Summer quarantine entertainment ideas for preschoolers
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s been more than four months since the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upside down.

Many families have been affected, especially with the closing of schools and daycare centers across the country.

Parenting amid a pandemic is not easy. Keeping young children entertained, enriched and happy — Coronavirus or not — is also tough work. We weren’t sure how long the virus would be around when shelter-in-place orders first started rolling out, and now many moms are running out of steam in their makeshift quarantine schools.

Whether you’re a working mother or a stay-at-home mom looking for some ideas, I hope you can find something useful here to get you through the summer:

Board Games

Children as young as 3 can enjoy classic board games, such as Candyland. Toy websites like MindWare have an assortment of fun games to choose from, too.

Plus — hello nostalgia?

If not a traditional game, there are fun giant card games and activities, such as matching and Tic-Tac-Toe, to explore as well.

Giant matching card game from Aldi

Virtual Lemonade Stand

My daughter asked for a lemonade stand when we were at peak COVID-19 (well, at least the first surge). There was of course no way we were going to interact with the general public.

We decided to invite friends and family to a Zoom call so she can pour them virtual cups of lemonade at “25 cents” per cup. It was an adorable idea!

Engage your little one’s entrepreneurial spirit while enjoying quality time with the people you haven’t got to see in a while.

Baking

We. Have. Baked. EVERYTHING.

From homemade brownies to pizza and muffins, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen, and my 3-year-old has been right there along with me.

All smiles as we prep for pizza night.

Her favorite goodies have been these blueberry-oat muffins and whole grain pizza (we used this crust recipe, but added pesto sauce, spinach, broccoli, Mozzarella and Italian blend cheese to our pizza).

Baking is a fun way to naturally incorporate math, too.

Make your own Play-Dough

I had no clue how easy and cost friendly it was to make this stuff — and kids love it!

The first time we used it, my daughter molded the letters of her name.

Check out the easy-to-follow recipe below. You can also add a variety of colors to your collection.

Summer Reading Programs

Many local libraries have gone digital for their summer reading programs.

Surely varying across facilities, check out your library and see what its offerings are for summer reading.

It’s a great way to help your child connect with books and stories. We always have a ton of fun with these.

Helping hands

Some people who have been stuck inside have used the time to work on light projects around their home.

Employ your little one to help you out! For example, before COVID, we’d purchased a kitchen storage unit from the Goodwill that needed to be painted. Guess who helped? That’s right.

Keep it within their limits, but children can make great little helpers when it comes to painting items, sweeping up a deck or even planting grass (speaking from experience here).

Mine also helps with watering the grass daily — I hope it sticks!

Outdoor water play

An obvious one, here, right?

Break out a shallow kiddie pool and let the fun begin.

My baby girl having some fun in the pool

Let them splash around or have water balloon fights on the weekends. It doesn’t cost much to bring water fun home if you don’t have a pool, either. There are gadgets you can connect to sprinklers, battery-operated toys and you can even try to make the most out of bubbles.

What is it about kids and bubbles?

Relax

But how, sis?

That’s what you’re probably thinking.

Invite your little one to join you for some R&R when possible. It makes a world of difference for their moods, too.

Sit quietly with some soft music. Let them breathe and stretch with you in the morning. Take a walk to get a few minutes of sunshine. Coloring books for both children and adults are great, too.

Coronavirus is changing the way we live, and that can be stressful. The new expectations on the shoulders of so many mothers is intense.

We have to work, play chef, play teacher, play mediator and so much more on a daily basis. Because we should be limiting interactions with other people through social distancing, this also often means we can’t accept much help.

Though it’s important to keep your child enriched and happy, remember to give yourself some grace. We’re all doing our best to adapt to whatever situation the virus has left us in.

You may not get to your homemade alphabet chart or have time for a daily activity. But where you can, try to breathe and take it one day at a time.

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