Finally, your children made it through another school year that was tumultuous, to say the least. And, almost more important than that, you survived the ordeal as well. But with summer in full swing brings another set of challenges: what to do to fill those empty months? Typically, it was easy to schedule summer camps, vacations, pool parties, get togethers with friends and family, and more. Even though there is progress being made with adults getting vaccinated, children’s return to normalcy is still lagging.
Make Time Away from Home
Although most camps and other children-only inclusive activities aren’t happening, there are certainly other ways of getting a break away from home for your family. Many families are weighing the options of taking vacations at all, and whether it’s worth it for safety reasons. Adults with the vaccine are 91% protected against COVID-19, but children are still susceptible. Many parents are deciding to take smaller, less intense vacations, opting for Airbnbs and other rentals that have all the amenities, including a private swimming pool, so families can get away and relax without being around crowds. Other families are choosing short road trips for family visits, as these can be easy to keep small and cohesive without spreading any germs. Finding places around you that aren’t experiencing heavy foot traffic are good ways of getting your children out as well. Day trips to the library, if open, can be exciting for your book worm kids, as well as taking those checked out books to places where they can read out loud. Animal shelters will provide reading programs for kids to read to cats and dogs, and most of these facilities have limited capacities.
Make Time for Your Community
Although some time away from home may be nice, there’s nothing like grassroots work right in your own community that can help bolster your children’s early work ethic. We’re not talking about slaving away on projects, but giving back to the community can have tremendous effects on children, especially when it occurs every year. If there are stretches of roads near you that could use a cleaning, make it a family project one Saturday. You’ll all get some fresh air, and a chance to show your children the value of nature. Even going out hiking will give your children a chance to explore and expel some excess energy. If you have local soup kitchens or food pantries, set a goal of receiving donations from your friends and neighbors in support. People can donate the goods to your home or a specific location, and after a few days the items should be clear of any contaminants. Your children can get involved then in helping you sort through the donations and word of mouth, asking their friends to help donate. They can aid in dropping off the donations once the time has elapsed, and see the good that can be done through hard work.
Time to Explore!
No matter what you choose to do this summer, ensure everyone is comfortable enough to continue with it. Shorter trips will be easier on everyone’s patience, and your wallet. On top of this, getting out into the community and helping each other out teaches invaluable lessons to your children, regardless of their age. Getting out this summer will be a positive experience no matter what you choose, as long as you’re together as a family.