How to Survive Summer COVID Style in Pearland, Texas
Parents and caregivers unite. Let's admit that having parks, pools, most camps, and entertainment businesses closed has been nothing short of depressing. I have put together a list of some of the things I have done, or plan to do, with my family to keep our sanity in hopes it will help someone else find something to look forward to during this strange time.
Follow a Schedule (loosely)
Sometimes I wake up making this face ->
when I realize it's just another day in pandemic land. I really got into a rut a few months back and had to do something different. I created a daily check list of what my children had to do each day before they could watch TV. I approached it positively with them and we usually do it every day, unless it's the weekend or we have a planned outing. I let them choose the order in which they'd like to get the items done, so it's flexible and easy going. It's filled with general items like make your bed, get dressed, good morning hygiene items, workbook time, time spent building things, and time spent drawing or coloring. You can customize it any way you like and make it something your kids look forward to by letting them check things off as they do them. Maybe it will provide inspiration for you too!
Another way to break up the monotony of the week is to figure out something fun to do each day as a family. Here is one example print out I found. More Examples:
Movie Night- One night a week, or heck a few times a week, pick a family friendly movie and pop some popcorn at home or pick up some from the theater! Pearland Premiere Cinema 6 is popping large bags for pick up!
Family Game Night- Even if you only play 20 minutes it will mean a lot to your kids! You can start playing simple games with your child around age 2. Just don't get too hung up on them doing it "the right way" immediately. There are a ton of family friendly games. A few we enjoy- Go Fish, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Cat in The Hat I Can Do That! Game, Candy Land, Banana Blast, Pancake Pile Up Relay Game, Twister, Blokus, and Life. Just pick one your kids can realistically do.
Pick days and times to go for a walk at a local park- To me it feels best outside right now with the Gulf Summer weather anytime before noon, and after 6 pm. There are so many beautiful parks to enjoy a nice walk! My personal favorite is The Delores Fenwick Nature Center. Use Alltrails.com to discover your new favorite! Pearland is also home to some truly magnificent birds. What better time than now to seek them out and learn about them. They can be found at most parks! It also helps if you are willing to leave Pearland to explore neighboring towns. Friendswood is on our list to try soon. They have a Fairy Trail set up that we can't wait to explore!
DIY Outdoor Fun- I KNOW it is hot, but we all need some outside time for much needed vitamin D and stress relief. Do a fun outdoor activity at least once a week. Tinkergarten has some excellent resources for outdoor activities broken up into age levels. You do not have to have a big yard, or do complicated, expensive things. My kids are seriously happy with just a bucket of water most days! Do not be afraid of letting the kids get dirty. On a positive note, bath time takes up time too ; )
Play Take Out Bingo- My family has chosen to do dinner from a local establishment once a week. Do whatever is right for your family, but do yourselves a favor and try some of these great local places to mix up dinner. Many are still offering great family take out deals. Someone put together this local resource.
Here is a fun list of Houston Murals to seek out. Take pictures when you visit each one!
Take a weekend and plan a trek around Houston to see these strange outdoor sites and museums. If you have very young children it may be best to use strollers at this time for the museums... save yourself the headache of having to tell them not to touch things. Bring your face-mask and hand sanitizer and enjoy! Most of the museums listed are viewed by appointment only, or are severely limiting guests for everyone's safety. Check their websites for more details.
Hunt for the big Pears (Pear-Scapes) scattered across Pearland. Do the scavenger hunt and learn a little more about our town. You may find some places in our town you didn't know about!
Learn Online or Take a Virtual Adventure
Kids Out and About has some fabulous resources here
Pearland Library has some great virtual programs as well. They are also open for curbside pick up for books, or you can go inside if you wear a mask. My family likes to choose new books to read each week.
Take a Virtual Trip
Have your little ones do virtual circle time. As a former Preschool teacher I am impressed with Monica J Sutton.
Here is a lengthy list of learning channels for all ages.
We will all get through this! Comment below with what you have done to keep your family occupied. I'd love some more ideas!