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:
The point is to have fun. I would love to hear your ideas and amazing stories. Feel free to share!
There are online “virtual” scavenger hunts that families can participle in during this social distancing time frame, but I happened to think the physical (indoor or outdoor) scavenger hunts are the most fun for families to organize and explore together. It is important reminder to maintain a safe distance of at least six feet from other people during this Covid- 19 pandemic.
You can plan the scavenger hunt for one outing or over multiple days. This activity time might be a fun way for families/ their “quarantine crew” to bond together and to get some nervous energy out during this stressful time.
You can design the activity based on age, skill level and mobility. You can take pictures of their special finds, put in a notebook or decorative jar. It might be fun to create a short video of what each family member discovered and liked best about the scavenger hunt. You can share with others on social media to encourage participation from your neighbors and friends. This might be a fun and safe way to stay connected during this difficult time.
You can offer small prizes, possibly an option to stay up 30 minutes late, a hug, or an incentive to the winner(s) that discover the most items on their list. Have some fun and laughter during this togetherness activity.
Design a scavenger hunt checklist of objects that can typically be found outside ( this can even include your backyard). You can look for hidden treasures like different colored rocks, shells, a bird house, a white mailbox, a cat in the window, a rabbit in the bushes, flowers of various colors and sizes, insects, trees, leaves, a puddle of water, or something with your child’s favorite color. You might see another child playing in the yard or waving from a window. It is always fun to discover something new even if it’s not already on your list. The point is to get outside and have fun!
It might be fun to gather a magnifying glass, notebook, crayons, a collection bag and your list or hand made bingo card and head outside- A park, sidewalk, tour of the neighborhood in your car or even a walking trail if nearby! Help your kids discover their “treasure” and explore nature while they check off each item on the list. There is ample time to have teachable moments when discovering and learning together.
I would encourage each member of the scavenger hunt team to take a look around their home to come up with a list to find something i.e.; objects, sounds, sights or pets. Give the list to the child and help them go on a scavenger hunt indoors. If it is needed, try offering photos of the items to help guide them. For older kids, you can offer clues, like its color, smell or shape like the game of “eye-spy”.