One by one, summer camps are closing. These summer camps are, appropriately, taking the cautious route as camp does not facilitate “social distancing” and the fear of Coronavirus still looms. But that doesn’t mean that the kids, or the parents, are happy about it. Left with a “social distancing” summer, parents are struggling to find summer activities that conform to CDC guidelines and still take their kids away from Mario, Luigi, Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA, and 2K. Here are some ideas – virtual and up close and personal – to help your child make the most of this summer.

Plant a garden. Now is the best time to foster new life. You can teach your child to be a caretaker, to watch life grow in front of him/her. It is a simple project, and you might even be able to use things that you already have in your house. Plant watermelon seeds, apple seeds, or oregano seeds and watch them flourish.

Learn to knit. Creating something new and useful will make your child feel accomplished. It is easy to order knitting materials online, and this is not an expensive project. Plus, you can help your child create a lifelong hobby.

Woodworking. Once again, the goal is to make your child feel accomplished. Start with a simple bird feeder. This is a great way to show your child how important it is to make sure that every living being has access to food. 

Learn a new language. Learning a new language helps to improve memory, concentration, ability to multi-task, listening skills, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking skills. Learning a new language builds creativity, confidence, and flexibility. Plus, language is the most direct connection to other cultures and traditions. Learning a new language helps children to better relate to others. Studies show that children who learn different languages are more open minded and positive towards others. Learning a new language is easy to do online, by yourself or in a group.

Learn an instrument. Learning to play an instrument is an easy, online activity. Playing an instrument fosters creativity, memory, and time-management skills. Children who learn to play an instrument have a greater love of music in general, have better time management skills, tend to be more patient, and are typically more relaxed. Whether your child wants to play piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, or flute, taking the time to learn the language of music can change his/her life.

Study photography and photo editing. Whether your child is five years old or 25 years old, he/she has their own pandemic story and experience. Let’s teach them to tell their personal stories in pictures. Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype with a photography teacher (either one-on-one or with a group of friends), learn to take more professional pictures, and learn to edit your photos. With the right guidance, your child can create something everlasting.

Learn to draw or paint.  At the earliest age, taking an art class helps with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making skills, and risk-taking skills. This summer, let your child immerse himself/herself in color, perspective, layout, and technique. Whether your child wants to try something new or build on an existing skill, virtual art lessons afford him/her the opportunity to see the world from different perspectives.

Learn to sing. Just like learning an instrument, it is easy to take virtual voice lessons. And now is the time to do it. Singing enhances focus, creativity, and memory skills. Singing builds confidence and connections. Taking voice lessons will help children hone their public speaking skills as well as build a greater love of music.

Do a STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math –  project.  Summer activities online offer innovative, structured, skill-building experiences. You can head to the kitchen for a science experiment, embark on a geology scavenger hunt, create your own greenhouse environment, or build your own media platform. STEM activities help children become more literate, productive, flexible, communicative, motivated, and globally aware. This summer, foster your child’s creativity, curiosity, decision-making, and leadership skills with an online STEM project. Whether your child wants to do a project by himself/herself or work with a group of friends, STEM projects offer exciting opportunities.

Learn to write stories. Learning to write is an essential skill. Learning to write stories helps foster your child’s creativity, organizational skills, time-management skills, and communication skills. Write your own story or ZOOM with friends to put together a group story. Not only is a project like this rewarding and fun, but it will help build useful skills that your child can take with him/her throughout life. 

This summer is the perfect time to put all of your creativity to work. Of course, GAMECHANGER is here to help with virtual camp activities that will keep your child safe, healthy, and engaged all summer long.