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Challenge: Back to School 2020

Winter Extracurriculars During Covid Closures

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The wind feels a little bit colder and we can only watch Frozen 2 so many times before we go insane. We need some extracurriculars that are COVID-safe and winter-weather friendly. As we stare down the barrel of flu season with a dash of corona, I took to the internet to figure out what the heck to do with my young kids this year.

  • Music lessons. If your current local teacher is no longer teaching or you are new to music, there are lots of options. In my research, the highest quality and best bang for your buck is Lessonface which helps you pair your kid (or you! They have grown up classes, too) with the best teacher for you based on your level, schedule, and needs. Plus, they have this piano pass thing right now that’s a steal if that’s your instrument of choice or one your kid is interested in trying.

  • Online yoga. There are some really fun yoga exercises and books out in the world but if you want twenty minutes alone or want to do some light movement with your kids, mine are obsessed with Cosmic Kids which, besides the website, is on Amazon Prime and Youtube. She makes the classic yoga moves part of a story.

  • Bundle up and go hiking. Sure it’s cold, sure it’s wet, but if your body is warm, there’s lots to see, touch, smell, and get covered in dirt. You can look up paved trails if you want to avoid a full mud bath, but mess can be good. Plus, it’ll wear them out.

  • Family bike ride. This is a similar concept to the hike wherein you may be in a splash zone, but you’re hardly moving working from home and if you’re like me, screen time limits have been relaxed or abandoned, so physical fitness might be a good idea. I myself am not much of a biker, but I take the dog out while my daughter rides with the kid two doors down. I can watch them and they’re far apart and thereby safe from each others’ germs.

  • Online learning. Because your kids aren’t getting ENOUGH of digital school? Well, there are some cool resources online and lots of roundups. So, if your little archaeologist or mathematician needs more from the world, there’s stuff for them to do.

  • Cooking class. You can do this on your own without an instructor, but if your kids are sick of you telling them what to do all the dang time, you can find an online cooking class. In my community, these are run through the city and can help your kid eat a veggie once in a while. Plus, you can instill good work ethic by making them clean up after themselves. Bonus, they might like it because they get to hold knives.

I am being a little punchy, perhaps because I have a dark sense of humor in the face of all of this, but in all seriousness, we, as parents, all need each other right now. Because cases are up in a lot of places, I’m not including some activities that may or may not be safe or available right now such as team sports and swim lessons. You need to do what’s best for your family and community as whole. I hope we can all literally survive this strange and terrible season, but also help each other out to survive mentally and help our kids have fun despite not being able to do everything they did last year.

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