This year, we all have had to adjust quickly. With warm weather coming, that means summer is just around the corner but this time is also going to look different.
Keeping a schedule during the summer will help not only you still be sane during this time but also give your child(ren) the stability they need during this time. A routine will help your child(ren) have some predictability during this time of uncertain. The schedule does not have to look like boot camp, but a loose schedule.
Create a visual schedule and for younger children – including pictures!
● Sit down with your family at the start of summer and create a “Summer Bucket List.” This can help build excitement and allows your kids to provide input as to how they would like to spend their time.
● Utilize themes to help spark your creativity, but also establish a sense of consistency throughout each week:
○ Messy Monday – do an art project with finger paints or practice writing in shaving cream, or make a mud pie!
○ Wet Wednesday – visit different pools or splash pads or have a water balloon fight in your backyard!
○ Fun Friday – explore a new playground each week or do something different like visit the virtual zoo or the virtual aquarium! You get the idea!
As our summer activities are going to look different with limited summer camps, vacations, and fun gatherings; but that does not mean you cannot have fun at home!
Parks and Trails
Metro Parks of Butler County have an updated list of the parks that are open and closed with guidelines https://www.yourmetroparks.net/covid-19
Great Parks of Hamilton County have an updated list of the parks that are open and closed on https://www.greatparks.org/covid-19
Warren County Park DIstricts have all their parks open with restrictions https://www.co.warren.oh.us/parks/
Five Rivers Metropark of Montogomery County have all their parks open with restrictions https://www.metroparks.org/alerts/
Virtual Summer Camps
Varsity Tutors are offering FREE week-long virtual summer camps Ages: 5-18 Price: FREE Dates: June - August https://www.varsitytutors.com/virtual-summer-camp-catalog
Operation Exploration: Backyard Biosphere Virtual Day Camp Ages: 8–12 Price: $25/camper Dates: May 26–29, 2020, 9:30 a.m. https://www.greatparks.org/discovery/children/day-camps
Joffrey Ballet Ages: 9-16 Price: $145 per week Dates: June 15-19, June 29-July 3, July 13-17 http://joffrey.org/academy/programs-and-divisions/summer-camps
Music Institute of Chicago Ages: 8-Adulthood Price: Varies Dates: June-August https://www.musicinst.org/2020-summer-programs
Cub Scout Adventure Box Age: 1-6 grade Price: $55.00 per box Dates: June-August https://scoutingevent.com/160-adventurebox
Virtual Field Trips
On this virtual field trip from Dairy Council of California, students will learn all about dairy farming, including how milk and dairy foods are produced and the nutritional benefits of dairy products. https://www.healthyeating.org/Schools/Mobile-Dairy-Classroom/Farm-to-You-Virtual-Field-Trip
The Cincinnati Museum Center has developed a lot of videos for your child(ren) to continue learning during this time. https://www.cincymuseum.org/wonderzone/
There are so many amazing online options when it comes to zoos that we couldn’t narrow it down to just one. Most zoos and aquariums have live webcams in some of their most popular exhibits. San Diego Zoo: https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams Smithsonian’s National Zoo: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams Denver Zoo: https://denverzoo.org/zootoyou/ Memphis Zoo: https://www.memphiszoo.org/animal-cams Australia Zoo: https://www.zoo.org.au/animals-at-home/ National Aquarium in Washington D.C.: http://samuraivirtualtours.com/example/nadc/index.html Georgia Aquarium: https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/ Monterey Bay Aquarium: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams Tropical Reef: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F109TZt3nRc
Learn about a variety of different farms including pigs, grain, and minks just to name a few. https://www.farmfood360.ca/
Take a tour of the Boston Children’s Museum. https://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/museum-virtual-tour
Smithsonian’s National Museums of National History with current and past exhibits: https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has 26 galleries available to view right from your home. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-metropolitan-museum-of-art
Explore the sky above us with Stellarium on their star map. https://stellarium-web.org/
