Gateway Forney prides itself on building homes and shaping communities you never want to leave. We hope to be the place where the best parts of your life happen. But no one could have anticipated that, with COVID-19, we don’t know when we will be leaving our community. It’s enough to make anyone stir crazy. So, at this difficult time, we want to reassure you that it’s normal to feel like you’re about to lose it. Crisis schooling is not homeschooling. Parenting 24/7, without any break or childcare ever, is not normal parenting. This is a stressful time, and we urge all of our residents to practice self-care and give yourselves a little extra compassion. No one can get through this perfectly. The goal is to just get through it. The right outdoor activities for kids can help your little ones get out the wiggles and may even buy you some time to take a few deep breaths. Here are some great options.
Shaving Cream Paint
This is a messy one, so be prepared to hose the kids down or do it in a baby pool or in bathing suits. Get some old-fashioned shaving cream–the foamy kind, not the gel. Then let the kids mix it with food coloring or washable bath paint in bowls. Use the resulting paint to paint the sidewalk or a giant outdoor canvas.
Sidewalk art is a great option for creating big pieces. You can even communicate kind messages to your neighbors. Check out this great list of sidewalk chalk art ideas for inspiration.
Baby pools are fun, but they can also be messy and dangerous. If your kids love water, try a water table instead. Available for quick delivery on Amazon, these tables feature ramps, fountains, and other water features that allow your kids to play with balls, boats, and other toys for hours. Make it even more fun by incorporating shaving cream paint for a foamy float or adding food coloring for magical-looking water.
Yoga can help calm everyone’s nerves while getting out some restless energy. Take the yoga outside and imitate the postures of animals and plants you see. For kid-friendly yoga options, check out Cosmic Kids Yoga, which incorporates yoga poses into child-friendly stories.
Consider bringing back the victory gardens of a bygone era. Gardening offers food security by allowing you to grow your favorite flavors at home. It’s also a much easier way to teach about science than forcing your kids to complete worksheets. Try investing in a small raised bed for every family member, then letting your kids spend some time each day tending to their plants.
Kids love big, messy projects that create new and interesting things. So, if you’ve been contemplating a building project, now’s the time to take the plunge. Building helps kids master spatial reasoning and math, and it gets them moving. Start small, with an outdoor garden box, or even a stage where your kids can perform plays. Then follow your kids’ interests and gradually build upon the skills you all develop. You might find yourself building a swing set or something even more complicated as the summer wears on.
Most kids love painting, especially when they’re painting something they’re not “supposed” to paint. Try letting your kids paint their playhouse or swing set with washable paint, then rinse it off and let them try again. Some other options include:
- Painting rocks
- Outdoor face or body painting
- Painting flowerpots
For a fun twist, get some chalkboard paint and turn flowerpots, the sidewalk, or even your child’s outdoor playset into a chalkboard.
Social distancing doesn’t preclude walking. A nice, long family walk is a great way to burn through nervous energy. Try making a daily walk part of your routine. Take photos of birds and squirrels or turn it into a scavenger hunt during which each child tries to find specific natural wonders.
At Gateway Forney, we know that staying home all spring can be difficult. But in your comfortable, flawlessly designed home, the seemingly impossible becomes a lot easier. With spacious yards, friendly neighbors, and walkable streets, there’s always something to do here. So, check out our homes if you’re considering a move.