Summer’s in full swing! The heat’s on, Fourth of July barbeques beckon, and the waves are just right for splashing and playing!
Unless…you’re stuck inside.
Summer can be one of the toughest months for kids living with long-term hospitalization or who have to stay indoors for health reasons. It can feel isolating when everyone’s outside…and you’re not.
But since mental health is just as important to recovery as physical health, we’re going to show you how to lift your child’s spirits and chase away the blues by turning Beach Day outside-in!!!
Here are some ideas:
1) SAND!!!! What’s more beach-y than sand, right?? Get a dish pan (or a cardboard box lined with a trashcan bag), fill it with sand and toys and GET BUSY!!! You can even go wild and used colored play sand: http://www.amazon.com/Xtreme-Sand-Pound-Box-Classic/dp/B001QJRH5A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1435610743&sr=8-3&keywords=colored+play+sand
Or, if you’re feeling crafty, make your own! http://www.wikihow.com/Color-Sand
Add water so you can make a sand castle!
2) WATER!!! If you’re able to get outside, this is the perfect opportunity to use water guns and water balloons! (If you’re at a hospital, please check with the nursing staff first!) If not, get out your dish pan or lined-cardboard box and fill ‘er up! Add toys for splash-y fun. You can also line the bottom of the container with fish gravel and hide small toys or jewels for a deep-sea treasure hunt!
3) GAMES!!! Beach Ball Volleyball! It’s always fun to bat one of these around! And how about Beach Blanket Bingo? Spread out your beach towels and start calling!
You can make your own cards and use shells, stones or toy jewels to mark your spaces!
4) MUSIC!!!! Time to bust out your favorite beach tunes!
Here’s Dr. Ben’s (When you just have to break out your own PERFECT paradise):
Here’s mine (I’m keeping it old school, yo…) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvUQcnfwUUM
And a bonus tune! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imEefjrmRN8
What’s yours? Tell us in the comments below!
5) Memories and Planning Ahead: Decorate your space with photos, shells, rocks, driftwood and other beach-y items. Have everyone write down their favorite beach memories and put them into an Ocean Jar (a little sand, a few shells and stones, etc.) And now the most important part: plan ahead! Review the memories of where you’ve been and talk about where you’d like to go. Find pictures and information on the new beaches you’d like to see (or old ones you’d like to revisit) and start your Surf Spot. Decorate a shoe box or plastic container; you can also use a scrapbook! Then, go there anytime you like; you don’t have to visit a place in person to enjoy it!
And check out Dr. Ben’s fun idea: Create your own FIND THE HIDDEN OBJECTS container!
Collect small objects (that can fit in a jar or capped clear plastic container) from adventures over the summer, then make a list of them. Place the objects in a container and fill it with sand, small beads or fish gravel. Then shake and search for the hidden treasures! Have other people check off the items as they discover them. It’s a totally fun activity…and great way to re-live memories of your summer adventures!
Wishing you sunny summer memories and aloha,