No More Obstacles – #CovidSummer Series Part 1

summer learning staycationFor many (if not most) of us, transition from the end of the school year to Summer 2020 will look identical to the past few months: school-aged kids and teens are home. Full time.

Let’s be real. There are some obstacles that have pushed their way into our “traditional” perception of summer. Some places are beginning to re-open their doors, others aren’t at that stage yet. In addition, some of us may not be quite ready for or feel comfortable with being in public spaces. 

That doesn’t mean summer is a bust, it just means we need to continue to be a bit creative! 

As regular readers know, we are all about creativity. As this New York Times article explains, play driven by imagination is rich with learning opportunities … not to mention lots of fun. Long before digital [insert word here] and the Internet, kids had amazing, memorable summers. Come to mention it, I was one of those kids! Maybe you were, too.

Over the next few weeks we are going #Old School to (re)create wonderful summer memories right in our own neighborhoods. It’s been an incredible year, and it deserves some great memories! So let’s kick things off with … 

The Family Obstacle Course

Can you think of a better way to clear out obstacles than to go over, under, and through them? Me neither. 

An obstacle course can be whatever you want it to be: individuals or teams, inside or out, competitive or cooperative, 6 feats or 10. You get the idea. Everyone can participate in creating and going through the challenges, supporting, encouraging, and laughing with each other along the way. Call it the home version of American Ninja Warrior and you’ll get instant buy-in. 

If you’d like a little inspiration, we included links to some How-To resources at the end. These starter lists of basic supplies are built with the things you likely to have around your house. I have no doubt the kids have some ideas they’ll want to add in, too!

Supplies for Outdoor Activities
  • Sidewalk chalk or paint
  • balls (any type), frisbees
  • jump rope(s)
  • hula hoops
  • inflatable pool
  • beach toys
  • bucket(s)
  • cornhole or similar tossing game(s)
  • pole (limbo station or jump over)
  • bubbles
  • stopwatch / timer
Supplies for Indoor Activities
  • chairs or tables (e.g., for crawling under)
  • pillows
  • string
  • balloons
  • laundry basket
  • towels (or any laundry that needs to be folded)
  • paper and crayons/markers
  • indoor activity games (such as ring toss or tic tac toe)
  • board games or board game pieces (e.g., dice, letter tiles)
  • spoons
  • plastic Easter eggs
  • stopwatch / timer

How-To Resources

Can’t wait to see other ideas? Check out last summer’s #NoSummerSlide posts and our Stay-at-Home School series earlier this year.