Family Fun in the Sun
Just because we must stay at home during the pandemic, that doesn’t mean it needs to be indoors all the time. It’s important to get a little bit of sunshine every day – after all, sunlight is an important source of Vitamin D! For those who have a garden or backyard, there are many ways to turn your outdoor space into a “playground” for the entire family. Give these five activities a try:
Backyard Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger or treasure hunt is an engaging activity for the whole family. Get together in two groups – for example, Dad can be leader of Team A and Mom in Team B. Each group will hide a handful of random things in different parts of the garden and leave clues for the other group to find. Set a time limit and the group who finds the most things before time runs out wins!
Tag and Chase
This game never gets old. Be prepared for a lot of excited squeals and laughter – even from adults! Each person will get a sticker – you can get these easily at stationery shops or dollar shops. The rule of the game is to avoid being tagged by another person using the sticker. The one who stays untagged wins the game. This game will encourage plenty of running around as players would need to chase one another or run away trying to prevent the other from tagging them.
Plants are amazing and provide such a wonderful opportunity for children and even adults to learn about soil, seeds, plant types and more. Start small by simply getting a small pot, soil and some seeds. There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching the seed you have planted grow and bloom into a full-fledged plant! Kids are impatient – it’s a good idea to choose fast growing seeds like spinach and zucchini so that they can see changes on the plant every day. Flower seeds are a good option as they germinate readily and grow into different shapes and colours.
Empty Can Bowling
Here’s a quick and fun game you can play with children. Get a couple of empty tin cans and turn it into a bowling competition for your kids. Stack them on top of each other in different ways to create a variety of bowling challenges. You can use tennis balls, rubber or plastic toy balls to knock down the cans. To make the game more interesting, paint the cans in different colours and assign “points” to them. For instance, red for 10 points, blue for 20 points and so on. The one with the highest points will win a prize – like ice cream or cookies!
Water Balloon Pinata
When it is hot outside, it is time to add some water fun. Try this popular water game called water balloon pinata – be forewarned though, you will get really wet so wear swimsuits! All you need are large balloons that you can fill up with water. Tie the balloons with strings and hang them upside down on a clothesline about 3 metres from the ground. Look for thick branches or twigs in your garden, preferably those with blunt edges – these will be used as “bats” to hit and puncture the water balloons. The fun starts when everyone starts batting the balloons and water bursts out from the impact. The bigger the balloons, the stronger the splash!
It is good to get some sun but too much sun can be harmful, so use a good sunscreen or sunblock to protect your kids from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Here are some tips from MyHEALTH:
• Look for sunscreens with broad spectrum Ultraviolet A and B protection.
• Choose a water-resistant sunscreen if you will be in contact with water or if you sweat a lot.
• Apply to clean dry skin 20 minutes to 1 hour before sun exposure. Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours when outdoors.
• Use sunscreen even on cloudy days.