Want to have fun without getting too close to people outside of your household or quarantine “bubble?” Here’s a list of some outdoor activities that can be done while social distancing. Wishing you fun outside this summer!
No special equipment needed
This section has ideas for things to do that use items that many people already have around the house or can find.
Distant picnic – Bring your own food and set up tables or blankets with distance between them.
Oldies but goodies – books, movies, music, and stories. Read aloud, listen together, watch together, takes turns to make up a story.
Group Games that work with distance – Try charades, Simon says, red light green light, and any sort of “watch me and copy what I do” or “listen to me and do what I say” games. Any sort of races where people are in their own lanes are fun to try too.
Driveway or Doorway Dance Party – Some communities have been trying socially distant driveway or doorway dance parties. Designate one person to play the music and invite everyone to boogie in their own driveways, doorways, or yards. Some neighborhoods add a competitive element and swap prizes!
Scavenger Hunts – younger kids – Some communities have started something together, like “teddy bear hunts”, and scavenger hunts can also be super simple and last-minute, like “Find 1 dandelion, 1 clover, 1 pine cone, and 1 pebble.” for younger kids.
Photo scavenger hunts/collages for older kids and teens – Photo scavenger hunts or collective activities can work well for older kids and teens with cell phones, especially if they don’t want to put their phones down and you’re hoping to get them outside. Try something like “take one photo of a pretty cloud, one photo of an interesting sidewalk crack, your feet standing in the grass, cool tree root, a friend jumping (can you get a photo of them while airborne?)” Then all the photos can be texted to one person or shared in one place and made into a collage that is shared digitally or even in print.
Sidewalk chalk fun
For younger kids – Try different sections of a chalk mural, hopscotch (taking turns for physical distancing), everyone draw a sun, a flower, a rainbow, etc. More ideas here.
For older kids and teens – More complex drawings or murals, messages they want to share with the community, chalk obstacle courses
Homemade obstacle courses (with adult supervision, when needed) –
These provide exercise activity for younger kids (or older kids and teens who are willing to be silly)! “Jump over this log, go under this branch, run around this tree/house/etc, do 10 jumping jacks in this spot…”
Print out individual activity sheets for games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey or other party games that are usually done near each other but can be done individually and compared. For “Pin the Tail”, have each person stand the same distance from their own donkey picture handout, close their eyes or use a scarf or other item of clothing for a blindfold, and try pinning the tail!
Games or activities that require equipment or materials
Cornhole, croquet, bocce, etc. Remember to wash or sanitize any shared items in between use and try to keep each item shared only within members of the same household, when possible. To make things easier, you can have a bucket of soapy water to dunk things in and hand sanitizer next to it for hands.
Science experiments – One person or one household would have to be the one touching the materials, but others can watch. Or if multiple stations are possible, that is a great way to engage everyone directly. Try outside on an outside table, which is often a great place to do experiments anyway. Want ideas for science projects and experiments? Take a look here and here.
Tie dying outside on an outdoor table – There are many brands of dye, including kits, that are now available as well as many different patterns you can try. Here are a bunch of ideas and instructions.
Outdoor reading of a play – If a group of older kids or teens likes theater, try ordering or printing out a few copies of a script and doing a reading. Adults can join in! Remember to maintain distance…And it can actually be funny to read the stage directions out loud (Stan gets on his horse and rides away, etc.) Here is a site with free scripts.
Tried and True:
Jump roping, running through the sprinkler, juggling, kite flying, paper airplane flying contests, walking, bicycle riding, scooters, skates, skateboards…