21 Social Distancing Games and Safe Activities for Kids to Do This Summer

Kick It with Kickball

  • Best ages: Grades K – 5
  • Players: 5
  • Where to play: Outdoors

How to play: A popular pastime of parents growing up in the ’90s, kickball is a smart way to get a larger group of your child’s buddies together (ideal for more than five). Meet at a local field so there’s plenty of open space and bring your pool noodles to use as bases or for keeping the distance when kids are waiting in line to kick the ball.

Fence Freeze Dance

  • Best ages: Grades K – 2
  • Players: 3
  • Where to play: Indoors or outdoors

How to play: If your kid’s best buds live next door, meet in adjoining backyards and start a game of freeze dance. It’s silly enough that mom and dad may want to join in, but getting close isn’t in the recipe since each child only needs the spot they’re standing in. In this activity, everyone dances when the music plays and freezes as soon as the music stops—hold that position until the music starts back up again. If someone doesn’t immediately freeze, order them to do something like 10 jumping jacks or five push-ups. (PE teachers will be proud.)

Simon Says (Stay 6 Feet Away!)

  • Best ages: Grades K – 2
  • Players: 4
  • Where to play: Indoors or outdoors

How to play: A study published in the journal of Early Childhood Research Quarterly suggests that this classic game, Simon Says, is the key to improving kids’ chances of success in the classroom. The study found that children’s ability to self-regulate is a critical element in their language and literacy development. Kids who are good at self-regulating can manage their emotions and behavior in order to achieve a specific goal. Best for kids younger than first grade, asking them to play a variation of “Simon Says” (follow instructions and do the opposite of what’s asked) is fun and educational without them even knowing it.

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