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

Detective

  • Best ages: Grades K – 5
  • Players: 10
  • Where to play: Indoors or outdoors

How to play: For this classic game, Have kids stand in a circle 6 feet apart, then nominate a “detective” to leave the area so they can’t hear what’s going on. Parents pick a leader who will start initiating movements (like jumping jacks or butt kicks) that everyone else will copy. Then the “detective” returns and stands in the middle of the circle. They have to figure out who’s the leader of the group in three guesses! Next game, the leader becomes the detective and the game continues. (If the group is really big—larger than 15 —choose two leaders and two detectives.)

Storytellers

  • Best ages: Grades K – 5
  • Players: 5
  • Where to play: Indoors or outdoors

How to play: Think of this Storytellers game as Mad Libs in real life. Have players stand in a circle 6 feet apart and select one person to start as the storyteller. The storyteller then kicks off the game by either saying one word or one sentence and players around the circle add on their own word or sentence. When you get back to the storyteller, they have to retell the story and all it’s add-ons! (For an extra twist, once a player says their part, make them do a physical activity like run in place or hold a position like tree pose until the circle is complete.)

Sun, Moon, Earth

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

How to play: For the Sun, Moon, Earth game, set up cones in a row at least 6 feet apart and designate the cones as the sun, moon, or Earth (kids can draw pictures of each to tape to the cone for added artistic fun). Have all the kids line up 6 feet apart and a parent calls out one of the three sun, moon, or Earth as kids go consecutively one after another at a fast pace. Children have to run to the sun cone, hop on two feet to the moon cone, or bear crawl to the Earth cone. If players make a mistake performing the move they have to step away and do five jumping jacks then rejoin the game.

Driveway Snowman Spelling Game

  • Best ages: Grades K – 5
  • Players: 2
  • Where to play: Outdoors

How to play: A traditional yet interactive game that encourages your child’s spelling and subject knowledge, but also enjoyable—and can be played 6 feet apart! Played with two people or two teams, one side comes up with a word and draws lines in chalk on the driveway to indicate each letter in the word. The other person/team guesses a letter and if it’s in the word, the other team draws it in, but if it’s not in the word, a snowman gets drawn one line or body part at a time.

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