JULY 8, 2021
They made it! Whether your kids had virtual school, showed up in person, or had a combined schedule, each student deserves a big round of applause for their resilience during a particularly challenging year.
Celebrate summer with these 10 activities to keep the boredom at bay, while staying safe.
1. Cook around the world.
Even if you’re not comfortable traveling this summer, you still can add some culture (and a little extra education) to your home. Pull out the globe or a map, and let the kids choose a country. Read up on its customs and traditions, and then cook a popular dish from that country or region. Cook a shepherd’s pie or set out afternoon tea for England, bratwurst and spaetzle for Germany, or try mochi from Japan.
2. Plan an outdoor movie night.
Find a blank backdrop — an exterior wall, sheet, or inflatable screen — get out a projector, and choose the perfect summer family flick. Look for classic films like “Homeward Bound,” “Cool Runnings,” “The Goonies,” or any animated film all the kids will enjoy. Don’t forget the popcorn and snacks.
3. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Have a busy toddler? Print out a sheet with pictures of leaves, acorns, sticks, and grass, and take them on a nature walk to find each of the items. For the preteen and teen crowd, you can create a more sophisticated scavenger hunt that involves clever clues, puzzles, and selfies to snap at certain locations.
4. Camp out.
Kids prefer the indoors? Even if they aren’t outdoor people, camping doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Not willing to head to a National Park or local campsite? Pitch a tent in the backyard, roast hot dogs over a fire pit, and let them stay up and scare each other with ghost stories.
5. Cultivate plants.
It’s not too late to let your little ones reap the rewards of sowing seeds or watching flowers bloom. Unsure about growing fruits or veggies? Start with something easy like pumpkin or watermelon seeds. If outside space is an issue, try an easy-growing houseplant, like a snake plant, pothos, or succulent.
6. Create a water obstacle course
No one really wants to be outside all day when it’s hot and humid. Transform your yard into an outdoor water wonderland with a slip-n-slide, buckets of water balloons, a sprinkler, and games like lawn bowling or outdoor Jenga.
7. Play hide-and-seek with a twist
What’s more fun than hide-and-seek? Playing the game in the pitch-black. Gather a few neighborhood kids or trusted friends, wait until it’s dark out, and let the squeals commence. Just make sure you designate a safe area away from the street, like a fenced yard, for game play.
8. Explore somewhere new
Summer is the best time to unearth new-to-you gems in your local community. It could be that new independent bookstore across town you’ve been meaning to check out. Maybe it’s a bike trail that meanders through the woods at the outskirts of town. Or perhaps it’s the outdoor storytime for the age 4-and-under set. Be a tourist in your own town this summer. You may be surprised at what you discover.
9. Film a movie
Let them channel their inner director by filming a movie. Let your 10-year-old use LEGO toys or stuffed animals to create a filmed narrative. Hand your older children a camera and let them record snippets of their summer wanderings. At summer’s end, combine all of those recordings into a video for a memorable snapshot of the summer.
10. Make video calls fun again
Remember how, at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was hopping on Zoom or FaceTime for a bit of comradery during quarantine? The allure of virtual meetups may have dissipated (thanks to endless Zoom meetings and virtual school), but there are still plenty of ways to gather with friends and family from afar. Look for virtual game apps, like Houseparty, Scattergories, or trivia for plenty of fun and laughs, especially on rainy or too-hot days.
Ensure your kids stay safe and healthy throughout the season with these tips:
Keep them hydrated. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is half your child’s body weight in ounces.
Provide shade. Heat exhaustion is real, so if your kids stay outside all summer, make sure they take breaks away from the sun. Warning signs may include exhaustion or cramping.
Apply (and reapply) sunscreen. Use at least 30 SPF, and make sure to reapply every two to three hours. Try to stay out of direct sun during peak times.
Keep bugs away. If mosquitoes and biting gnats seem to follow your child wherever they go, invest in bug spray, keep them inside in the late afternoon or early evening when bugs are more prevalent, and make sure you have bug bite remedies on hand.
Practice water safety. Never leave a child unattended in a pool, invest in swimming lessons, and if you have a pool, make sure you have layers of protection surrounding it.
Never leave kids in a hot car. A car can quickly turn into a hot oven during the summer. If you have an infant or toddler in a rear-facing car seat, create a routine that ensures you won’t forget them in the car. Place one of your shoes in the backseat, your phone, or your purse or bag.
Invest in bike helmets. Protect their heads with a properly fitted helmet, whether they’re on bikes, roller skates or blades, hoverboards, or scooters.
Teach them boating safety. Always outfit your children with the right-size life jacket, and teach them about the importance of safety around boats and jet skis.
Use a security system to help monitor your kids. Outdoor security cameras can help you keep an eye on kids playing in the back and front yards, and door sensors can alert you to their comings and goings, especially if you’re not home.
As they grow, your kids will look back on their childhood summers and those fun summer activities with fondness. Protect your most precious assets with security solutions from Brinks Home™.
Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.
Your request has been submitted.
One of our expert security consultants will be in touch. Together, we'll design a smart home security system to fit your lifestyle.
Complete this form and a Brinks Home™ Security Consultant will reach out regarding building your security system.