Staying active with the kiddos while “Social Distancing”

Kids as well as adults are struggling during this time to find creative ways to stay active while social distancing. Families need to stay active for a variety of reasons from clearing their minds to moving their bodies to stay heart-healthy.

I have an active 8 year old ADHD child that never sits still. This pandemic has been tough on our family because of the stay at home order and the social distancing aspect (believe me I understand and agree with the mandate, but it’s been challenging on everyone to say the least). My son is used to hanging out with other kids at the park, playing soccer every Saturday and socializing with peers at school. I asked him if an obstacle course would be a fun thing to do both inside and outside. His answer was “of course mom, let’s do it!”

Using different items around your house makes for an inexpensive and creative family fun event. Be silly, laugh and spend some quality time together creating positive memories together. It’s good for the soul!

Obstacle courses can be designed for indoor and outdoor play. Use different themes to create a course with your child’s specific interests and abilities in mind. Help him/her be involved in the planning and set up/clean-up process. You can create a simple or elaborate obstacle course depending on the age(s) and mobility strengths/weaknesses. You can create modified wheelchair options as well. Use cones or a laundry basket to create a goal if you have them. You might try using blue non adhesive tape/ sidewalk chalk to create the “course” lines or stations.

You can determine if the obstacle course will be “timed” to track the winner scores or you can have them play for fun. You can offer small prizes, a certificate of participation or an incentive to the winner(s) if desired.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on building an indoor or outdoor obstacle course for kids:

  • Crawl under a string stretched between two chair legs or use pool noodles
  • Jump into and out of a Hula-Hoop five times
  • Balloon Volleyball
  • Walk or sit on a balance board
  • Use Nerf guns or water guns to shoot into a bucket or a basket. It is fun to line up Duplo Legos or mini figures and try to knock them down. A child can lay on their stomach on the floor or a mat to make the “aim” more challenging.
  • Create a fun bubble blowing station
  • Slime or sensory bucket station
  • Throw beanbags into a laundry basket or you can use multiple size and shape buckets and at different heights
  • Run while balancing a beanbag on your head
  • Line walking or crab crawls
  • Jump over pool noodles both high and low. Use as a hurdle
  • Hop scotch
  • Dance in place for 1-2 minutes (adding music would be ideal)
  • Hula hoop for 20-60 seconds or more
  • Line walking. Use zig- zag lines to make it more difficult. Walking backwards (use sidewalk chalk or blue tape to create the path)
  • Run in place
  • Hop on one foot then the other
  • Frisbee throw (outside)
  • Kids Yoga poses for 1-2 minutes
  • Crawl under or over a row of chairs
  • Play tic tack toe on a board or make one with nonstick tape or sidewalk chalk outside
  • Exercise ball push-ups, bouncing sequences or balancing activities
  • Do a ring toss
  • Kick rolled up socks into a laundry basket to make a goal
  • Ride a tricycle/ bike or board scooter along a predetermined route outside. Zig-zag or backwards can be fun too on a board scooter.
  • Somersault from one point to another
  • A kid tunnel can be used in multiple ways which can be a ton of fun for little ones
  • Skip in place while reciting a jump rope rhyme
  • There are lots of water play course options to consider if the weather is conducive outside

The point is to have fun. I would love to hear your ideas and amazing stories. Feel free to share!

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