Just because we’re still socially distancing doesn’t mean the summer’s great pleasures can’t be enjoyed. While not all of us have a backyard, almost all of us know of a place we can take our families where we can have some sense of social distancing from others in the summer sun. Nature is all around and Colorado Springs has an abundance of opportunities to get outside with your little ones.
Here’s a list of creative approaches we can take to enjoy the arrival of summer with our families whilst protecting them from COVID19.
Build a simple waterpark in your backyard. I think nowadays, I would screech at seeing kids do some of the shenanigans we got into as kids, like drinking tap water straight from the garden hose on a hot day… but running through sprinklers was a joy not to be missed when a pool is not open. If you have a back yard space to work in, Slip ‘n’ Slides, assorted sprinklers, and water balloons can help you beat the heat in a way that is miles different from winter fun. J House Vlogs made their own sprinkler frame for the kids to run through with a little ingenuity and PVC pipe:
Picnic and barbeque. As we mentioned last month, the summer has many specific tastes that unlock the fun. Just because you can’t have twenty friends over doesn’t mean that your family wouldn’t enjoy having a barbeque, or perhaps even just a picnic. Try bringing your grill and/or fire pit out to your driveway and inviting your neighbors to do the same. There’s plenty of space and fresh air but it still feels like a party—don’t forget the Smores! These summer fares will help mark the change in season and move kids past the idea that they are stuck in a depressing pandemic. In addition to eating, there’s also learning to make summer treats in the kitchen including summer popsicles. YouTube Vlogger Missy Lanning has some great tips on making good-for-kids summer popsicles:
Create a Family Olympics. My family did this when I was in preschool: hosted a Family Olympics! We took a trip to a nearby high school and took pictures and Super-8 film (yes, I am that old) of my brothers and sisters doing various feats… running, jumping, climbing, and throwing. As the youngest, my parents prepared a special event or two for just me, so that I could shine and feel special (and not left behind). Keep in mind that the Olympics doesn’t have to be a traditional one; it can be tailored to the strength of your child’s indoor activities as well, such as a video game high score (or lowest time to complete)… You can even buy small awards and trophies online to commemorate the event, and with a dry board and a stopwatch, you can officiate times, distances, and so on for the camera! Watch the video below of the Presley family keeping their spirits up!
Dream of next summer. One thing you can do to offset the loss of a family vacation this summer is to plan next year’s trip with your kids, Plan a special meal around the meeting, where you can talk to kids about what they most want to do. While you can’t do some trips if still recovering from the financial hardships of COVID19, you can still plan a trip where the entire family can look forward to next year’s doings. Work on a staycation to whet the appetite of the kids, where the whole family can watch videos of the attractions or the places they hope to see in the coming year.
With just a little bit of creativity and energy from you, the summer blahs can change to excitement and a feeling that COVID19 will eventually pass and let them be free again, and that the rites of summer will carry them on through whatever should happen. We at Creekside Kids hope your child will carry these reminders and use them to lift their spirits throughout their entire lives.