Keeping kids safe this summer comes with new and exhaustive demands many of us aren’t prepared for. Not everything needs to be just for fun; there are tons of online resources that are educational as well as fun for kids of all ages. We’ve put together some great ways to not only keep your kids entertained at home, but yourself as well.
It’s important to maintain a regular schedule like they would have at school or daycare. So, sticking to their usual meal and sleep times is key to keeping them happy in their new routine.
Staying active is the best way to help them burn off energy they usually use up playing with friends and doing school activities. These can be strictly indoor events like cooking or crafting.
It may seem easy to just hand them a smartphone or tablet to keep them occupied but creating a reward system that allows them to earn screen time is a great way to encourage them to pitch in around the house.
For Younger Children
- Make a painter’s tape maze on the carpet, for use with toy cars and trucks.
- Download templates for a nature scavenger hunt (or make your own) and get outside!
- Make homemade crafting dough or slime. (see directions below)
- Using a whiteboard or pad of paper, let your child teach you; this is a great way for them to practice their own skills and retain knowledge.
- Plant seeds in cups and set in a sunny spot to get an early start on the summer vegetable garden.
- Practice writing skills by becoming pen pals with friends.
- Check out Storyline Online’s YouTube channel, which features celebrities reading books.
Helping your kids create their own slime is an awesome indoor activity, and it only costs about $1 to make! It is a little messy, so make sure to lay down a plastic tablecloth (a trash bag works too) so the slime doesn’t get on the table.
- 8-ounce bottle Elmer’s white school glue
- 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons contact saline solution, more as needed
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- Food coloring or glitter, optional
- Add glue and food coloring to bowl. Squeeze the bottle of glue into a bowl. Add your food coloring and or glitter if desired and stir until combined. Then mix in baking soda.
- Mix in saline solution. Add 1 1/2 Tablespoons saline solution and mix until combined. If it’s too sticky, add 1/2 Tablespoon more solution at a time. The more you add, the thicker it’ll be. The less you add, the slimier it’ll be.
- Knead the slime. Using your hands, knead the slime until it holds together. It will be wet and gooey at first, but just keep kneading until it all comes together.
- Store slime. Store slime in a container with lid, or in a zip top bag. The slime is best to play with on a place mat.
- Use plastic bowls and spoons to make clean up easier.
- Make sure to get the color correct before adding the saline. It’s harder to mix in when it begins to thicken.
- For thicker slime, add more saline solution. For a slimier texture, add less saline.
- Slime is best to play with on a place mat, plastic tablecloth or even a trash bag.
- Can add in extras like glitter, scented oils or even mini styrofoam balls.
- Recipe makes about a cup of slime. Can double or triple based on how many kids there are.
- If you have long hair, make sure to put it into a ponytail. If a little slime gets in your hair, simply rub some coconut oil or olive oil on top and comb it out.
For Older Children
Build a Fort
Whether it’s with couch cushions in the living room, bedsheets in the bedroom, or empty box castle, building a fort is a family affair! You can even add Christmas lights to keep enjoying the fort all night long. And what’s a fort without art to decorate it? Kids of all ages will love being able to have their art put to good use!
FaceTime with Eels
The Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo is asking people to video call their 300 garden eels in order to keep them accustomed to seeing human faces again. Keepers need to be able to inspect the eels to monitor their health and breeding, but the lack of visitors has made them more cautious of seeing people, so they burrow into the sand when approached. The aquarium is limiting facetime calls to five minutes so everyone can have a chance to interact with these unique creatures. To participate, you must use an Apple device capable of FaceTime to call one of these email addresses. Helpchin001[at]gmail.com, Helpchin002[at]gmail.com, Helpchin003[at]gmail.com, Helpchin004[at]gmail.com, Helpchin005[at]gmail.com
Here’s a link to learn more about the Spotted Garden Eel before calling – https://www.coralseadreaming.com/factfile-item/garden-eels/
Image used via Pixabay