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Summer Fun for Kids in the Era of COVID-19

July 2020

While many kids have finished virtual classes and assignments for this school year, COVID-19 may be changing their summer plans. With many camps and other typical summer activities either canceled or altered, you may be looking for new things to keep your kids busy. You would love to pile them in the car and take them to the mall, beach, or amusement park. But your family may be practicing social distancing, so those options may not be right for you. You are looking for ways to create a new normal for your kids where they can learn, play, and grow as individuals in a healthy and safe way, despite COVID-19. Good news—FEMA has free resources and activities with which you can engage your kids this summer!

Now is the perfect time to sit down with your kids and teach them about the potential hazards which may affect where you live. FEMA has developed games and other activities you can play with your kids and help them learn how to react during an emergency. These games can be found at www.ready.gov/kids.

Younger children will enjoy the Prepare with Pedro Disaster Preparedness Activity Book. FEMA, in partnership with the American Red Cross, developed this fun-filled book which is free for download. Prepare with Pedro teaches children and their families about how to stay safe during disasters and emergencies. The book follows Pedro around the United States and offers safety advice through crosswords, coloring pages, matching games, and other great activities.

If it’s hot outside and you’re looking to beat the heat by staying indoors, another fun activity for your kids comes in the form of cards. FEMA’s Ready 2 Help card game teaches kids eight years and older to work as a team to respond to emergencies. The card game focuses on five simple steps that can be taken to stay safe and make a difference until help arrives. These steps help kids learn how to stay safe, stay calm, get help, give information, and give care. These life skills can be used every day for a variety of situations. If you would like to start playing this game today, you can! The game is free and can be downloaded from FEMA’s site.

The Build a Kit game gives your child the chance to join Gayle and her friends to find items they need to include in an emergency kit. This game teaches children how to prepare for an emergency with items found at home and in a store. The game asks kids to think about what items would be needed if there was no power and they had to stay indoors to have fun. At the end of each level your child will learn if the items selected were good choices. At the close of the game, an emergency supply list can be printed. This list helps children understand what items their family should have to prepare before a disaster strikes.

Due to the COVID-19 safety precautions put in place to protect employees and customers, the FEMA Publications Warehouse is not taking orders at this time. However, in the future, if you would like to order free copies of these and other materials, you may do so at www.ready.gov/publications. We hope you have fun with your kids this summer and know we are all in this together!

Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting: FEMA-prepare@fema.dhs.gov.

This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.