No Camps, No Problem: Fun with Kids in the Summer of Social Distancing

Get creative with ways to entertain children all summer long

Whether you are a parent with a houseful of kids, part of a neighborhood “co-op camp,” or reopening your summer camp business in a dramatically different format, you are most likely searching for activities to make this strange summer special.

Throughout the country, summer camp directors are evaluating their situations and determining what services they will be able to provide, if any. Possibilities include alternate-day camping, consolidating weeks, and taking camp online.

What were once standard summer camp plans will have to change. The kids are not likely to be sleeping away from home. Small-group activities will replace field trips with busloads of kids, and lake and beach outings could be limited.

Amusement, theme, and water parks may not be an option for day trips this summer.

Many of us will find ourselves searching for ways to vacation at home. So, it’s time to use all of the available resources to transform the home school into the home camp.

Use stations to promote FUN

If you have some outdoor space to work with, you have the makings of an impromptu campsite. But as a newly appointed “camp counselor,” you’ll need to make sure some basic rules are followed.

Even in post-lockdown status, good health practices and social distancing should still be observed. Why not create some colorful signs to remind your campers? This could be a fun art project to kick off the summer activities.

Here are some more ideas for activity stations:

  • Crafts stations: Designate a table for DIY summertime crafts appropriate for kids. Ideas for low-cost, interesting crafts targeted at all age groups abound online. Use posters with images and instructions to help kids work independently.
  • Sports stations: Summer is the perfect time for lawn games. Many outdoor “sports” are low impact, can be enjoyed at any skill level, and can allow for social distancing and mask wearing.

Think volleyball, lawn bowling, Frisbee golf, badminton, cornhole, croquet, and giant versions of favorites like Jenga and Yahtzee. Are you part of a neighborhood group? Perhaps split the games among lawns and rotate play weekly. Lawn signs can provide information to campers about how to play and where to stand.

  • Water fun areas: Pools, sprinklers, slippery slides, bouncy slides, and even water balloons can provide refreshing and safe fun, as long as proper supervision and precautions are taken.
  • Performing arts and events for nighttime: Set up a backyard stage for all your future stars. Create some colorful backdrops, get some props, and deck the gang out in matching t-shirts.

Or, hang a sheet, turn your laptop into a projector and have a movie night under the stars. Print up some posters and programs and maybe even some tickets … just be sure to position the audience’s seats the proper distance apart.

  • Non-screen toy stations: Grab some LEGOs (don’t worry, they are easy to disinfect), board games, and cards – anything that doesn’t need to be charged or plugged in – and have some old school tournaments.

Neighborhood scavenger hunts are also a great way to fill some hours and get some walking in.

Don’t forget, there’s always camping out in your backyard, with a tent, sleeping bags, a campfire in the fire pit, and the necessary s’mores.

There will be plenty of virtual options, but…

Many of the country’s camps have already created alternatives to in-person camp activities. They will be offering virtual programs to help fill some summer hours. While that makes sense for days that are rainy or too hot to be outside, after close to a semester of mandatory home schooling, the demand for real-life experiences will be strong.

Hopefully, communities and the private sector will be able to use social distancing protocols to offer some type of camp-like experience for all those who want it. Getting kids used to physical distancing is a good way to prepare them for being out in the world.

Keeping children happily occupied and safe all summer is always a challenge, but the probable absence of many of the usual destinations is sure to inspire some creative solutions.

We would love to learn about your company and help you create a memorable experience. Call 954.838.9318 or email us info@tcgcenter.com

Gaby Thierer

Gaby founded TCGC in 2002 shortly after she immigrated from Argentina. Following her family’s blueprint, Gaby has been working in the printing industry since only 12 years old. Over the years she has worked with thousands of companies helping making their brand memorable.

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