Coronavirus: How to keep children happy, learning and entertained ...When schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you had to manage homeschooling and working from home.  Now your summer plans have likely unraveled in part due to the pandemic.  You are having to rethink if you should send your child to a summer camp or area camps have cancelled altogether.  And whether taking your child to pool gatherings, playgrounds or amusement parks are a risk to everyone’s health.  But there are summer camp alternatives during COVID-19 that will keep your kids busy at home this summer.  

Tips for keeping kids active at home

  • Create a stay-at-home camp: Research online for fun activities such as science experiments or cooking lessons. Create your own curriculum with activities plus a sleepaway camp in family room or backyard with a tent.
  • Explore science at home: The Houston Museum of Natural Science has weekly virtual camps, where museum staff mail kits to students who sign up.  Kids tune in for an hour-long video session daily teaching them how to perform an activity or science experiment.
  • Enjoy art around the world: View online virtual tours of exhibits from world famous museums.  You can virtually visit the Louvre in Paris or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  • Summer reading and math challenges: Check with your school district to see if they are offering optional summer reading and math challenges available to students.
  • Sign up for summer subscription services: Research online for companies offering subscriptions for summer learning activities.  Companies such as Kiwico, STEM or Little Passports create education boxes based on age group for under $20 a month.
  • Spend time outside: Check with your local park if they are open to have a picnic or hike.  Be sure to take a face mask, hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.  Or if you want to spend time in your backyard create a scavenger hunt or plant a family garden.  Do not forget you can also run around the block or ride bicycles too.
  • Splash into summer: Take a road trip to the beach or lake but still practice social distancing.  Or visit your local Target or Walmart to setup a pool, slip ‘n slide or sprinker in your backyard.

What you decide to do with your kid this summer make sure you maintain a routine.  When a routine is not set in place kids tend to misbehave more or experience anxiety.  For the summer, involve your kid in the process of creating a schedule and reward them with positive behavior.  Since being in quarantine kids have been exposed to more screen time than usual.  Make sure you can limit that by planning outdoor activities or family game nights.