22 May 20 Kid-Friendly Activities To Do While Practicing Social Distancing!
We’re all feeling it. We’re all thinking it. How much longer will this be our reality? What can I possibly plan for today that will feel different than yesterday? Remaining in our homes for extended periods of time is something we’re all trying to adjust to. Kids get restless and for adults with kids, it’s probably starting to feel like you are not only in the role of caregiver, but also chef, teacher, housekeeper and overall entertainment concierge (insert deep breath here). That pressure and constant feeling of having to do more can really wear on caregivers, which is completely valid. Have no fear! CHRIS 180 is here to help. Below are 20 simple activities to help occupy children and keep them engaged. Make sure to comment below about which ones you used and which ones your kids enjoyed!
- Collect pieces of nature to make a collage or facial portraits! Twist: ask them to make a portrait of you or someone in their family! (See example: MotherNatured.com)
- Play “I Spy” Outside! For younger kids use ABCs as a guide! Test your little one’s knowledge of the alphabet!
- Crush up a piece of sidewalk chalk and add water to make sidewalk paint! You’ll be amazed at how colorful and bright your porch and driveway will look!
- Make a snack and have a picnic in the backyard! Nature really can be medicine.
- Go on a bug hunt! Download or draw a similar checklist as the one here. (See example: MyMommyStyle.com)
- Wash cars! Kids love to be helpful and work with adults on a project…water and soap make it extra fun!
- Make a leaf scrapbook! For older kids, have them draw each leaf they find!
- Host a treasure hunt! Put some household items around the yard or indoors (example: spoons, forks, a stuffed animal, really anything!) and give your kiddo a list of items to find. If you’re feeling extra crafty you could even draw a treasure map for them! (See example: Pinterest.com)
- Create an obstacle course and time your kids! This will keep them occupied!
- Marshmallow building challenge –this can be done with anything in your kitchen that can be stacked. Test your child’s gross and fine motor skills, as well as creativity! For older kids make it more challenging by giving them a specific building to build like a school, church or mall.
- Magic Milk Science Experiment! All you need is milk, a few drops of dish soap, a shallow dish, and food coloring. Add together and watch the magic happen!
- Egg races! Get the whole family involved and go outside! Who can walk across the yard the fastest without dropping the egg off the spoon? For older kids, can they close their eyes? Use their other hand? Get creative with the variations!
- Build a fort! Watch your child’s creative genius come alive!
- Host a dance party! Show your kids your moves from when you were younger!
- Play “I’m going on a picnic” to test your kids’ memory and attention! One person starts with “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing _______ (identifies something that starts with an A)”. The next person says “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing ______(repeats what that person is bringing) and adds something that starts with a B. The game continues with people adding and adding, thus getting harder and harder to remember! If someone forgets or needs help remembering, they start again from the beginning!
- Play Red Light/Green Light outside – test your kids’ impulse control and listening skills!
- Play Charades! It sounds old school, and it is! Some things never go out of style.
- Play Role Reversal- Each person dresses up like another member of the family for the day. Twist: how long can they act like and talk like that person?!
- Neighborhood Clean Up! What better way to teach your children about recycling and the importance of giving back? Walking also gets those endorphins flowing! For older kids, assign points to pieces of trash – the more they clean up the more points they earn! Think of something they can redeem their points for (Examples: an extra 20-30 minutes of TV/screen time, they get to pick the movie for movie night etc)
- Gratitude Share – gratitude is important all of the time but in tough/stressful times it can feel challenging to remember what we’re thankful for especially when a lot of things have been taken away from us (school, the ability to see our friends, freedom to go where we want to, etc). Take 10 minutes at the beginning or end of each day (or both!) to reflect on what you’re grateful for then share with your family members.
We hope you will try some of these activities! While we’re spending time apart, sharing ideas with one another is critical to supporting our neighbors through this difficult period.
Brittney Walters, LCSW is the Clinical Director of CHRIS Counseling Center-Atlanta. To learn more about our counseling services, available for the whole family, email Counseling.Center@CHRIS180.org