Chesapeake Family Life July/August 2021

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stay inspired Backyard Blast! Host the Ultimate COVID-Safe Backyard Summer Bash


By Dylan Roche

ocializing presents a little bit of a dilemma this summer. Although moms, dads, grandparents, and maybe even older siblings have had a chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine for months now, many small children remain vulnerable to the coronavirus. And although serious symptoms aren’t common for little ones, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that it’s still possible for kids to get seriously sick. (In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 3.9 million American children have tested positive for COVID-19 as of mid-May 2021). Just because your kids are unvaccinated doesn’t mean this summer has to be boring. The CDC lists outdoor playdates — where there’s plenty of airflow and kids can maintain a safe 6 feet from one another — as an activity that carries only medium risk, as opposed to high-risk activities like indoor playdates. So let this be the summer of the ultimate outdoor hangout! Make a point of holding these kinds of celebrations often throughout the



summer, potentially once or twice a week depending on how elaborate you want to make the gathering. To reduce the burden of hosting on any one household, you could even rotate and have a get-together at a different home within the friend group every time.

don’t even have to touch any of the same gear. On the rare occasion you do have to touch someone else’s stuff (such as the pallino — the smaller ball you use as a target in bocce), you can simply reach for the hand sanitizer.

sure the night is memorable:

An outdoor movie is easier than you think! All you need is a large screen (even a solid white bedsheet stretched taut and pinned up to a wall will do the trick) plus a projector and speakers that can hook up to whatever device you’re using to stream the movie. Have everyone bring their own picnic blankets or beach chairs to set up a comfortable distance apart from others, and once it starts to get dark, let the viewing commence!

Here are some great ways to make

Provide masks and sanitizer

Some kids might show up without a mask, so make sure you have at least a few new ones available that you can set out on a table. Companies like Oriental Trading ( offer bulk sales of children’s masks in fun patterns at reasonable prices. Have pump bottles of hand sanitizer out as well.

Break out the backyard games Cornhole, bocce ball, and croquet are all great activities that don’t require you to get within 6 feet of your opponents, and with a little bit of carefulness, you


Set up an outdoor movie.

Hire live entertainment.

This could potentially get a little pricier, but if you have the budget or if it’s a special occasion (such as a birthday),

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