This story is our first (in what hopefully will be an entertaining and enlightening quaran-time series) shared by a reader and outdoorsy mom… want to know what other families are during during this very strange, scary, and new time? Read on to see how one family is finding fun (even in the rain) while being stuck at home with the kids.
Getting outside during the quarantine
by Heather of Nesting Intentionally
We have self quarantined ourselves after we heard that school closed because of the Coronavirus. I was determined NOT to stay in my house the whole time. I love my kids but they are a bunch of crazy monkeys and need to play outside. We’ve made it 5 days of getting outside during quarantine.
March 15th (my birthday) we got the call from the school saying that all schools will be closed until April 3rd. They will resume session on April 6th due to COVID-19. I knew it was coming. They have to err on the side of caution. But oh man this ACTUALLY happened! I didn’t panic nor did I have a meltdown that my kids will be home with me EVERY DAY FOR 3 WEEKS. Nope. None of that happened. My first thought after my initial, oh man this actually happened, was… this is going to be fun. Because i’m going to make it fun.
I’m your adventurous mom. I have 3 kids ages 12,6 & 2. My 12 year old is a girl who really enjoys adventures and the fun things I have planned. My 6 and 2 year olds are boys. They are crazy, loud and never stop moving boys. They need adventure in their lives just to calm them down and use that energy built up inside. So I plan adventures a lot. Having 3 kids is one big adventure to begin with, might as well keep it going.
Day 1…. Monday March 16th We went back to the park we went hiking at for my birthday. It has a big lake around it. My 2 year old is learning how to ride his tricycle. So I put that in the back of my jeep and off we went to the park. He rode his bike around the whole thing. The bigger kids walked, jumped, skipped, walked on rocks and ran around the lake. There was only one other person there. I wasn’t really expecting people to be there since it was only day one of this whole quarantine thing.
Day 2….. Tuesday March 17th There is a new subdivision going up near my house. I found a little cut through road that took us to a little playground. My 2 year old calls it the baby park. He really wanted to go there. So we pile up in the jeep and head to the baby park. Well… there was a little family there already. Since we have to social distance 6 feet…. There was no way we’d be able to play there. So we went to another park.
This park doesn’t have your typical jungle gym plastic playground equipment. There are rope mazes to climb up and through. There is a slide that comes out of the ground. There is a rock wall. Logs placed all around for you to climb up and over and walk on. There is even fake grass on a hill so you can slide down on your behind without a sled. It’s like a nature’s playground. We went there and played for about 30 minutes then it got super busy really fast. There is a paved sidewalk that goes around the park and stops near a pavilion. We took that and had a snack under the pavilion.
Day 3…. Wednesday March 18th It rained so much this day. We didn’t go to a park but we did get out in the neighborhood and walked about 2 miles. We printed off the Neighborhood Walk Scavenger Hunt and off we went. We didn’t find everything on the list but we didn’t do too bad. We have a walking path in our neighborhood that goes through some woods. We took that on the way home. It’s so nice and peaceful in there. We literally walked back into the house and it started raining again.
Day 4….. Thursday March 19th We went to a new park today. It wasn’t as close as the others have been this week. It had been raining so much that I knew it would be muddy. This place had a fishing lake and a nature trail along with an outdoor classroom. It was so much fun. They had a place to play instruments, a water feature area, a place to climb over tires, rain garden and much more. We played for what felt like forever, but it quickly ended when we went on a trail and my little guy started running, and slipped into mud. He was sad and wanted to change his wet clothes. I told the kids that we will be back when it’s not wet and there are flowers growing.
Day 5….. Friday March 20th We had cousins spend the day with us. My kids were so excited to have them over. We got outside 3 times. I managed to only take one picture. I was a little out numbered so taking photos wasn’t on my mind. It wasn’t even 9am and I bundled them up and we walked around the block twice. My daughter was too cold so she only made it around once, weeny.
Then after a craft or 2 we went outside to go on a scavenger hunt. Once we got out there no one wanted to look for the items they just wanted to play. So we played until they were hungry for lunch. Then after lunch when the little ones went down for naps the big kids and I went out in the backyard again and jumped on the trampoline. I made them put ski socks on so their feet weren’t cold. Well… the trampoline was wet! They jumped for about 20 minutes before my son said his feet were cold.
Getting outside isn’t hard for us. We enjoy it. There was one day that my son wasn’t in the mood to go outside. All he wanted to do was play video games. We were going to a new park that we’d never been to and he wasn’t interested. I said that there was going to be a lake and we could walk through the mud on a trail if he wanted to. He still wasn’t into it. Which is odd, what boy doesn’t want to play in mud. My daughter was all for it and so was my little one. I told him to get dressed we are going anyway. I wasn’t mad, nor was I angry. I simply didn’t give him a choice. He ever so slowly got his play shoes on and we left. He had ssoooo much fun there. He jumped in puddles, walked through very deep puddles, played in mud, climbed on the outdoor classroom they had. I asked him which park he liked the best this week and he said that new one.
Sometimes you have to nudge them a little for them to see how much fun they could have outside. It rained every day except Friday. Once it stopped raining is when we went outside. My kids shoes were muddy and wet. Their clothes were muddy and wet but they had so much fun outside every day this week.
We could have stayed inside and played video games but I made use of this time we have together. Getting outside during quarantine was a breath of fresh air and we enjoyed each other’s company.
I hope you find encouragement to get outside, even if it’s to play in puddles before the next rain cloud comes. Put on some play clothes and get outside!
Home with the kids? Check out these resources:
- 4 weeks of nature play and activities for your backyard and inside the home
- Having fun camping at home when you can’t get to the campsite
- Nature scavenger hunts for the backyard and around the neighborhood
Shared and written by HeatherYou can read more of Heather’s writings on her own Blog, Nesting Intentionally.