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Keeping Kids Healthy, Active and Busy During Social Distancing

Parents and guardians are likely experiencing added stress through this challenging time feeling responsible for their children's academic growth, maintaining physical fitness, and avoiding technology overload. Remember there are a lot of things kids can learn even when not doing school work. Take this opportunity to teach kids how to do chores, how to cook or help with home improvement projects.

Many experts suggest adherence to a daily schedule to create structure and technology time limits. Involve the kids in developing the schedule and set timers. Be sure to include multiple activity breaks throughout the day. Even quick bursts of activity (recess breaks) can help with mood, mental focus, and energy level. "At 10:00 am, run 2 times around the block, at 11:30 do 15 push-ups and 15 sit-ups, plank hold contest at 2:00 pm!" We will post daily workouts on Healthy Kids Rx Instagram and Facebook that can be modified for the whole family!

What about Nutrition?

Kids will likely snack out of boredom. Keep junk food out of reach (or don't buy it at all!). Discourage excessive snacking outside of meals. Keep plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. Involve kids in meal planning and preparation. Keep the whole family hydrated with plenty of water and avoid sweet drinks (soda, juice, etc.).

Get outside when possible: walk, bike, hike (all with appropriate social distance, of course). Get out puzzles, board games, card games. Below is a list of other ideas. Obviously some activities are not appropriate for all ages, but having older kids help the younger kids when possible can ease the burden on parents and keep everyone busy!

  • Read a book as a family, then watch the movie once you complete the book.

  • Set up a tent (or build a fort) in the backyard or basement.

  • Find a fun craft project. (Pinterest)

  • Learn to sew, crochet, knit (You-Tube!) Ravelry is a free resource for knitters, no matter your skill level.

  • Build a cardboard fort, robot, or city (put those Amazon boxes to use).

  • Make homemade play dough (recipe HERE).

  • Set up a treasure hunt.

  • Read-at-Home BINGO (link HERE).

  • Watch the Cincinnati Zoo livestream (Cincinnati Zoo will be live-streaming animals on their Facebook page daily at 3PM)

  • Make Elephant Toothpaste, a fun science experiment! (instructions HERE).

  • Teach the dog a new trick!

  • Take a virtual tour of the Boston Children's Museum or Yellowtone Park

  • Explore the surface of Mars with this digital 360° camera.

  • Listen to Olaf read stories on Twitter! the voice of Olaf has been broadcasting readings of different kids’ stories on Twitter.

  • Write letters! Break out the envelopes, the stamps, the pens, and paper. Write a mail a letter to someone you love, like grandma and grandpa, or a family member who lives far away.

  • Facetime family members

  • Have a canvas paint night at home! (order them HERE)

  • Practice mindfulness, download a free meditation app for the whole family to try!

  • Create indoor hopscotch with painters tape.

  • Decorate the driveway with sidewalk chalk art.

  • Set up an obstacle course in or outdoors.

  • Storytime From Space is unlike any other kind of storytime; NASA astronauts read stories to kids while they float around in space.

  • Learn about what it takes to run a farm, meet farm animals, and more by taking a virtual farm tour on Farm 360.

  • Assign everyone an animal to research, then present your facts to the whole family.

  • MommyPoppins has some great coding resources for kids just getting into the ins and outs of coding.

  • Make your own board game.

  • Learn more about the wildlife of Africa by checking out this African wildlife cam situated by a busy watering hole.

  • Call or facetime a relative and interview them for a newscast or biography.

  • Create a virtual book club with friends or classmates or join an online book club.

  • There are tons of kid-friendly podcasts out there. Do some research and find which one is best for your family!f Here's two: or

  • Do science experiment with Bill Nye the Science Guy!

  • Set a specific time for musical instrument practice or make instruments as a fun project. Music to Your Home provides online, guided music lessons.

  • Create Chores Bingo cards!

  • There’s never been a more relevant DIY project than making your own hand soap.

  • STEM activities are great for learning and educating kids about science and math.

  • Mystery Science has lesson plans for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. Their lesson plans cover everything from: How does hand sanitizer kill germs? to What causes things to glow-in-the-dark?

  • Listen to audio recordings of other languages (like Spanish, for example) on slow. Repeat to practice pronunciation.

  • You can start an indoor herb garden by using eggshells as planters or make a terrarium out of mason jars. Check out Food52 for a terrarium tutorial.

  • Make a vision board. Print out pictures from Pinterest or Google and adhere them to a poster board or computer paper. Fill it with images of what you want this year to be, then hang it on the fridge or somewhere where everyone in the family will see it often.

  • Research vacation spots and plan a family trip (for when travel is safe!)

  • McHarper Manor is offering a free arts and crafts lesson on Facebook Live every day at 1PM EST. You can check out their supply list for what you’ll need for the first few projects on their website.

  • Dance party! Search You-Tube for new dances to learn!

  • Egg Hunt! Sure, it’s a little early, but you can even make it educational by hiding letters inside the eggs instead of candy. Hide the plastic eggs around the house and see if your child can find the entire alphabet!

  • Get Tiger Math books on Amazon starting at $6.99

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