New York State on Pause is coming to an end on May 28th, and while that does not mean we can run out willy nilly into the streets whooping with joy, it does mean that businesses and outdoor locations will start to slowly reopen and more and more people will be heading outside. This is wonderful news! The increasing sunshine and warm winds are beckoning us outside, and as you may already know, sunshine is a natural source of Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for our bodies. It is important to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D in the body to protect and strengthen the immune system.
The warmer weather also gives us that extra boost of energy and desire to move and exercise, and movement is so essential for our children. They need to jump, run, skip, hop, climb, and just play to keep their minds and bodies whole.
You may have already started to venture outside lately, so you know that playgrounds and basketball, handball & skate parks are still primarily closed. But there’s still so much you can do outside to play, get that much needed Vitamin D and just have fun! Of course, we all still need to wear masks and keep appropriate social distancing when we do go outside (6 feet). (And, children over the age of 2 are required by the Governor’s mandate to wear masks if social distancing can’t be observed.)
We’ve compiled a list below of 5 fun activity ideas you can try with your children:
1 – An outdoor scavenger hunt.
Choose as many household items, toys, stuffed animals, trinkets (you get the picture!) as you want and hide them outside your house or apartment building, or in your backyard or garden if you are lucky enough to have one. Make sure to make a list of what you hid and where so you can find everything. Give the kids a list of what to find and let them search.
2 – Walk, rollerblade, roller skate, ride a bike or a scooter on the Open Streets in NYC.
New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has designated 40 miles of open streets for pedestrians and cyclists to use. Here’s a link to their website so you can find which streets are open in your neighborhood:
3 – Take a hike in nature with hand-curated maps.
You can hike the trails in Forest Park, Flushing Meadows Park, or even Central Park. Wear your masks and head into nature. Alltrails is a free app that offers over 100,000 maps of walking, hiking and biking trails. You can also sign up for free access to their maps on their website:
4 – Create a Field Day.
Everyone loves a little friendly competition! Head outside and set up different stations to challenge your children’s motor skills. Depending on where you have your Field Day, you can set up areas for jumping, skipping, tossing balls or balloons, racing, filling a bucket with water, hula hooping – really the sky’s the limit! For kids that like to keep track of how many times they do something, and to encourage counting and adding, you can make a tally sheet for them to fill out at each station.
5 – Red Light, Green Light 123! Or Mother May I? Mr Fox What Time Is It?
Fishy Fishy Cross My Ocean! Play any one of these active outside games to practice counting, following directions, running and laughing! Here are some instructions on how to play a few of these games:
Let us know what you think of our suggestions, or if you have any cool ideas you’ve already tried with your family. Comment below!
Also check out our blog post about indoor activities in case you haven’t been able to get outside too much yet.
Finally, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter in the banner below to find out what’s been going on in our virtual classes as well as see what other ideas, fun facts and resources we have compiled for you. Hope to hear from you!