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social distancing activities for kids

Low Risk Summer Social Distancing Activities for Kids

As the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to climb in many states, we are left with the challenge of trying to keep our children safe while also giving them the best summer we possibly can! Many of us have decided we aren’t going to send our kids to camp, which leaves us struggling to keep them entertained without plopping them in front of the TV. Every family has different needs and has to weigh the risks of each decision they make. So to help give you some ideas on how to stay active and social during this pandemic, I’ve created a list of low risk social distancing activities for kids. Hopefully, parents can use this list as a reference to help navigate this challenging time.

6 Low Risk Social Distancing Activities for Kids

There are risks involved with any activities outside of the home this summer. But these 6 types of social distancing activities for kids can help keep your risk low while keeping the kids happy and healthy this summer!

1. Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities are an easy, affordable, and fun way to keep our children away from the screens while keeping them relatively safe.

It is important to note that being outside doesn’t provide 100% protection against COVID-19. If you are at a crowed area such as a beach or park and are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance, make sure you and your child are wearing a mask.

Not all outdoor activities are created equal. Contact sports, such as soccer and football, still come with a great deal of risk as your child is unable to maintain 6 feet distance. Independent sports will be have less risk.

The following outdoor activities provide a relatively low risk for kids:

  1. Hiking
  2. Biking
  3. Fishing
  4. Tennis
  5. Golf
  6. Beach
  7. Canoeing
  8. Water Sports
  9. Archery

Great Tip: Get up early, and head to the beach or park in the morning. Mornings allow for smaller crowds as well as cooler temperature. It is a win/win!

2. Swimming

Swimming can be a great activity that not only provides exercise but also can be low risk. There is no current data that suggests coronavirus spreads through water in pools. In addition, there have been studies suggesting coronavirus doesn’t survive long in chlorinated water.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get COVID-19 while swimming.

The most important thing to consider is whether your child is able to maintain 6 feet distance from others. We all know children love to share rafts and get in splashing wars. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets and therefore will not be immediately killed by chlorine.

Public pools and water parks not only increase your chance of getting COVID-19 but other illnesses as well. Swimming at a friend’s house or in the ocean or a lake where distance can be maintained is the best way to create low risk fun for your kids.

3. Pick a Tribe

The easiest way to create some normalcy and social interaction for your children is to select a few families you feel comfortable doing activities with. Before doing so, calculate your family’s risk and ensure that the family you choose is practicing the same safety measures you are.

I have found it seems easy to judge others for the decisions they make when it comes to this pandemic. I remind everyone now isn’t a time to judge others. Everyone has a different story, different needs, and varying risks. However, when making decisions about the safety of your own family and extending your circle to another family, it’s important to make sure they feel the same way you do.

4. Outdoor Painting Class

My daughter has discovered a new love for art since the pandemic started. It is such an easy way to keep her entertained.

Nature holds endless inspiration! My daughter loves to sit outside and paint the different flowers and landscaping.

Creating an outdoor art class is a fun way to interact with friends while maintaining the suggested 6 feet of distance.

5. Drive-in Movies

I love that drive-in movies are making a comeback – what a fun way to enjoy a date night or family night with very little risk of exposure!

Another fun idea is gather with your neighbors to buy an outdoor movie screen. Each family can enjoy an outdoor movie night for the fraction of the cost.

Of course, make sure to clean equipment between uses.

6. Zoom Camps

There are so many great options for virtual entertainment! Art and craft camps, painting, cooking, and music camps can all be done in the safety of your own home.

Final Thoughts on Social Distancing Activities for Kids

There are so many things you can do to help your kids stay active and entertained this summer despite losing many traditional summer camps.

Remember to wear a mask and maintain social distancing whenever possible, but also try to enjoy as many of these low risk activities with your family this summer as you can!

Stay safe!

~Dr. Katie

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