10 Ways to Make the Most of a COVID-19 Summer

summer bucket list

I always love to make a summer bucket list with my kids and I’m not going to let a little pandemic stop us now! In fact, I think it is needed more than ever. Some of the trips and camps we’d been anticipating will be canceled so we may be home more. All the more reason to have some structure and cheer! 

This list is a little different from some bucket lists. Instead of listing specific fun things, I’ve given you ten categories. You can tweak this list to your family and have every person make his or her own list!

One more thing: some of these require a little bit of mental or physical effort. Don’t be afraid of that! Summer is a great time to learn some new skills and these can be just as rewarding as the trips or entertainment. Maybe even more so!

Here are 10 ideas for your newly revamped summer bucket list. 

1. Physical

You can choose a regular activity like a weekly kickball tournament or it can be a one-time event, like mountain biking or kayaking. Other ideas: go on a family run, learn to cartwheel, have a yard game night, play flashlight tag, or have an outdoor bootcamp.

2. Academic

For our family, we each choose a certain number of books we want to read over the summer and then set a reward for when you reach your goal. We also each picked a subject we wanted to learn more about. (Parents, too!) Some things you could study: weather, lizards, what’s inside appliances, sharks, law, doctors, bugs — the sky’s the limit!

3. Service

Who can you love on this summer? A neighbor, sponsored child, grandparent, cousin far away? Pick an act of service you’ll do as a family this summer to serve someone else.

4. Business

Let your kids scheme up how they can make some money this summer. Do they want to make bracelets, sew potholders, do yard work, take care of pets, have a bake sale?

5. Cooking

I have found that all kids really enjoy cooking. Let them pick a few recipes they’d like to learn to make this summer. 

6. Hobbies

Each person in our family chooses a few hobbies they want to dabble in or get better with over the summer. There are many ideas online, but here are a few we love: collections (rock, shell, bug, coin, baseball cards), woodworking, painting, astronomy, stop motion, coding games, knitting, sewing, candle making, soap making, magic tricks, bird watching, gardening and photography.

7. Travel

Travel may look different this year with Covid-19 restrictions, but together, come up with a place you’d like to go over the summer. You may be surprised with your kids’ suggestions and make a lifelong memory. 

8. Special Days

Have everyone pick one day they want to celebrate. There are so many little-known holidays. Here are a few: S’mores Day (August 10), Middle Child Day (August 12), National Donut Day (June 5) and Parents Day: kids make dinner (July 22).

9. Indoor Play

Rainy and super-hot days are definite, so plan ahead for some fun inside. Build an epic fort and sleep in it that night (I mean, why not?). Do a 1000-piece puzzle. Paint by number, have sundaes for supper, greet Dad with nerf guns, play all your games and rate them, have a dance party, or slide down the stairs!

10. Creative Fun

This is the category for something else awesome you’d like to do. Who knows what your kids will come up with here? Maybe they have their hearts set on a slip and slide, a pet show, a magic show, an ice cream bar, neighborhood olympics, golfing, seeing a waterfall, going camping, a “midnight” picnic, or seeing the beach!

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Jessica Smartt is a homeschooling mom of three and the author of Let Them Be Kids and Memory-Making Mom. She lives in sunny North Carolina and loves biking, eating, and RV camping. Follow Jessica on Instagram.

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