How do you handle extracurricular activities during a pandemic?
Why It’s Important To Get Active
How you approach extracurricular activities is very much going to depend on your family’s comfort level. But no matter what your comfort level, it is important that we keep our kids moving! With all this extra time in front of the computer, it’s especially important that we get their bodies up and moving, get them active, clear their heads, and get a little bit of energy and perk to their day.
For families that want to keep doing a more individual approach, we suggest getting out to do things like running. Soccer is a good activity because there is plenty of space between players on a field. Biking is another good option, and so is tennis, where they can have plenty of room on their side of the court, but still get social interaction across the net. If your pool is open, swimming is another good option.
For Smaller Children
For our families with smaller children, we’ve been suggesting that they go to the playground early in the morning, when it’s cooler. You can bring your Clorox wipes to the playground, wipe down the equipment, and play there. Then when it gets to the point where you are no longer comfortable because more people are there, you can make your way home.
Make sure you bring masks with you, and anything you feel you need to bring. When you return home, make sure you’re doing the same practices we work on at the center—wash your hands. Some families prefer to strip down their clothes and take a shower first thing after arriving back home. If you have a family member at home who is at-risk, this is something you might do.
Another option is YouTube videos. There are some great videos out there right now! There are Noodle Dance videos you can do together, or Kids Bop has great dance moves as well as lyrics that are appropriate to dance along with. If you want to take a class, some studios are spreading out their dance and gymnastics classes so that there is plenty of space between students. But there is virtual dance and virtual karate available for you to do at home!
We realize that with the videos and virtual dance/karate that you’ll be getting even more time on a screen. But with dancing, you can even do a chatroom dance!
Sports and Exercise
If you are comfortable doing group sports right now, that’s great! Just remember to take the appropriate protective measures that the CDC recommends.
We know there has been a lot of talk about mental health lately, and one of the best ways to maintain good mental health is to get moving and get some exercise. When we move it releases endorphins, and we feel better.
Even if you just take the dog on a long walk by the creek, you will feel so much better when you get back than you did before you went! We need to build those mental health movement breaks in. If you were very active before COVID, it’s important that you find ways to keep up that activity now!
Do movement activities as a family. Get everybody involved. Make it exciting! Set a time before or after dinner when everyone gets moving together and socializes together, talking about their day while adding some movement to it!
Your Next Step
If you have any other suggestions for activities, let us know! And in the meantime, enjoy your time outside!