As the academic year comes to a close, kids no longer have to attend 8-hour synchronous classes and work on modules which means they’ll have more free time to spend at home.
But with the current state and health restrictions imposed to combat the alarming infection rates in the country summer break isn’t exactly as exciting as it was two to three years ago.
The big deal about ‘boredom’
No, your children aren’t just bored. They may be anxious and restless, too.
For the second time around, summer’s quite a bummer this year especially for kids, as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on around the globe – leading families to stay indoors.
According to new findings about children’s mental health and well-being, children and adolescents are more anxious and depressed amid the pandemic. It’s suggested that the pandemic’s disruption of predictability – considered a stabilizing force for children and adolescents – is causing mental and emotional distress for both age groups.
Now, more than ever, children are demonstrating a spectrum of disturbances from general feelings of anxiety to depression. Indeed, the quarantine has greatly affected their mental well-being. This has led to calls for home intervention to help kids channel their thoughts and emotions in a positive way.
Although your usual family outdoor activities during summer are inaccessible to you right now, there are many other ways you can help yourself and your children cope with the daily mental and emotional stress.
Indoor Activities for a Productive Summer with Your Kids
1. Get Cooking!
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There’s nothing that kids love more than cooking, This summer, it’s time to teach your kids how to cook and not just eat. Instead of cooking something that may rot their teeth, how about cooking something healthy and delicious at the same time?
One simple recipe you can also try is spaghetti and meatballs. It’s a meal kids really love to eat and it’ll be a treat for them to know how it’s made. Plus, using a recipe that uses vegetables for the sauce is a great way to introduce the greens to the kids.
2. DIY toys for the inventive
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Kids need to play during summer break, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy them a new set of toys. Why not encourage them to make their own toys? With yarns and ribbons, they can make a doll. With rocks and paint, they can make cool figurines. Let them exercise their creativity.
3. Create your own indoor obstacle course
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Using home items like colored tapes, paper cups, and crepe paper, you can create an indoor obstacle course for your kids to get up and move.
With a stack of paper cups by the hallway and tapes draped across the room, it gives them the opportunity to step over, crawl and get their body moving and stretching. Not only does an obstacle course provide exercise, but it also gives kids the chance to enhance their analytical skills before making the next step.
4. Cork stamps for the A-lister
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Carving stamps on corks is an activity that requires adult supervision because it involves the use of a cutter. You can teach your kids how to cut various shapes like heart, star, flower, and even Mickey Mouse when you’re that good. When done right, this activity can be as fulfilling as it is fun.
5. Make your own indoor hopscotch
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Got energetic kids hopping around inside your condo?
Get some colored washi tape and place them on the floor to create your very own hopscotch! It’s a great activity and exercise to do indoors, just be wary of the noise as it may bother the neighbors downstairs. Plus, hopping and jumping all around can wear out their energy for the day.
6. Don’t let the balloon touch the ground
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Balloons are a great tool to keep kids occupied and entertained for a long period of time. A popular balloon game your kids could enjoy indoors is keeping a balloon floating in mid-air with the challenge of not letting it hit the floor.
If it does hit the floor, create fun and easy penalties like having them sing a song they like or do a dance number in the living room. This is also a good way to make chores fun for your kids.
7. The ultimate Lego color hunt
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Got a bunch of legos scattered around your condo? Turn this into a fun game by hiding them all across the home and put out four colored papers on your table.
The challenge is for your kids to find all these lego pieces you’ve hidden for a period of time and sort them by color. This is a great way to test your kid’s critical thinking skills, color coordination, and teamwork (if they are siblings) in a timed environment.
8. Paint by the numbers
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There’s a new trendy activity for kids nowadays— paint by the number!
Paint by the numbers is a coloring activity that your kids (and maybe even you!) will surely enjoy. There are two ways to go about this activity:
First, you can order a variety of drawn canvas that’s numbered according to their assigned colors from your preferred e-commerce store.
Second, you can DIY and print out photos that kids can easily color or paint on and place your own numbers with color references.
