This post is also available in: French
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made it difficult for kids to get enough time outside. For both adults and kids, social distancing policies might rule out the possibility of going to your favorite outdoor places, and you might worry about engaging in some of the outdoor activities you would normally do during summer. That’s totally understandable.
This is tough on kids and parents alike. You want to protect your kids from the potential for catching the virus, but you also want them to be able to experience the benefits of time outdoors. While it might not be time to resume normal outdoor activities, there are some things you can do to get your kids more time outside while still physical distancing.
1. Clean up the yard
The backyard is going to be one of the best locations for outdoor activities, including kids social distancing. Since your children are going to spend more time in the yard, do what you can to make it suitable for more activities.
For example, use your cordless lawn mower to keep the grass short and try to open up more space so they can do more things. Also, clear out any debris or items that could pose a hazard when your kids are playing there.
2. Kids social distancing: Take a walk or ride bikes
If there are places where you can walk or ride good electric bikes while keeping your distance, then make these activities a priority. Walking and biking can provide exercise while getting your kids outside at the same time.
If there happen to be nature trails near your home, it can also be a good opportunity to teach your kids about nature. From trees to flowers, there is a lot to enjoy, and you might find that you learn a few things too!
3. Have a backyard scavenger hunt
Put together a list of items for the youngsters to find in the backyard. You could list natural items that they will have to find, or you could intentionally hide items in the yard.
These activities can be a fun way to get the kids outside, and it can be another way to teach your kids about nature too.
4. Play ball
For kids, social distancing comes naturally while doing things outside like playing catch or kicking a soccer ball around. They can play ball in your backyard if you have enough space there.
Depending on how crowded the local parks are, you could also go to the park for a little catch or soccer as a family during this novel summer of COVID-19.
5. Arts and crafts with nature
There are a range of nature craft projects that could be good for getting your kids outside too. Beyond being nice outdoor activities, nature arts and crafts can encourage the littles to be more creative.
Two simple examples are making leaf rubbings or collecting rocks to paint. They might also pile up stones into a unique sculpture.
6. Take inside activities outside with kids social distancing
Try to find activities that you typically do inside and take them to the yard. One option is to take lunch and turn it into a backyard picnic. If you read your kids stories, you could take storytime to the backyard as well.
7. Teach yard maintenance
With everyone spending more time at home, now is a great time to start teaching your children about yard maintenance. For young kids, you could let them help you with some of the simpler tasks that go into tending a garden.
If you have teenagers, start teaching them about mowing the lawn. Or, show them how you use your electric grass trimmer to edge around different areas.
Concluding words on social distancing, kids, and the outdoors
Your family might not be able to engage in all of your favorite outdoor activities during the coronavirus times, that is true. But it’s still important for kids to have time outside, whether they are getting on the best neighborhood bicycle or doing another activity described above.
If you are going to take your kids to a public outdoor space, make sure they understand all of the health and safety rules surrounding COVID-19. That includes keeping their distance, cleaning their hands, and wearing masks.
This post is also available in: French