A walk around the block can start to feel a little mundane when it’s your third one of the day, or 395th one of the pandemic. If your kids are starting to complain about taking the walk or wishing for something to make it a little more exciting, here are a few options to spice up your routine while maintaining social distance.
Have a costume parade. One Chicago-area dad took dressing up to the extreme, but with your kids, feel free to let them pull old Halloween costumes out of the closet. Make it a family affair and dress as a group, or everyone can dress in your favorite sports uniforms (rep your North Side or South Side pride even without baseball).
Move to your groove
Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio and your own playlists are ready to rock you around the block. Let your kids pick the music, or pick a genre and teach your family new moves. If you want to entertain your neighbors, practice a few routines in advance of your walk.
Create a list in advance of things you think you’ll see along the way or hope to see. Make it nature based (squirrels, flowers, butterflies, a robin) or even what you know about your neighborhood (a red car, a rainbow in a window, a barking dog). Let your kids help create the list. For an added level of difficulty, turn the hunt into a bingo game. For littler kids, I Spy is a great alternative.
Do you have an old digital camera you haven’t used in a while (thank you, Sony Cyber-shot circa 2008), let your kids give it a go to take photos along the way. You might be impressed by their skills or what they think is picture-worthy (25 pictures of an interesting sidewalk crack, are we right?).
Recruit your neighbors
If you are in a neighborhood with lots of kids, send a message to your neighbors for everyone to create their own obstacle course in front of their houses using sidewalk chalk. Think hopscotch, loop-de-loops, activity instructions (stomp and roar, jump and flap your arms, etc.) or just let the neighborhood children be creative. This will improve EVERYONE’S walk.
Race you to …
Pick a point and let your kids race each other – or even race you – to the edge of THAT third house up there or that other tree. If you are in a neighborhood with a lot of car traffic, mind the rules of the road and try not to make the finish line at the end of the sidewalk.
Let’s get physical
This isn’t a race, it’s a test of physical agility. For those three squares, hop on one foot. For the next three, crab walk. Come up with your own physical tests of strength that you think your kids are old enough to try.
Bring bubbles. Time your journey with a stopwatch (which walk took the longest, which took the shortest this week). Let your kids pick a new (safe) route. Walk backwards for two blocks. Walk on the other side of the street (if it’s safe).
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