Perhaps for most of 2020, your family had been cooped up in your home. Children took their classes online, while their playground was in the yard. If space is small, then they spent most of their time on different screens, watching movies on Netflix or playing video games. You might have taken occasional walks at a nearby park, but that’s about it.
Fortunately, now the vaccine is already available, 2021 might spell better days, especially for the kids. As parents, you already get to plan their activities for the summer — some play and socialization they can do outdoors.
1. Enroll Them in a Summer Camp
Because of the pandemic, many summer camps had to cancel their activities or shut their doors to practice social distancing and follow state protocols. In 2021, they are more likely to open if more Americans receive their vaccinations or the number of cases goes down significantly.
Children who are about 8 years old and above can already enroll in a summer camp. While the activities can vary, they are likely to learn to play games, do arts and crafts, and, most of all, socialize with other kids. They can make new friends, which they might have failed to do in 2020.
Some organizations have summer camp programs, but if you want to feel more confident and secure, ask a daycare center if they have one.
2. Take Them on a Road Trip
When you had spent the majority of your time in 2020 inside the home, then make a road trip a part of your family’s to-do list in 2021.
If you want to take your RV or car across Utah, Wanderlust has a collection of some of the best routes. It will take you across gorgeous national parks, scenic roads, and even mountain resorts. You can decide how long you want to travel. Some take only a few days, while others can last for weeks.
You can also take your vehicle farther to nearby states like Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and California. Covering more places will help your children experience lots of interesting activities during the summer months.
3. Engage Them in Sports
Summer is also one of the best seasons to get your children engaged in sports. It can help compensate for their lack of physical activity in 2020.
Moreover, a 2019 study by the University of Montreal revealed that sports help children adjust later in life. Kids around 6 years old who participate in an organized physical activity might develop better emotion regulation when they reach 12 years old.
Meanwhile, in a 2010 research, young teens who played sports reported feeling happier and healthier about life. They were not only physically fit but were also more emotionally and mentally stable.
4. Expose Them to the Arts
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the mental health of not only adults but also children. According to Psychiatric Times, many kids as young as 7 years old from different countries reported feeling anxious, uncertain, and depressed.
The year 2021 might be one of the best times to help them release their pent-up negative emotions. One option is to expose them to the arts, such as music, theater, and writing.
These activities can help them share their feelings and thoughts with children who are also going through the same thing. Multiple studies also show that music can reduce stress levels and even signs of anxiety and depression.
No doubt, 2020 was hard for everyone, especially for children. The young ones might have less ability to regulate their emotions. By thinking of the better days ahead, you can help lower their stress level and build their sense of hope.