These include gardens, trails, outdoor mini golf, and the zoo.
I may consider some indoor amusements later in the summer after these places have time to hone their safety protocols. I am thinking bowling and indoor mini golf at Sheldon Galleries might be good.
Anyway, my favorite part of every summer is trying to go to as many different places with my kids as we can. I created a Bingo board years ago with every amusement possible in my area, as well as a general one for readers who don’t live in St. Louis. When we complete one, I add the date and outing name (if needed), as well as a sticker (teacher superspot mini stickers work great for this). This year, I may not use my usual bingo board, though, since many outings do not fit in with being safe from coronavirus.
So what is our plan then? More of a combination of home activities and 2-3 outings a week.
I have spent some time adding to the “Family Fun and Learning at Home” Bingo that I created at the beginning of the Coronavirus quarantine. I added an outings section with the few that seem safest as well as many more ideas for family fun at home. You can download your own FREE copy here (click on the title under the mini pages):
Family Fun & Learning at Home Bingo – pdf version
* For details on any of the items with an *, see my blog post “Keeping your children busy during the Coronavirus quarantine.”
My kids and I created a schedule together of what our days will look like (outing and non-outing days). My triplets are participating in an online enrichment course that keeps them busy in the mornings. Afternoons include time for outings OR games, creative time, walking/biking, free screen time, and a bingo choice. I plan on having the boys rotate choosing an activity to do from the bingo board each day we don’t go on an outing.
I find that the schedule really helps to limit screen time and gives them ideas for what to do at certain times of the day. It also gives us routine and gives me time to do work and other tasks, too. Make your schedule based on your own children’s ages and interests!
We have also been having fun with the Game Challenge I created part way through quarantine. My oldest son made a list of all the games we have in the house. I then converted it to a table. We have been having fun playing each of them and then adding a sticker. Our goal is to play each at least once and then get rid of any we didn’t enjoy! It has been great for Shabbos, holidays, and getting our boys to play together more!
What are you and your family up to this summer? Please share in the Comments!