3 ways to kick it old school this summer

Two small kids run down a walkway.The weather’s warmed up, the sun is shining and we’re in full-on summer mode: beach days, popsicles and sunscreen, oh my!

With COVID-19 still hanging around, it’s likely we’ll have to stick closer to home than we’re used to for another year. That’s OK – you can still have plenty of summer fun in your own backyard. You might choose to watch the clouds, learn about local flora and fauna or grow your own fruit and veggies…but it’s important to play, too!

Here are a few of our favourite low-cost, high-entertainment-value games to help keep the kids (and kids at heart!) active and happy this summer.

Net gains
String up a net (even a low clothesline or a bit of cheerful bunting would do in a pinch), grab some rackets and birdies, and have a game of badminton. It’s a low-impact sport but it involves lots of little sprints – and the net ensures you and your competitors will remember to maintain that all-important physical distance. When you get tired of that, break out the volleyball and practice your volleys, bumps, digs and spikes.

Get tagged
Did you know there are dozens of varieties of the game of tag? Freeze tag is just the beginning! For your next game, consider spicing things up with a game of amoeba tag, heads and tails tag or hospital tag. (If you’re worried about smaller children getting hurt by overzealous older siblings, consider giving the person who’s “it” a short section of pool noodle to tag other players with.) Other fun chasing games include loose caboose, rabbits and hounds, and port and starboard. Read all about them in the Kids Run Club Coach’s Handbook (pages 32-34).

Balls away!
Don’t underestimate the amount of fun that you can have playing catch. Whether you dig out your old baseball and glove, toss a football back and forth, or just play catch with a bouncy ball or wiffle ball from the dollar store, a game of catch with a friend is a great way to sneak in a bit of extra movement and enjoy a catch-up chat, too. Little kids might prefer playing with balls and scoops or even Velcro balls and paddles to increase their odds of success.

No matter how you decide to fill your time this summer, don’t forget to be safe. Use sunscreen, stay hydrated, and do a tick-check when you get inside – and of course, if you’re going to be playing at a crowded playground, don’t forget to take your mask. Have fun!

What’s your favourite backyard or park-based activity? Drop us a line in the comments.

Nova Scotia quick links

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List of COVID-19 exposures in Nova Scotia
Getting tested for COVID-19
Public Health mobile testing unit locations
Rapid testing locations
Self-isolating guidelines
Mental health and well-being

Nova Scotia COVID-19 resources
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