Cartoon image of a variety of diverse children and adults standing on a beach in the sun

Making the Shift to Summer

Guidance for Families, 2021

by Kristelle Lavallee Collins

View this guide:

Illustration of grandfather playing with child

“Some children and teens may need more alone time than usual this summer, so make sure to suggest a variety of activities”

As the weather warms, in-person and offline schooling comes to an end, and more and more people become fully vaccinated, many of us are left wondering about how best to spend the summer months.

While some family members may be excitedly planning the next sun-soaked adventure, others may be worried about socializing in-person, or confused about what activities are safe for them to do. As we head into summer, it is important to recognize that all of us are in a transitional time, coming out of lock-downs and mask-mandates to times of activity and togetherness.

Sit down with your family and review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines about vaccinations and what activities are safe for your family to participate in. Talk about concerns your child or teen has about the summer, and discuss ways to address their fears and anxieties. Create a summer routine the whole family can agree on (compromises will be necessary), including bedtimes and morning routines. Many of us experienced big disruptions to our routines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and can use the summer months to reset and get into healthy sleep, eating, and activity habits–this will also help children transition from summer to fall and the start of school.

Finally, create a summer fun list of activities or projects that your family wants to do or accomplish. Use this guide to help get the conversation started by checking out the fun activity ideas below. Remember that some children and teens may need more alone time than usual this summer, so make sure to suggest a variety of activities including a mix of outdoor and indoor ideas as well as suggestions that can be for one person or a group. Continue to check in with your family and the progress you make on the bucket list–you can always make changes to your list to help make the most of summer for you and your family!

Illustration of adults and children in variety of indoor activities

Indoor Activites

Whether the heat has your family seeking activities indoors to take advantage of air conditioning, or whether a child needs some solo-time in their room, choose from these ideas that can be done indoors:

Illustration of adults and children in variety of outdoor activities

Outdoor Activities

After over a year of socially distancing and staying inside, your family may be eager to get outdoors. Choose from these activities meant to encourage exploration, spend time in nature, and connect with others in-person:

Updated 26 May 2021