Note to our Community on Covid-19 A Note to our Community on Covid-19

Manhattan Toy Blog

A Summer Like No Other

Summer Like No Other

This summer may be a little different than others past. Stores, parks and restaurants are slowly reopening, but we all know the next few months may not involve your typical seasonal plans.  So we’ve got some ideas on how you can make the most of your summer while staying close to home!

Get Outside

The outdoors can be a great escape.  Whether it’s just going in the backyard, finding a new park to explore or getting out on the lake, take time to discover new ways to enjoy what nature has to offer.

Live on the coast? Find an open beach and pack up the family for some sandy toes fun.  It’s a great destination and an easy place to spread out.  If you’re located inland like us, use that summer sun to your advantage and throw a splash party in the backyard. There’s lots of fun filled water games you can enjoy as a family.

Plan a picnic lunch at the nearby park, or use an app like AllTrials to find a new hiking/walking path for your family to traverse. Fishing can be an adventure in itself. Here in MN, we have over 10,000 lakes to choose from. Real fishing not your thing? Then fill up the kiddy pool or a plastic tote and create your own DYI fishing game for the kiddos.

If you’re looking for ways to let your kiddos play with their friends in the neighborhood while still observing social distancing, here are some great ways to play! From relays to musical exploration, you’ll find loads of kid friendly outdoor games for littles of all ages.

 Discovering New Foods

Around the World - One Mouthful at a Time

Enjoy trying new foods?  Spend the summer making or trying dishes inspired by cuisines from across the globe.  From pasta to pirogies, discover new foods as if you were traveling to new cultural destinations.

Get your littles involved through choosing the dish and partaking in the cooking! Try looking up interesting facts and the history of each of the regions, countries and cultures that inspire your meals. It’s a great way to introduce geography, history or science while learning to follow a recipe. If you have a babe just starting on solids, try introducing an ingredient that’s featured in the main dish.

Glamping

Photo credit: @cute.and.loud

Camping Made Easy

State and national parks have started to reopen, but if camping is not your thing, there’s always backyard glamping. The best part, you don’t even have to sleep outside! Create a day of backyard camping fun, complete with story time in the tent, a grilling cookout and smores over the fire (or in the microwave). If the weather isn’t cooperating, you can always make an indoor tent with blankets, pillows and twinkle lights for night sky ambiance.

Camp cancelations can be such a let down, but there are plenty that have gone virtual! A quick google search can help in finding camps that your kiddos will love.  From science and engineering to art, music and reading, discover the best virtual camp for your kiddo today. Here are a few free online experiences we found at parents.com.

Love movie nights?  Then glamp up your plans by hosting your own outdoor movie theater.  Just remember the popcorn, blankets and bug repellent. 

Get Organized

Photo credit: @droutremblay

Get Organized

We are all spending extra time at home lately. So, why not focus some of your efforts on organizing! It may not be glamorous for starters, but so rewarding in the end. 

Kids grow out of clothes, sometimes as quick as they get them.  Have your littles help by hosting a fashion show! If the clothes don’t fit, put them in the donation pile. Going through the toy bin can also help in straightening up your playroom.  It’s a great way to teach your littles about giving to others, as there are donation organizations that accept lightly used toys.  The Spruce has a whole list of places that take gently used toys. 

If you have been saving all that artwork your littles have been making at home, daycare or school, now’s a great time to create an album of art. You don’t have to be a scrapbooking wiz to create a great keepsake. Places like ARTKIVE make it easy to turn your little’s designs into an album or framed mosaic to enjoy for years to come.

Indoor Fun

Photo credit: @ashcostanzo

Making the Most of Bad Weather Days

Raining days can put a damper on fun, but there are plenty of activities and ways to spend your time when the sky turns gray.

Movies and games are excellent indoor activities that let you recharge and enjoy the indoors. Plan a movie marathon!  Make up a game for each movie to help keep the kiddos engaged or active.  Here’s an idea, have the kiddos tally every time the main character's name is said, or make up a new dance move every time a song comes along.  The options are truly endless, all you need is a little imagination.  

If your kiddos love to explore and it’s safe to venture outdoors, plan a rain-day scavenger hunt. There is plenty to discover.  From counting puddles, to discovering worms, frogs, ducks and more, there is plenty to see even on rainy days. Create a list of things you might find, when you return home check off all the fun things you found!

Love crafting? Chances are you have everything you need to create a rainy day inspired work of art right at home. Here are some fun paper, coloring and goop filled crafts to try out on your next soggy weather day.

Self Care

Photo credit: @katherynvle

Self Care

In order to take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves.  So, don’t forget to take time to recharge the batteries.

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and tire out your littles. Plan a family walk or take a bike ride. For all you yogis out there, stream a mom and baby yoga session, one just for the kids or find a class that's great for the whole family.  Yoga not your thing? There are loads of free online classes to explore. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Reading can be a great escape.  Whether it’s a mystery novel you crave or a personal development book you have been wanting to crack open, take the time to find something of interest.  Discover the world of audiobooks if you prefer hearing the stories. Find a sunny spot, or a hammock in the shade to indulge in a literary escape.

Some say music is therapy for the soul. It can lift you up, calm your storm or even light a fire within. Spend some time listening to your favorites or discovering new music.  You can even turn it into an activity with the kids by listening to different genres or having everyone in the family pick a new song to enjoy each day.

Photo credit: @daggerpines

The summer of 2020 may be different than years past, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of it. Take a minute to see what’s going on in your local area. Don't let COVID get you down, grab summer by the horns and share your fun with us on social. We want to see how you're getting out and about; seize these summer days while they last!