By Siobhan Ward, Youth Program Specialist, Scouts Canada
Finding fun activities for kids close to home and with the supplies you have on hand can be hard – but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible! At Scouts Canada, we’ve modified some of our favourite activities so that they can be done easily from home while practicing safe physical distancing. Here are five activities for families to try at home or out in the community.
1. Stay Afloat With Your Very Own Boat
How do boats float? Their shape and materials allow them to float on top of the water and support the weight of their passengers or cargo. Challenge your family to make small boats out of materials from around the house that can hold a marble or other small object. Try making boats in different shapes and out of different materials and compare them. See what boat can hold the most weight, or find a nearby stream and see which boat goes the fastest. Anchors away!
2. Get Moving, Even While You’re Inside
There are lots of fun and creative ways to keep moving while sticking close to home. Build an obstacle course in your living room or backyard out of materials found at home. Tables, chairs, exercise balls or hockey sticks can all be creatively converted into obstacles. Get your family to (safely!) race through the course and see who can get the best time. Set up competing obstacle courses for each other and see who can create the coolest course!
3. Keep It Clean, Keep It Green
Keeping our world clean and green is a nice way to give back to your community while staying close to home. If you’re able to use green spaces in your neighbourhood, help clean up a nearby park. You can also stick close to home by cleaning your street or a neighbour’s yard. Follow health guidelines and wear gloves and a mask while picking up items. Encourage your family to find the weirdest items they can – maybe it’s a wagon, helmet or piece of furniture. Create a story about how that item got there – maybe astronauts accidentally dropped their helmet while in outer space and in landed in your park! See who can come up with the most creative tale.
4. Connect With Nature
How well do you know about your animal neighbours? Take your family on a habitat walk and look for evidence of different living things around you, from anthills to birds’ nests to groundhog holes. If you aren’t sure what kind of animal may live in a certain nest or burrow, try taking a photo and comparing it to others on the internet. You can make looking for animal homes a regular part of your neighbourhood walks.
5. Be A Local Tour Guide
Getting used to only seeing people through a computer screen can be an adjustment for kids, but it doesn’t mean you can’t share cool things virtually! Help your kids to think about the special parts of your neighbourhood – the park, a favourite tree, or your secret path through the woods. Take photos or videos of these areas and offer a tour of your neighbourhood’s highlights to your friends or family, sharing why these areas are so important! If you have friends or family who don’t live close by, you could even use Google Maps to give them a tour of your city’s highlights.
Finding ways to have fun inside and around your house doesn’t have to be an impossible task. For more activities for kids that will help them stay active, be creative and curious, have fun, and make a difference in your community, check out Scouting at Home. Scouts Canada releases new activities for kids weekly.
About Scouts Canada
Kids in Scouts have fun adventures, discovering new things and experiences they wouldn’t elsewhere. Along the way, they develop into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals who are better prepared for success in the world. For tens of thousands of children and youth across Canada, Scouts is the start of something great. Scouts Canada is the country’s leading co-ed youth organization, offering programming for children and youth aged 5-26 in multiple languages, reflecting Canada’s multicultural landscape and communities. For more information, visit Scouts.ca.
For more great activities, tips and resources, check out our latest issue! You can read the full March/April issue of WestCoast Families magazine online here.