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This summer will be different for kids and families across our region, as we continue the fight against COVID-19. Some camps may not be open this year, vacations might get rescheduled and families are still adjusting to social distancing guidelines. Child Life Specialist Caitlin Leary, MS, CCLS, CEIM, CPST, answered some frequently asked questions about how to stay safe and healthy this summer.

When school ends, how can parents keep kids on a schedule?

Routines help children feel in control because their schedules are predictable, and while detailed routines are beneficial during the school year, parents should allow some flexibility during this summer. Families are encouraged to maintain consistent bedtimes, daily learning or quiet time, and free play time.

What are some safe activities kids can do during the summer months?

Activities that children can do independently during the summer time include kicking a soccer ball, shooting hoops, making hopscotch with sidewalk chalk and jumping rope. Activities that the family can engage in together include bike riding, walking in a local park, making outdoor scavenger hunts and running through a sprinkler to cool off.

How can families stay active and engaged if camps or other summer activities are canceled?

Fortunately, the summer months often provide plenty of opportunities to get outside and stay active. Family walks, bike rides, scavenger hunts or even yard work are great ways to not only exercise, but bond as a family. It will certainly be disappointing if camps and group activities are cancelled this summer, and it is important for parents to acknowledge and affirm those feelings. The increase in free time can be used to try new activities and find new interests. For example, asking your child if they would like to help plant some seeds or flowers may spark new curiosity.

Check out the rest of the article written by Yale New Haven Health by clicking here.