Family Activities to Try During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Responding to COVID-19
Get outside and play
- Take a nature walk at one of the 75 Ohio State Parks. Certain public outdoor spaces at state parks, wildlife areas, forests, and nature preserves — including trails, dog parks, non-marina docks, and ramps — remain open at this time. It’s important that all guidelines from state and local health officials, such as social distancing (at least 6 feet from others) and practicing good hygiene, are still followed. More information can be found here.
- Join your children outside for a game of hide and seek, kick the can, or a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood.
- Take your dog for a walk.
- Start planning your summer garden.
- Go for a jog.
- Take a bike ride.
- Create an obstacle course with toys and games from your garage.
- Avoid public parks. They have been closed to protect communities against COVID-19.
Explore More Indoors
- Have a local library card? Many local libraries, including the Ohio Digital Library, allow you to check out and download ebooks. Read silently or take turns reading to each other.
- Start a virtual book club. Choose a book and start an online chat with your friends. The State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library Association, and Ohio Center for the Book recommend these 20 books by Ohio authors.
- Play games indoors. Games for younger children include Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose, or Follow the Leader. Older children can play “I Spy,” charades, or indoor bowling or make up new games.
- Try a new recipe or make dinner as a family; find recipes and tips for cooking with children safely on the Cooking with Kids webpage.
- Read a chapter book together, discuss the characters and plot, and ask questions to encourage critical thinking. Visit the Ohio Department of Education’s Family and Community Support Toolbox to find ideas to keep the reading excitement going.
- Pop some popcorn and cuddle up for a movie marathon.
- Turn up the volume and have a family dance party.
- Make a scrapbook of souvenirs from a previous vacation.
- Get the creativity flowing. Give your kids art supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, markers, or paints to create show pieces for your home. Put the artwork on your fridge or hang them around your house and host your very own art show.
- Try an online workout or virtual yoga instruction. Or get the family together to make up your own workout or dance routines.
- Give everyone a task and get a jump on spring cleaning.
- Wish you were at the spa? Try a home facial, manicure, or pedicure.
- Family game night. Hold a Monopoly tournament or take that puzzle off the shelf.
- Learn about Ohio’s rich history from the Ohio History Connection at Ohiohistory.org/learn.
- What do you want do when you grow up? Students of all ages can start exploring careers, play games, watch videos, and more at OhioMeansJobs.com.
- Challenge yourself with computer games at PBS Kids.
- Are your children missing their school friends or other family members? Set up a virtual playdate with their friends or connect with family members living afar via video chat.
- Explore Ohio virtually and learn more about places you could visit in the future at Ohio.org.
- Set aside time each day to engage children with free, hands-on learning activities that foster creativity at https://www.infohio.org/.
- Search YouTube for video tutorials on how to draw, learn a foreign language, or how to make those repairs you have been putting off.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.