The start of the new year is an ideal time to encourage your kids to try a new hobby. If they have been stuck at home for the most part of 2020, they must be feeling a bit restless and antsy doing nothing but online classes and remote learning. Here are some healthy, physically-distanced, and pandemic-safe activities you can encourage your children to try this year.
Online classes for dance or martial arts
If your child has a lot of pent-up energy, consider enrolling them in online classes for different kinds of dances or martial arts. Not a lot of kids enjoy regular workout routines that include simple exercises, so getting them to take up hip-hop or karate class is a great way to get their cardio going in more fun and exciting ways. It will not just help them maintain healthy body weight; these classes can also help improve their coordination and self-confidence.
There are multiple benefits to setting up a treasure-hunting mission for your kids. For one, it can help improve their investigatory, problem-solving, and observatory skills, and for another, it can activate the “reward system” part of their brain, especially if the treasure hunt involves some kind of special prize for them. It will help them move their bodies in healthy ways, and at the same time, you become an integral part of playing, which is fundamental to their healthy development. If they can do it with their siblings, it will help improve their teamwork and cooperation too.
Another pandemic-safe activity that your kids can get into is horseback riding. It’s not a contact sport, which means they won’t have to interact with other kids or too many coaches, keeping them low-risk for infection. As long as you invest in their own gear like horseback reins and a riding helmet so that your child doesn’t have to borrow those of others, then it can be a relatively safe activity. Look for a stable or riding school in your area — you’re bound to find one that doesn’t break the bank too much, especially since these businesses are most likely looking for more clients and students in the time of a recession.
If you live near a national or state park, consider taking your kids on their first hiking experience. While no outside activity is completely pandemic-safe, going on a hike is still one of the most low-risk activities since it doesn’t require too much interaction with others. Teach your kids how to appreciate nature by providing them with opportunities to appreciate its beauty. Any lessons on sustainability and caring for the environment will be made tangible when they see just how beautiful our world is.
Don’t underestimate the power of regular exercises. Maximize your neighborhood’s parks by giving your kids some time to run around the grass (while practicing physical distancing from other people, of course). Teach them how to do proper stretching, jumping jacks, and other exercises that don’t require laying down on the ground — at least not while the virus is still around.
If you and your family are blessed enough to live in an area with plenty of greenery, capitalize on this by setting up camp in your backyard. Give your kids the summer camp experience from the comforts of your home by setting up games, picnics, barbecue, and other classic summer camp activities. An experience like this will give your kids wonderful memories that will allow them to look back on their time in quarantine with so much fondness instead of bitterness, sadness, and resentment.
We all have a responsibility to nurture nature regardless of where we live, but especially when we’re located in densely-populated urban cities or neighborhoods. Take this time of intermittent lockdowns to teach your kids about the value of caring for the environment by doing a tree-planting activity together. If your backyard doesn’t allow for new trees, then consider planting a garden. And if you don’t have a backyard or if you live in a condominium, try planting a vertical garden. Teaching your kids to care for other living things like plants or trees will help them see beyond themselves and their own needs, and it will give them some physical activity too.
While not all outdoor activities are 100% pandemic-safe, you would significantly lower your risk if you and your kids wear the right masks, keep a safe distance from others, and sanitize your hands frequently with an alcohol-based sanitizer. Let’s do everything we can to make the current circumstances not just bearable, but also wonderful, for our children.