Either way, this activity can help enhance your children’s creativity and expression while they’re on summer vacation.
9. Make-believe games for the imaginative
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The power of imagination is what makes children very special. Since you and your kids are spending a lot of time together this summer, you might as well hop in and join their little imaginative worlds by playing make-believe games with them. That way, you can help enrich their imagination and cultivate their social and emotional intelligence while keeping the spirit of fun alive.
Photo courtesy of Andy Fitzsimon via Unsplash
Another easy (yet sneaky) way to get kids involved with chores!
Got a bunch of chores that need to be done but your kids refuse to lend a helping hand? Turn their competitive spirit to your advantage by turning your list of chores into a mini-Olympics.
This activity is also a smart ways to teach kids the art of decluttering! The game can be as simple as seeing who accomplishes the most chores correctly.
As for the prizes? Up to you! Choice can be that the winner will choose your next food delivery for lunch, or decide the movie for next week’s marathon!
11. Indoor camping
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Has camping been a tradition or maybe even a bucket list activity with your kids? You can recreate the whole camping experience by building a fort from your sheets and stay in for the night with your kids.
To make it more fun, you can have camping rules like no gadgets for most of the time, no leaving the tent in case of potty emergencies, and even have camping food prepared! Nothing beats the camping experience if you don’t have a bunch of s’mores to snack on.
12. Indoor sports fest
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Got some athletic children in the house? Or maybe you’ve been hoping to help your kids develop a fitness habit in your condo? Don’t fret! Convert your usual sports games into safe indoor ones. This is a good way of helping them form a positive attitude and acceptance of sports and fitness.
For example, use an old net and a small and soft ball to get your kids up and running for the goal. You can also create your own bowling alley with painter tape and paper cups for your pins and take your turns to knock them out.
Just remember to use soft balls only for indoor sports games! We don’t want any scratches on the floor or broken items by the end of the game.
13. Start a book club with the kids
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Enhance your kid’s reading skills even after their school has ended by starting a book club with the family.
Every week, you can assign a story that everyone should read. At the end of the week, everyone will gather around to discuss and share their insights about the story they’ve read.
You can start the discussion by having them share or tell the story using their own words— just to gauge if they understand and read through the story. Next is sharing what parts they liked or disliked, or what character they loved the most. Ask them different questions about the book, it will surely help them appreciate reading more and even increase their reading comprehension.
14. Design your own shirts
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Got some old white shirts collecting dust in your closet? It’s time to take them out and ask your kids to redesign them with tie-dye colors or paint!
A t-shirt is like a blank canvas for your kids so they could let their creativity shine. You can print out their favorite characters’ patterns, have sponges in different shapes and sizes, or have buttons or stickers they can place.
Pro-tip for moms: Remember to lay out some newspapers before kickstarting your activity.
15. Ice pops for everyone!
Photo courtesy of deborahmiller56 via Pixabay
Summer in the Philippines can be really hot. That’s why ice pops at the end of a tiring day can bring relief from the summer heat. Making ice pops is simple. You can easily teach your kids to make their own delicious treats while also spending precious moments with them.
16. Time for some twister
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Koch via Pixabay
Nothing says stretch than a good game of Twister.
Not only is it good exercise, but it’s also a nice thinking game on how to move your bodies without losing balance, too. If you don’t have the official Twister game, that’s totally okay. All you need are a few cut-out colored papers and you’re good to go!
17. Family movie marathon night
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Got no plans this weekend? Enjoy a nice bonding session with your kids by rolling out some of their favorite movies! Allow your kids to pick one (or two or three) movies you can watch all together this weekend. Don’t forget the popcorn!
18. Make a time capsule
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Making memories can also be a productive and fun activity for your kids. Remember all the activities you did as a family this summer by collecting a few trinkets and photos and sealing them in a box.
After a few years, your kids can open it and remember how summer was like when everyone was staying home during the pandemic.
Your kids need your love and support now more than ever. Keep the fun and energy alive this summer with these activities your kids will surely enjoy!
For more parenting tips and tricks, check out the DMCI Communities blog.