After the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 hit pandemic status last March, schools across the U.S. either canceled classes for the rest of the semester or finished the rest of the academic year online. Now, a new academic year is about to start, and with going to school and worrying over the pandemic, the next few months might be stressful for your children.
In previous years, children enjoyed the last few days of summer before the school started by going on a vacation, whether it be somewhere within the U.S. or in other countries. But now that it’s not entirely safe to travel for leisure within the country, much less go on international flights, kids don’t have any choice but to spend summer at home.
Make these last few, stress-free days before school starts more fun by enjoying these outdoor activities with your kids:
Teach them how to garden.
According to Princeton University’s Princeton Environmental Institute, one of the best happiness-boosting activities is gardening. So this summer, take advantage of the sun and teach your kids how to grow plants. You can give them a few seeds of flowering plants, such as sunflowers and the perennial dianthus, or let them grow their food by planting vegetables like carrots and tomatoes.
Play the Floor Is Lava.
Turn a typically-indoor game outdoors and make it more challenging by playing The Floor is Lava in your yard. The basic premise is to pretend that the floor—this time, it’s the ground since it’s outdoors—is lava. The challenge is to get to different parts of the yard using other surfaces without touching the ground.
Play catch using water balloons.
Turn the classic game of catch into a summer-friendly match by using water balloons instead of balls. Prepare a bucket of balloons filled with water, then toss each one around and see who pops it first. You might even be able to turn this into a game of dodge ball except your kids will be running around your yard or deck, whose floors have a cementitious coating to make it waterproof, dodging water balloons instead of balls.
Play giant Jenga.
Who says you can only play Jenga on top of a table indoors? Order a box of giant Jenga online if you don’t have one yet and set it up on a stable surface outdoors. The stakes rise as each one takes their turn to remove a block and stack them up, making the structure turn unstable. It will make for lots of laughs, though, when it all eventually comes tumbling down.
Do a backyard scavenger hunt.
Take stock of your yard and the unique things you can find in it, such as a rock with a distinct shape or a forgotten toy. List them down then have your kids hunt for them within a set amount of time. The one who finds the most number of things gets a prize.
These outdoor activities prove that you don’t have to go anywhere or risk your health venturing outside to have fun and enjoy the last days of summer. Not only will your kids be within the safety of your property and your supervision, but these activities also help you form a stronger bond with them.