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Blog - Summer Learning

6 Sizzling Summer Activity Ideas for Families During the Quarantine

July 14, 2020

family outdoor running activities

In some respects, summer has been cancelled this year. For many kids around the country, family vacations have been cancelled, day camps shuttered, and pools closed all thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic that is still sweeping the nation. It’s reasonable to think that children and adults alike are suffering from quarantine fatigue, tired of staying indoors with nothing to do while the sun is shining and the weather outside is warm and inviting. 

However, taking a look at the recent spike in the number of virus cases, it’s clear that the disease isn’t done with us yet. As some cities and states revert back to widespread closures, your family might need a little summer pick-me-up in the form of fun family activities in lieu of the ruined plans. And if you’re like a lot of other families, you might be on the search for cheap, outdoor ideas that can be done with minimal supplies that can be found around the house.

If you’re looking to end the season on a positive note, especially before the new school year begins, we’ve got the tips and activities you need to help your family survive the rest of this strange, quarantine summer.  Let’s take a look at some ways to prepare for this last half of the season, before diving into some exciting ideas to bring some joy and fun for the whole family!

Preparing for a Socially Distanced End to the Summer

By now, there’s no doubt that you’ve read all the advice about surviving the pandemic with your family. You might have set up routines, or even a schedule to help your child learn and grow. But now that months have gone by without much change, you might need some tips to end the summer smoothly. In general, be sure to: 

  • Keep up with set routines and maintain structure for children. Let’s face it, many families are weary of the social distance, restrictions, and a quarantine in general. But this makes it even more important to double down on those very routines that were created to give children structure at home. Keep up your routines or reevaluate them to make sure they still meet your family’s needs.
  • Stay active! Kids need plenty of opportunities for play, especially play that involves activating the imagination as well as physical activity. It’s well known that regular exercise helps improve mood and sleep. Be sure plan for plenty of outdoor games that can also double as exercise!
  • Think outside the box when it comes to the usual summer celebrations, like birthday parties or family reunions. Gathering in large groups is not recommended at the moment, but birthday car parades and virtual connections with family can still serve as a great way to stay socially connected to others, even while stuck at home.

In between family adventures, don’t forget to turn to Kids Academy for the best all-in-one learning app! Subscribe today and take full advantage of our brand-new Summer Camp! For a limited time, get 50% off all subscription plans!


So, say that you’ve got all the necessary information to spend the last half of the season safely with your family, you might some ideas to make each day a little bit more fun. Try the activities below for fun ways to live out the dog days of summer!

Fun Activities for Family in the Summer

a girl and a boy playing down

Exciting summer games and activities don’t have to break the bank. Many of the ideas below involve materials you can find around the house, and can be great for even low-income families, or those struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Poolside Painting with Flyswatters

Some paint, cardboard or poster board, flyswatters, and an inexpensive plastic baby pool is all you need to have a little bit of fun painting outdoors for a creative activity with the kids!

Most flyswatters come with grid of tiny holes, that can be turned into interesting mosaic art! For this activity collect some flyswatters. Check out flyswatters that come in fun shapes and colors from big box stores online. When ready to get started, head outdoors and set up the baby pool, placing the cardboard or poster board inside, flat against the bottom. Don’t worry if paint gets in the pool, as it can always be cleaned! Place the swatters on the cardboard, and paint over the grid. Children can drip paint over it, use their fingers, a paintbrush, or even use spray chalk or paint. Pick up the swatter to see the designs below! Get creative and make exciting scenes to finish their masterpieces!

Play a Family Water Balloon Volleyball Game

Water balloons are always exciting to play with, and with endless opportunities for play, such as relays and games, your kids can stay occupied throughout the summer with these inexpensive toys!

Make sure to have enough water balloons and to fill them up and place in a bucket before starting this game. Gather beach towels to have one towel per pair of players on either team. To begin, simply create a dividing line using a net. If you don’t have one, just create a line in the grass or use sticks, or some other object to mark an area that players can’t cross.

Players work together with one player holding one short end of a towel, and another player holding the other. A designated person acting as the referee should place a water balloon in the towel of the serving team. The servers will use the towel to toss the balloon over the net to the other side, where those players use their towel to attempt to catch it. Throw it back and forth. If the balloons pop while trying to catch it, the other team scores the point!

Want to go on a treasure hunt? Try Geocaching!

Did you know that there is a huge treasure hunt going on across Dubbed “the world’s largest treasure hunt”, geocaching is an awesome way to get out of the house with your kids this summer! If you want all the fun of a scavenger hunt, but none of the planning or preparation involved, simply head to the site linked above and create a free account to get started.

In general, geocaching is an activity that allows you to use a GPS device, such as a smartphone, to find geocaching treasure boxes in your local area to see what you find in the box and record your experience in the logbook and online. Thousands of geocaching boxes are waiting to be found in metropolitan areas and parks all across the country, so get started today to find all of them in your location!

Host an Outdoor Family Movie Night

the whole family watching a movie

Many movie theatres are closed, and new releases have been postponed until a later date, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a movie at home, with some special modifications!  Take movie night outdoors and host a backyard screening of a family favorite film, or even something new!

You’ll want to plan this evening ahead of time to make sure you set the mood just right. First you’ll need something on which to play a movie; if you have spare cash, you can purchase a portable projector screen that can hook up to your computer to stream a movie from your favorite app, or you can opt for CINEMOOD device that will do it all for you! You can set up a large bed sheet to project the movie on, while setting up outdoor furniture.

But don’t feel the need to make any purchase at all, because all you really need is a TV that can stream a film, and perhaps an extension cord. That’s right, using your outdoor electrical outlet, and something to rest it on, you can simply just move the TV outside to your porch or deck, as long as you check the weather to be sure that rain is nowhere to be found. Don’t forget to make some popcorn and fix cold drinks for the entire family to enjoy!

Construct a Backyard Teepee 

In the winter, children love to build blanket and pillow forts, so why not move outdoors in the summer to create a teepee? To prepare, gather the following materials:

  • Six, 6 ft. bamboo stakes (which can be purchased cheaply at garden centers or big box stores)
  • A large flat bed sheet (king size works best)
  • Twine or jute rope
  • 10-12 Clothespins

To create, push the bamboo stakes into the ground, arranging them in a wide circle, leaving an opening in the front. Bend the stakes so they come together at the top and tie with the twine or jute. Wrap the sheet around the structure starting at the top and draping it horizontally, ensuring that the ends are in the front to create an opening or door. Then, secure use the clothespins to secure the bedsheet to each stake to finish the teepee. Invite your children to fill the teepee with comfy blanket and some pillows and share some stories together or play!

Visit a State or National Park

State and national parks offer up amazing activities and attractions, and many are still open during the pandemic because of the ability to successfully social distance guests. Plan a day of fishing, canoeing, or hiking, and learn about the awesome animals and plants that live in these enchanted areas! If your nearby park offers camping, take full advantage of this great option for a modified family vacation. As an added bonus, use the geocaching app to locate boxes during your trip!


Don’t let the pandemic ruin your family’s summer! As you can see, there are still plenty of options for summer fun before the fall begins! Consider the survival tips explained above as well as these fun-filled family activities to end your summer on a positive note! But don’t forget; when faced with downtime in between your adventures, turn to Kids Academy for the highest quality learning resources and apps!

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