Schools are closed. Playdates have been postponed. Summer vacations have been canceled.
The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented time. It’s hard for adults, but it is probably even harder for kids. Keeping your kids engaged in fun activities can help keep them calm and happy. Luckily, we’re still allowed to go outside for exercise as it is an open and safe environment. With traffic at an all-time low, it’s never actually been safer to enjoy the great outdoors. The only thing you’ll need is suncream to protect from the sun, and maybe a good, strong pair of ballistic sunglasses if you’re thinking of going on a hike. And don’t forget a mask just in case!
There are so many safe things you can do outdoors that are low Covid-risk. Here are six activities you can do outside with your children while still safely practicing social distancing.
1. Take a stroll around the block.
Ride bikes, scooter, skateboard, or rollerblade around your neighborhood. You can also put your baby in the stroller, attach your Stroller Controller, and jog around the neighborhood. Fresh air will help ease some stress or just give you a change of scenery. This is an easy way for the whole family to get exercise and still safely stay at least 6 feet away from others.
2. Turn a nature walk into a scavenger hunt.
Create your own or print off a fun outdoor scavenger hunt for kids. Then put on your hiking boots and adventure through a nearby hiking trail. If parks and trails are closed in your area, go on a walk around your neighborhood or even your backyard. Nature has a lot to offer, and you usually don’t have to go far to find it.
3. Play ball.
Grab your mitts and baseball and play catch in the backyard. Put on some knee pads, helmets, and rollerblades and play a little street hockey in the driveway. Since your kids aren’t having their regular gym class and their spring and summer sporting activities were probably canceled, playing sports at home turns exercising into a fun game.
4. Have a backyard campout.
If your backyard is big enough, teach your kids to set up a tent, and then let them color or read books in it before you make s’mores on the grill. After s’mores, you can stargaze and enjoy sleeping under the beautiful night sky.
5. Go fishing.
Fishing has always been a solitary sport, making it the perfect outdoor social distancing activity. So head to your favorite lake or find a nearby river and teach your kids to fish. Wherever you go, make sure to follow any local regulations. You may even be lucky enough to reel in dinner! Before you hop into the car check out best mid-west fishing spots and tell all your friends where you are heading.
6. Plant a garden.
If there’s ever been a time to create a family garden, it’s now. If you have space in your yard, do it there, but if you don’t, then build a garden box for your patio or porch. Let each family member take turns watering the garden and have a plant they’re responsible for if they’re old enough.
Remember that if you’re not in your own yard or driveway to keep a safe distance from others and try not to touch things that others may have touched. But above all, have fun with your kids! Fresh air and physical activity are just what the doctor ordered (or would order) for all of us right now.