Safe Summer 2021 Activities & Tips For Kids

It's no stretch to say that 2020 was a year like no other, that summer for many spent under varying lockdown rules. With restrictions now easing thanks to COVID-19 vaccinations, more freedoms can now be enjoyed, but care and due diligence must still be taken - we're not out of the woods yet.

Luckily with a little planning, there are still many fun activities kids can enjoy, giving them a sense of normality that they've long been without. Outdoor activities are preferable in terms of safety, and when the heat is on, preferable for the kids too! Luckily outdoor play is one of the best options for young ones, next to activities done within the immediate family or social bubble.

Below we've collected some safe and straightforward activities ideas for parents, but before we move onto those, we'll lay out some ground rules before leaving the house.

Before You Head Out

Heading out with family in tow can often feel like a military operation at the best of times, but with pandemic woes added to the situation, it's even more important to prepare before you rush out the door.

With the summer heat (hopefully) out to play, sunscreen, hats, and water are a must-pack. Sunburn and dehydration are always a risk to children, especially when they're enjoying some well-earned play and social interaction for the first time in far too long. Us adults are naturally more cautious, and a distracted youngster can tire themselves out in no time.

To be added to the usual list is a face mask, hand sanitizer, and even some handy disinfecting wipes. While going for a bike ride or walking outdoors is one of the safest activities for people of all ages - masks not required - mingling with others still poses a risk. Meeting unvaccinated people outside is better dealt with while wearing a mask when possible. Currently (June 2021), none of the vaccines ok'd for use in the U.S., and most other countries, have been given the go-ahead to administer to those under 12.

While teens are a lot less likely to be spreading infection than some adults, they're still a higher risk than little ones due to their ability to socialize independently. If your kids are on the younger side, it's advised for now that they interact with those of a similar age or vaccinated persons.

Activities

1. Play Dates

One-on-one time with a friend is crucial to a child's development, helping them advance their social skills and fight a sense of isolation. While COVID-19 has been tough on everyone, children especially have had essential learning experiences and interactions delayed. A play date is a simple and fun activity for your child to enjoy and is still manageable this summer with suitable precautions. Try and plan the date between just one other little buddy, avoiding large gatherings. Ensure the kids don't share food and try and suggest games where distance is key, such as hide and seek or swimming in a private pool - chlorine making covid ineffective.

2. Summer Camps

To many people, summer camps may seem like a relic of the past, the type of thing that could have only functioned in the pre-Covid days, but that's not true. Summer camps are opening this year, with organizers and operators taking health and safety very seriously. Vaccinations, facemasks, social distancing, and CDC guidance are all being taken into account. Summer camps don't just offer children the chance to have fun and be social; they also give parents some much-needed breathing space and a chance to relax after months of homeschooling and difficulties.

3. Exercise & Gaming

During the lockdown, the importance of outdoor space was made more apparent to us than ever. This summer, if camps or playdates aren't possible, turning to outdoor exercise and games could allow your child to get some much-needed time in the sun. Ball games, hide and seek, long hikes, outdoor swimming; there are a tonne of activities to explore this summer that can remain safe and be a tonne of fun!

4. Vacations

Summer has always been a great time of the year to travel, with many families having time off to visit family or see different parts of the country. Covid-19 may not be as restricting as you first thought in this regard. Many states in the US are allowing full internal travel privileges to those who have been vaccinated, and the country has even opened its borders to some international travel. As possible as it is, if you are thinking of traveling with your children, make sure you check up on the CDC's official travel advice.

5. Around Town

If you haven't got any plans for the kids this summer, there are still plenty of things you can do around town to entertain them and yourself! Many activities that were once halted by the pandemic are back to normal, with most movie theaters, malls, and sports centers reopened to the public. Although being vaccinated opens the doors to a lot more of these activities, those without it can still stay safe through the proper use of social distancing and face masks. Taking the kids shopping, going to the park, and seeing a movie are all possible in a secure and fun way. If you’ve spent all day outdoors, then when you get home you might want to relax with the family away from the masks and social distancing. Board games, arts and crafts, or online crossword games can create ways to continue to educate your children whilst they’re having fun!

Tips For Summer Activities

  • Socially distance where possible
  • Adhere to face mask regulations
  • Wash your hands often
  • Plan your activities well
  • Drink lots of water
  • Apply plenty of sunscreen
  • Look for shade when possible

About the Author

Sam Walker-Smart

Sam Walker-Smart is a British culture journalist currently based in Bristol. His work has appeared in CLASH, The Huffington Post, Vinyl Me Please, Barcelona Metropolitan, Little White Lies, and other outlets. He enjoys writing about inclusivity in gaming, fun for seniors, educational apps, and entertainment for all. In his spare time, he enjoys weird folklore, sad songs, and good beer.