As I am sure many families are experiencing at the moment during this pandemic, our homes are currently “slashie” homes, and by slashie I mean:
Home Schools / (slash)
Workplaces / (slash)
Childcare Centres / (slash)
Therapy & Specialist Providers / (slash)
And that is just going by my own home!
With so much going on within our homes while we self isolate, now more than ever it is so important to get outside and breathe in some fresh air and get some sun on our faces – even if just for your own sanity.
I know personally, my kids and I go a little stir crazy if we aren’t able to go outside, so to avoid ending up hiding in your wardrobe in the fetal position, I thought I’d share a few activities that my family and I have been doing together outside when we’ve had enough of being inside.
Before I start though, just to be clear, I live in the Adelaide Hills and at the time of writing this, in South Australia, those within the same household are able to go outside together as well as exercise together. But restrictions on being out have been changing daily so please ensure you abide by your states isolation and quarantine restrictions at all times to avoid possible fines (or jail time!).
Ok with the disclaimer aside, here are a few things we’ve been doing as a family (or on our own to have a break):
5 Things to Do Outside with Kids During Isolation – Pandemic Edition
This is one of those activities you can do with the kids or on your own – like when they are driving you insane and you feel the need to run away for a bit! That, but also you can tick it off as: Fitness. Exercise. Because – Health.
Having said that, when the kids are a little restless, you can all go on a family bike ride to burn off that excess energy, get some fresh air and vitamin D in as well as some exercise for all.
Planting Flowers, Herbs, Fruit & Veggies
This is especially good for those who don’t have pets. You can chose to grow a plant from seedlings or have your kids chose a “plant baby” that they will then be responsible for. The main goal being – Keep it alive!
For our family, it’s been the perfect opportunity to teach the kids more about herbs, veggies and fruit, show them where some of their food comes from, and encouraged them to try new things. Both my boys have sensory issues with food, so this has been a particularly successful little project in our household.
Not only that, but it’s the perfect opportunity to get out of the house, enjoy the weather, and the kids are able to get in there and learn, get their hands dirty and take on some responsibility that will keep them busy every few days.
Walking/ playing with the dog
I don’t know about you, but things can get really overwhelming at home when you have bored kids AND pets. Our puppy is only 8 months old and he is VERY vocal when he is bored, so why not solve two issues in one go?
My 10 year old has discovered he loves bike riding, but my 5 year old is still a little unsure about it, so since Isolation began for the kids, he spends as much time as he can out in the yard playing with our puppy Max. We have a lot of space in our yard with rocks to climb and trees to hide behind and this has given him the opportunity to appreciate the outdoors and build on his fine and gross motor skills which has been a joy to see. He is much more confident within himself, has learnt to assert himself when Max gets a little too excited, so overall it’s been another learning experience for him.
So the kids may not be in school or able to attend their therapy or specialist appointments during this time, but playing outside has been a great way to continue what they have been learning in appointments but just in a different setting.
Apart from that, walking your pet as a family (or on your own) is a great way to go outside instead of staying within your yard, and stretch out those legs for a bit.
Your pet will thank you too.
Doing online PT/Exercise Sessions outside
Ok so this one is very important to me and is more so one for the adults in the house.
Before I had to self isolate, we were getting ready for another busy Winter Sport season. Our son had started footy training, his Dad was getting ready for the soccer season, and I was training for the Women’s footy season as well. I personally was also attending Barre and Pilates classes when I could, and had just started Boxing classes as well.
Then I had to self isolate. So I adapted my routine accordingly. But then everything had to close. And we went from lots of movement to none, and we were restless.
For many of us exercise is not just about fitness. It is also about our health and it’s so good for our mental health, especially during times like these.
So for those who were seeing a PT or attended a particular gym that is now offering online services, JUMP. ON. THAT! Not only will you be supporting a local business but it will help with your sanity – I SWEAR!
And instead of doing the session indoors – why not do it outside? Take that yoga mat out there, those weights, those resistance bands and those kettle bells and workout in the fresh air.
Your neighbours may cop an eyeful but who cares?! Health! Fitness!
Ok. Ok. I know what some of you may think. Meditation with kids – yeah good one. But I wouldn’t suggest it unless I had tried it myself. It really works!
So grab your portable speaker and phone, take out a picnic rug or yoga mats if you have them, sit outside, pop on a meditation piece that all can participate in, and spend 10 – 15 minutes (or how ever long the kids will sit still for!) and just have little break as a family and reset so you can get through the day.
This works wonders for my kids when they are overtired, grumpy, bored, restless and usually leads to a much more pleasant afternoon.
If that doesn’t work – just get them to ride their bikes for ages so they are tired by bed time and pass out quickly once sent to bed! Lol
Then – hello wine o’clock!
I hope these 5 Things to Do Outside with kids helps you! What activities have your family been doing outside during self isolation / quarantine? We’d love to hear how your family is passing the time when boredom hits.