Google Earth has made virtual tours of National Parks across the country. https://email@example.com,-94.20828246,312.21005962a,12000000d,35y,0h,0 t,0r/data=Ci0SKxIgMzVhNjc1YmQ0NjVjMTFlOTg0Yjg1NTMyNWRjMDk2MzQiB3ZveV90b2M
Go to the Channel Islands in California to watch our National bird sit on her nest. https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/bald-eagle-webcam.htm
Travel the world and explore the nature that the earth has to offer. https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement/nature-lab/ virtual-field-trips/
Walk famous trails of Yellowstone park. https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm
On live webcams; witness Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin in the Yellowstone Park. https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm
Learn about what it takes to be a service dog with these live streams of puppies being trained! https://explore.org/livecams/warrior-canine-connection/service-puppy-cam
The Great Lakes are a huge staple in our country, learn more about them through a field trip. https://www.greatlakesnow.org/virtual-field-trip/
Interested in Goats, the Beekman 1802 has a goat live stream: https://beekman1802.com/pages/the-goats
Explore art around the world with https://artsandculture.google.com/
Visit Ellis Island to learn about the Statue of Liberty and tour the museum. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/webcast.htm
Explore cities all over the world, jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet, and jump in the ocean to swim with the sharks. https://www.360cities.net/
Home Activities and Crafts
DIY is a safe environment with step-by-step videos that contain no ads. The site is free for 14-days then it is a monthly subscription. The videos range in age-appropriate of 3-16. Have your kids be creative and use their imagination this summer. https://diy.org/#courses
The Cincinnati Zoo has videos of learning to go along with crafts of over 20 of their animals. http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources/
Nature Hunt: Summer is the perfect time for children to observe and enjoy nature for the whole family. Come up with a list of flowers, birds, plants, insects, and much more for your child(ren) to find in your backyard or in the park. Taking pictures of all your finds to share with others.
Water Games: Everyone get ready to get wet, play tag using a hose, transfer water from one bucket to another with only a sponge, jump around in the sprinkler, play soggy dodgeball, and water balloons.
Family Book Club: Everyone gets a book and shares what they have learned or the storyline with the family on a designated day.
Family Movie Night: Go around the family members each time to choose the movie; so no one gets left out. Enjoy healthy snacks with blankets and pillows.
Backyard Camping: Pull out the tent, sleeping bags, flashlights and enjoy your backyard. Or your living room if you are not fond of the bugs outside.
Jigsaw Puzzle: Complete a puzzle that the whole family likes then once it is complete glue it to put up within your home.
Northwestern has courses over the summer to allow your child to continue learning and even earn High School Credit. Ages: 3-18 Price: Varies Date: June-August https://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/courses?program_type=550&season=560&sort=alpha
San Diego Zoo Global Academy Ages 13+ Price: Free Date: All Summer https://sdzglobalacademy.org/coursewereheretogetherfreespecies.html
Super Soccer Stars is creating opportunity for your child to keep up with their soccer skills and develop more skills to show off when they get to the field. Ages: 8-18 Price: Varies Date: Present till August http://newyork.supersoccerstars.com/digital/
Baketivity sends a box of ingredients for your child to make a dessert for 4 weeks. Ages: 8-16 Price: Varies: one-time box and then 4-week camp Date: Ongoing https://baketivity.com/camp/
Chess New York City has moved its learning to online! Ages: 4-18 Price: Starting at $18 Date: Ongoing https://chessnyc.com/
Best Buy Geek Squad Academy Ages: 10-18 Price: Free Date: Ongoing 4 activities https://corporate.bestbuy.com/geek-squad-academy-at-home/
Camp WIT is a camp that empowers teens to become leaders and entrepreneurs. Ages: 13-18 Price: Free but needs an application and Zoom interview Date: June 1- June 26 https://corporate.bestbuy.com/geek-squad-academy-at-home/
The Nature Lab has developed curriculums on how to help our planet be the healthiest it can be. Grades: K-12 Price: Free Date: Ongoing https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/who-we-are/how-we-work/youth-engagement/nature-lab/
This list was compiled by child counselor Mariah Goodwin, MA,LPC.