In this changing time, we are being told to stay home. We see the hashtag #stayhome on all of the posts about COVID-19 and Social Isolation. We are doing our part to flatten the curve!

But staying home doesn’t have to mean staying inside

In fact, your body and mind need fresh air and sunshine – even more so during stressful times! I know that I do. I need to go on those dog walks, along. Just me and the dog. I will pray the Divine Mercy or listen to songs that just will uplift and bring my soul to Him.

The outdoors has therapeutic qualities that you can benefit from and enjoy while social distancing.  It is more important than ever right now to seek and appreciate the beauty in order to counter the fear and stress of the unknown. 

🌞 Fresh air and sunshine increase your immunity and energy levels. Sunlight releases serotonin – the happy hormone – in your body. The sun also provides Vitamin D, a nutrient crucial to women’s health.

🌼And spring is finally here! Appreciate blooms and budding trees as a reminder that change and regrowth always follow hardship. 

Prioritize spending time outside each day. Whether it is just to sit and enjoy your morning coffee in the sunshine or going for a walk – alone, with your dog, with your family. 

If you have a yard, be sure to plan some of your day’s activities to be outside – play with kids, do yard work, fire up the grill, read a book in a lawn chair.
If you live somewhere within driving distance of natural, public land or wide walking trails, go for a hike or walk.

If you live in a more urban area and quarantine restrictions allow, take a walk around the block or hop in your car and drive with the windows down. If this is not currently an option for those in stricter quarantine, sit on your balcony, front step or open your windows and sit close enough to feel the sunshine and fresh air.

Stay home doesn’t have to mean stay indoors – find safe ways to get fresh air and sunshine as often as you can! I know that not all of you are Homeschool moms so having the kids home now and having them trying to do their school work is not easy.

Here are some great ideas to keep your kids occupied, learning, moving and healthy during social isolation!

🔍 Scavenger Hunt 

For teenagers, use creative clues and rhymes to describe different objects or spaces leading to the next clue. You can make it a competition with prizes to increase interest. 
For younger kids, draw pictures on a piece of paper or paper plate and have the children use the picture as a map to the next clue. This can be done inside or outside!

🏃‍♀️ Obstacle Course

Another great option that can be done inside or outside and can be adapted for all ages. 

For older kids, make the obstacles/tasks more physically challenging and athletic… Shoot baskets (if you don’t have a basketball hoop, use a garbage can or box and set a distance), hop-scotch, carrying something heavy from one spot to another, etc. Include steps for jumping jacks, push-ups, and other exercises that need to be completed before moving to the next obstacle. 

For smaller kids, make easier tasks that are age-appropriate and easy to follow. Climbing over a pile of pillows, putting colored toys in various containers… heck, have them match socks from the clean laundry!

💡 Learning + Movement

Incorporate movement into learning activities.

For older kids, have a “workout of the day” aka WOD and tell them to complete it between schoolwork throughout the day. Create a poster board with their name on it and each day they complete the WOD before noon, they put a star on that day. If they get X amount of stars, you could have a prize.

For younger kids, cut raindrops or flowers out of construction paper and hide them around the house. Each time they find one, they take it back to the table and glue it on paper. You could do a matching game with the raindrops and flowers or just glue them on a big piece of paper with clouds and a field. 

Virtual Learning Resource: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

🍳 Cooking Show

Gather together in the kitchen to create a meal or bake a treat together. Have your children pretend that they are hosting a cooking show and teaching others how to prepare the dish. Videotape their “show” and share it with family and friends!

🥾 Virtual Field Trips

Pack a lunch and take a hike or just go outside and walk around your yard. Have a picnic lunch and then come back home and finish your field trip virtually. There are tons of free virtual tours being offered by many of the zoos, art museums, national parks, and much more. Take a virtual field trip!  Virtual Field Trip Resource: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

Take this opportunity to utilize screen time for education, exercise, socialization (online gaming, Facetime calls, Zoom videos). Take advantage of technology to stay connected and busy!

What are some activities that you are doing to keep your kids busy? What are some online sources that you have been using?