What do you miss most about life pre-COVID-19? I don't know about you, but I've really started to notice how much less fresh air, sunshine and exercise we get since self-isolation. These things used to be just an incidental part of the day. Walking the kids to school, meeting up at the park for a playdate, shopping at the markets on the weekend, we didn’t have to PLAN how to get our daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. It was just a part of the everyday routine.
Lockdown has changed all that.
Now, we have to be purposeful about getting outside, planning how to make sure our children get enough exercise and some all-important Vitamin D. After all, it doesn't take a scientist to know that getting outside is an instant mood lift.
To help us ALL stay sane during self-isolation, we’ve put together a list of ideas for getting outside, while still staying home. These ideas are simple, don’t require any special resources, and will work whether you’ve got a balcony, or an acreage. After all, it’s not the size of your outdoor space that counts, it’s what you do with it!
Perhaps you could write down each of the following ideas on separate pieces of paper, and put them in a container. Each day, get your child to draw one out. Presto, their outdoor activity for the day! Just make sure to remind your children to slip, slop, slap and slide on those Babiators when they are playing outside.
OUTDOORS ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS DURING SELF-ISOLATION
1. Get planting
Find some seeds (you will be able to find some in a pumpkin, tomato or pawpaw) and plant them in an empty egg carton. Once the seedlings have emerged, transfer them to a larger pot, or your garden.
2. Get drawing
Draw a picture of something that you can see from your balcony, or in your backyard. Take a photo of your picture, and send it to your grandparents with a special message.
3. Have a picnic
Have a picnic lunch, in your backyard or on your balcony.
Go outside, close your eyes and listen. Make a list of each sound that you can hear.
5. Go birdwatching
Sit quietly on your balcony or in your backyard and watch out for different types of birds that fly by. Identify each one, and then make a tally of how many of each type of bird you see. You could even make a bird-feeder to attract some birds to your outdoor area. (Find some instructions here.)
6. Outside scavenger hunt
5 leaves that look different
Something longer than your hand
Something that starts with M
Something very light
Something that needs sun to live
An object smaller than your thumb
Something that smells good.
You could even share this list with a friend or family member, give yourselves a time limit, and then come back and share what you have found through video chat.
7. Create a Loose-Parts Play Area
Fill a large container with odds and ends: toilet rolls, empty shoe-boxes, old fabric scraps, pinecones, sticks, sticky tape, rope or string, cardboard boxes, old sheets or curtains, plastic boxes, dress up clothes, old pots and pans, wooden spoons, mixing bowls, cushions, bits of pipe or tube, tyres, pegs, masking tape, feathers….any sort of junk you can find! Then, get creating! What will you make today?
Send pictures of your creation to your cousins or a friend, and challenge them to make something too!
8. Get building
Build a fort, on your balcony or in your backyard, using whatever you find (make sure you ask permission first!). You might find pegs, sheets, rope, tables and chairs useful for this one.
9. Take reading time outside
Set up a picnic rug, a few snacks, and read together! You could each have your own book, read aloud, or listen to an audio book together.
10. Go on a bug hunt
Record each bug or insect that you can see, either by drawing or taking a photo of them. Identify them (you may need to do some research for this part) and label some of the key features.
We'd love to see some pictures of your little ones enjoying time outside! Tag us @babiatorsau on Instagram or Facebook.