We are all inside our homes together and not alone in trying to figure out working from home, managing babies and kids while distance learning and social distancing. First, give yourself TONS of grace and then get outside. Breathe in that fresh air, feel your anxiety lessen and appreciate what Mother Nature is providing us all, especially now. We’ve compiled some outdoor suggestions for you and for your family to enjoy during the COVID-19 outbreak, please check the RIDOH and CDC guidelines, as they change daily.
1. Playing in the front yard will provide opportunities to wave at a neighbor (hey, it counts!) – so break out the sidewalk chalk (leave some inspiring messages for people walking by!), a basketball hoop, a picnic blanket or “stoop it” on your front stairs. Maybe you’ll even see the mail getting delivered!
2. Now is the perfect time to rake and get the yard ready for spring. Often the kids enjoy helping out with yardwork; give them some dirt and pots for planting (or to just play in!). Have a fire at the end of the day to celebrate your hard work and sunnier days to come.
3. Cloud watch. This will make you all lay down, be still – and meditate.
4. Homeschool outdoors. Kids don’t want to read inside? Make it fun on a blanket while having a snack, outside! Break out the paints and put on some tunes. Go on a scavenger hunt. Embrace the many ways we can teach at home and make it fun for our kids to learn.
1. Hit the streets with your kids’ bikes or scooters (or strollers!). Riding and walking around the neighborhood (while social distancing) will give you the exercise you need and will also break up the day.
2. Paint some rocks or shells and leave them throughout your hood for neighbors to find while taking a walk with the kids, your dog, or both!
3. Puddle jump! Don’t let the rain stop you from getting your fresh-air break. Dress your kids in snow pants, rainboots and jackets, then head out with your umbrellas to dance in the rain and jump in the puddles! Warm baths and hot coca to follow.
4. Meet a neighbor for a “mama walk” after dinner/before bedtime. It will help to decompress the day and have some adult social interaction (6 feet apart of course!).
Once this over, we will encompass a new appreciation for where we work, live and thrive. Rhode Island (and New England) has so many nearby, natural outdoor places to discover. Here on Aquidneck Island we are fortunate to have no shortage of hiking and beaches. Our favorites include: Alboro Woods, Ballard Park, Brenton Point, Cliff Walk, First Beach, Melville Campgrounds, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Prescott Farm, Purgatory Chasm, Sachuest Wildlife Refuge, Sandy Point Beach, Second Beach and Third Beach. Soon we all will appreciate the beauty of our surroundings, and our Earth, even more. For now, let’s all stay home.
Written by Nicole Mineau