Social distancing orders have kept many of us inside with our family members much more than usual for the past two to three months. While some are returning to work, many still remain working from home with family members and kids who are spending the summer without many things to do. As much as a family may get along, patience can wear thin in these uncertain times without much personal space. Here are some things that may bring fun back into family time this summer.

1. Ask for help maintaining your work schedule. Many parents feel guilty spending eight hours a day telling their children that they can’t play right now. Keep in mind that the more you can focus on work during business hours, the more emotionally available you’ll be afterwards. This is the perfect time not to hesitate to ask for help from family, friends, or babysitters who may be able to keep your kids busy a few days a week with play dates and other activities. Conversely, be sure to set strict time limits on your office hours. Don’t allow yourself to overwork because you don’t have a commute time or because your office computer/phone are now in your home.

2. Take walks. If it feels like you’ve played every game in the house and you are sick of screen time, even a short walk can help alleviate stress and make the whole family feel more revitalized. For those who live in a crowded area, taking a walk at night may ease the discomfort of wearing a mask outside. Try to make a game out of each walk for the kids (and parents!) that might include trying to name every breed of dog you pass on a walk, or a silly-walk version of follow the leader. Finding a new park or trail to explore each weekend is a great way to keep things interesting, stay active, and spend time together without feeling like you are in each other’s space.

3. Revamp game night. Board games and video games may be old news by now, but there are ways to bring the fun back. Maybe you can video chat extended family and friends for a bigger game night or take a game, like Twister or charades, outdoors. If your kids are tired of traditional board games, try letting loose and having a karaoke night or dance competition.

4. Enjoy outdoor activities you may have never tried before. Businesses are beginning to open up again and the weather is allowing us to do some of our usual activities outdoors. Try to find a nearby place open for business to pick fruit, dine outdoors, kayak, or even go camping. Making a kite or setting up a scavenger hunt or obstacle course in the backyard are other great ways to enjoy the outdoors while staying close to home.

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