I am excited to present this guest post written by Kara Reynolds, Editor in chief of Mom-ish, who shares some fun outdoor social distanced activities for young children. Are you looking for some fun carryover pictures books? I recommend Evie’s Field Day, The Extraordinary Gardener, and Rosie’s Garden.
8 Social Distanced Outside Games for Kids
The pandemic changed everything about daily life, especially for kids. They dealt with school closures and playdate cancellations without understanding what was happening, making social distancing even more isolating. Parents can turn things around by initiating these eight outside games for kids for social distancing.
Your children can still see their friends without putting their health in danger. Grab a few masks before meeting up in your yard to make public health precautions easier for everyone to handle while they last.
1. Hula Hoop Dance Off
Staying cooped up inside is extra challenging for kids. They have tons of energy to burn off, which can’t happen if they’re always on the couch or playing video games. When they want to see their friends or do something fun with their siblings, take everyone outside for a hula hoop dance-off.
Hula hoops present a new form of cardio by increasing everyone’s heart rates. Once everyone gets the hang of the movement, turn on a song that has a fun beat. Whoever lets their hoop fall to the ground is out and the winners continue to the next round. The winner can get a special prize or decide what to play next.
2. Springtime Scavenger Hunt
Kids love the thrill of discovering a hidden treasure. Consider inviting their friends over to participate in a themed scavenger hunt after hiding the hints or surprises. Give them a list of things to bring back before the timer goes off, like flowers or pinecones. The children could also cover separate areas of the yard to maintain their distance while having fun.
3. Cartoon Character Charades
Space every child six feet apart and help them form teams. One person can act out a character while the other has to guess. Parents will write their child’s favorite characters from TV shows and movies on slips of paper so they’ll recognize whichever name they draw from a hat or bowl. This game is even possible with masks, so it’s an extra safe outdoor game for kids for social distancing.
4. Sidewalk Chalk Art Race
Anyone with a big driveway or wide sidewalk can host a chalk art race. Every kid can grab their favorite color and hold it above the concrete while they wait for you to read whatever they have to draw. Time them for 30 seconds and play fast-paced music to get everyone giggling. They’ll love using their creative skills to compete with their best friends instead of spending more time with their coloring books alone indoors.
5. Socially Distanced Simon Says
Many families meet at public playgrounds to get their kids together. While many parks still enforce helpful health protocols like wearing masks and social distancing on equipment, you can always use a neighboring field or grassy area to play Simon says.
This game is perfect because everyone can keep their distance while having fun. Each movement should encourage kids to stay in their space, like hopping on one foot or touching their noses. The winner can get the next turn on the swingset while the others compete to see who goes next.
6. Potato Sack Race
Potato sack races are another great way to make use of a large yard or field. Every child can get their own sack, which is available online or at your local farmer’s market. Give everyone a separate finish line so they don’t crowd together. You could place jump ropes across the grass or mark the finish lines with outdoor spray paint.
If you decide to host a potato sack race, make sure you have plenty of room and that every child knows how to keep their balance. Younger kids will fall over easily and get tangled in the sacks. It could present the possibility for skinned elbows or bruised knees.
7. Classic Flashlight Tag
A regular game of tag requires getting up close with other players to touch them and switch roles. Flashlight tag takes the shoulder tapping out of the equation. One person becomes It and searches for the other players while carrying a flashlight. It’s everyone else’s job to avoid getting caught in the flashlight’s bright beam.
Everyone can easily keep their distance during flashlight tag, but it also requires a dark backyard. Little ones may be too nervous about being outside at night to enjoy this game, so it’s better for older kids to grab a flashlight and head outdoors.
8. Water Balloon Fight
Summer weather makes it difficult to play outside and stay comfortable, but that all changes with water balloons. Fill a few large buckets or coolers with water balloons and line them up at one end of your yard. The other end will have empty buckets or baskets.
Pair kids together and have them stand six feet apart from their competitors. After they find their spots at opposite ends of the yard, one set of players can each grab a water balloon. The goal is to toss it to their teammate without it exploding. Whoever safely catches the most balloons by the end of each round wins.
Kids are bound to get soaked from exploding balloons, so ask everyone to arrive wearing water-safe clothing. They can even use goggles if they’re afraid of getting water in their eyes.
Try Fun Outdoor Games While Social Distancing
There are plenty of outside games for kids for social distancing, so try a few fun ideas to get everyone moving. Whether they play flashlight tag, Simon says or hula hoop in the backyard, they’ll socialize while staying safely distanced during the ongoing pandemic.