For most Americans, the coronavirus has turned normal summer plans upside down. Exciting international trips, cruises, and even overnight summer camps for the kids are out of the question. So what will summer look like this year?
What Is the Fate of 2020 Summer Camps?
Summer camps are a staple for working parents who want their children to stay safe, entertained, and educated after the school year ends. But this year is much different. Most children haven’t been in school since mid-March, and now a long, draining spring is transitioning into a long, hot summer with the same pressing issue: how can parents work when kids are at home all day?
Summer camps are closed or severely reduced in many states, leaving families scrambling for a solution. Camp counselors recommend these tips to keep kids happy and busy:
- Take it outside – whatever activity you’re doing, enjoy fresh air as much as possible
- Play with friends without close-contact activities
- Try “Camp in a box” programs that allow small groups to meet online and work on activities as a team
- Use simple household staples to help kids explore and get creative
Depending on the state, some parents will have the opportunity to send their children to summer camps carefully refined and adjusted to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Children won’t be playing tag or sharing snacks, but camp counselors are improvising to effectively provide enrichment while social distancing.
Grab Bikes and Outdoor Activity Toys While They Last
If you’re spending the summer at home with your family, stock up on bikes and other outdoor toys that will encourage activity and enjoyment.
Mike Olson, the owner of 13 bike shops in Oregon and California, has had lines out the door every single day since the shutdown began. His sales grew 30% in April and 60% in May, and now Olsen is even seeking new staffers to meet such a surge in demand.
“It’s crazy and was not expected,” Olson said. “We are just seeing lots of new customers. Customers bringing out their cobweb-covered bikes and getting them tuned up.”
Olsen isn’t the only one to enjoy this boost to his sales. Bike shops across the nation are in high demand as people switch to biking for exercise, stress relief, and family bonding. Even as the economy slowly reopens, many city-bound Americans prefer to bike to work rather than taking crowded subways and buses.
The global bicycle market is worth $54 billion, but only grew about 6.9% last year. This year, however, is a different story. Traditional road bike categories are expected to spike up 35% this year, reinvigorating sales that were plummeting in the past.
Other outdoor activity toys are being snatched up as well, from trampolines and kiddy pools to basketball hoops.
“By the end of this, my entire backyard will just be covered. You won’t be able to see any grass,” jokes Tara Higgens of West Orange, New Jersey. She turned to Amazon to purchase many different outdoor toys for her three children to enjoy while she works.
“I’m hoping I can sit outside at my table and do work and that will somehow eat up an hour. They’ll have fun, and my biggest thing is they will get their energy out.”