The Coronavirus changed almost everything in a matter of weeks. We are still learning to adjust to the new ways of spending our time. At first, as I’m sure many of you know, it seemed impossible to be stuck at home for months on end without access to our favorite restaurants, playgrounds, and friends.

This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times of the current century. But if anything good is coming out of it, I think it’s this: slowing down. 

We are New Yorkers, and everyone knows what that means. We are always on the go, ready to work, and wanting to do something! But if you look around these days, you see children playing tag. We see people taking walks (slowly, as opposed to running towards the subway). We are stopping to smell flowers, and watch ducks in the pond. We are slowing down and making do with what we have: and that’s beautiful.

I know many children won’t be attending camp this year- but I’ve been inspired by this change in pace. It got me thinking: what if we made our own camp activities?

Here are a few ideas to enjoy “summer camp” from home:

—Nature Scavenger Hunt
Sit down with your child and create a list of about 10 nature-related objects to find and take photos of. Examples include a pink flower, a photo of a duck, or a round-shaped rock. Then, enjoy a walk in your favorite park finding each item.

—Picnic Adventure
The weather is beautiful, and a picnic is a great way to get outdoors and spend some time finding a new hang-out spot. Cut up some fruits and veggies, make your favorite lunch sandwich, and set out to find the perfect picnic spot. Bonus points if you try a new park!

—Activity Box
Grab all of your childhood favorites (jump ropes, chalk, bubbles, hula hoop, volleyball, etc), and don’t tell your kids what you have. Find a hangout spot in a local park and try out each activity. Teach them how to jump rope, play some games of hopscotch, and draw beautiful chalk photos!

—Sports Team
Grab a few family members or friends and create a sports team. Go over the rules and spend a few hours playing a “tournament.” Whoever wins gets to choose dinner!

—Animal Walk
Here’s a new way to switch up your routine walking loop. If you have little ones, have them walk around the loop like a different animal each time. Maybe the first time is a bunny hop, the next is like a dinosaur, and the third is a cheetah. This is a great way to make exercise fun.

—Obstacle Course
A classic obstacle course is a great way to have fun in the park. Have everyone choose part of the obstacle course and enjoy timing each other and trying to beat your record. It’s also fun to break into two teams and see who can complete the course first!

I hope these times have allowed you to enjoy slowing down a bit. You don’t always need summer camps or playgrounds to have fun! Enjoy spending time together, and here’s to a healthy, safe, and active summer.

By Paytra Gessler, Certified Youth Fitness Trainer, Certified ISSA Fitness Professional

To find out more about our customized in-home fitness programs, contact Bonita at, or call 212-879-1566.