School’s Out for Summer….Now What?

Whew!  What a crazy turn of events!  First and foremost, we hope that you and your family are safe and well.  Whether your kids are done with school for the year or you still have another week or two, congratulations! As chaotic, stressful or even on the flip side, relaxing and enjoyable as it may have been, you made it this far in a time that was a first for all of us. 

So school is out for summer.  Now what?  Traveling is still a little worrisome for many, most in-person summer camps have decided not to open for this season, swimming pools are still up in the air…but we still have to work, have family fun and stay cool. While practicing safer social distancing, how are we going to enrich our children’s summer experience AND keep them out of our hair so we can tend to our job duties?  How are we going to replace family pool time, summer camps and family vacations?  Regardless of what your kids and family are into, we have a couple (ok, many) different suggestions.  Depending on the age of your child, flexibility of your work schedule and number of members in your family, the vision and process of these ideas may vary and  it will be up to you to make each one you choose work for your tribe.

Back to Basics. What did we do before the internet?

  • Grow a Veggie, Flower or Herb Garden
  • Build a Gnome Home and Fairy Garden
  • Know your Ecosystem: Bird, Insect, Bunny, Fox, Bat or Squirrel Watching
  • Work on a Farm
  • Build a House: Bean Pole TeePee, Clubhouse, Dog House, Chicken Coop, Butterly House, Bird House or Rabbit Hutch
  • Whittle Wood: Homemade Slingshot, Bow or Flute
  • Raise a Baby: Chickens, Bunny or Lizard
  • Knitting and/or Crocheting
  • Wool Felting: Purse, Slingshot Balls, Dryer Balls, Forest Animals
  • Mold: Beeswax, Clay, Playdough
  • Draw, Paint, Chalk Art
  • Play an Instrument or Write a Song
  • Tea Party
  • Homemade Popsicles
  • Bake Bread from Scratch
  • Decorate Cookies
  • Cook Family Meals
  • Play Games: Board, Card and String
  • Trampoline, Swim Pool, Yard Games
  • Backyard Camping
  • Play in the Sprinkler
  • Jumprope, Hopscotch, Climb a Tree
  • Walk on Stilts, Tree Swing, Hula Hoop
  • Read Books, Write Stories, Perform a Play
  • Support a Cause: Research it, Pass the Word, Take Action
  • Start a Family Band or Choir, Family Dance Party
  • Science Experiments
  • Build a Rocket
  • Be Sporty Solo: Shoot Hoops, Skateboard, Rollerblade, Pogo Stick, Hop-a-Long Ball
  • Friend or Family Sports (safe distance of course): Frisbee, Tennis, Ping Pong, Corn Hole, SUP, Fishing, River Boat Race
  • Get a Job: Dog Walk, Mow Lawns, Pull Weeds, Tutor
  • Start a Business
  • Train, Walk, Bathe and Brush Family Dog
  • Chores: The endless list of skill builders and parent helpers

Online Groups, Camps, Classes and Activities.

Here is a Wealth of Resources.

Denver Public Library Activities, Books and Events

Free or Almost Free Projects, Activities and Classes

Entertainment Besides Video Games and TV

Camps and Classes

Share Care Bubble

So your daycare or summer camps may not be running at full capacity or may have cancelled all together.  One system that has been budget friendly and makes sure that your kids get to hang out with their buddies while you still get your work done is a Share Care.  During social distancing, you may want to call it a Share Care Bubble and restrict it to only a set group of friends to limit the people we share space with.  Reach out to 5 friends (or less) that have kids at the same/similar age as yours.  Each of you pick a day of the week to watch all of the kids.  If you have 5 families that sign up for it, then you have free daycare for 4 of those days and you only have to give up one day in return.  Of course, you may choose to only do half-days or only a couple of friends and 1-2 days per week.  It’s a flexible option and a win-win for everyone!  

Well, that’s it for now.  The possibilities are endless!  You now have a whole list to choose from, add to your own pool of summer ideas or elicit completely different adventures.  Remember, that even if you have a hundred enjoyable, educational or chore related items to offer your family, the rhythm which you build and follow can make all the difference of the mood and outcome. Rhythm forms expectations, supports more stable emotions, and offers some sort of normality during times of uncertainty.  During your rhythm structure, remember to have alternating activities for breathing in (brain stimulating, creative) and times for breathing out (relaxing, exercise).  Though every day may not invoke the same rhythm, having some consistency throughout each day or each week can be very beneficial.  And don’t forget, it is good for kids to get bored (maybe not for our sanity, but for theirs). A favorite phrase that is borrowed from a former Waldorf teacher, “I am here to love you, shelter you, nourish you. and protect you. I am not here to entertain you.”

Have a great summer!


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Bestow kindness. Practice patience. Spread love. Keep it simple.


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