In a time when social distancing is important, kids still need real life relationships with others, and they also need to be active. These socially distanced game ideas for kids will get your kids up and moving while also allowing them to spend socially distanced time with friends.
I know I’ve allowed my kids more time on devices and in front of screens than ever before, since most of our usual activities and gatherings have been canceled for months. With no end in sight to social distancing, it’s becoming more important to get creative to help meet our kids social and physical activity needs.
You might also want to check out this list of 19 social distancing friendly greeting for kids. It’s hard to teach kids how to keep a safe distance from their friends, but these greeting ideas, plus this list of games should help!
Whether you are a mom helping the neighborhood kids figure out acceptable ways to play together, a teacher trying to find away to help your students burn off energy by getting active between subjects, or a mom trying to encourage more physical activity and less screen time, these fun socially distancing activities for kids will help you get your kids up and moving while also getting to spend time with friends.
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*tip– To help young children remember to stay in their own space while playing games, mark individual spots on the ground to keep them socially distanced while they play. Outside on blacktops or driveways, use chalk to mark individual areas. In gyms or other hard floor surfaces try using painters tape to mark each child’s personal space. In the yard or on carpet use carpet spots or activity mats to mark personal space.
Socially distancing games and active activities for kids
Dancing is a great way to be active and be social. So many dancing activities can be easily modified for social distancing. Simply turning on music and encouraging kids to dance can be a great way to get kids active in a fun way.
Kids can learn a line dance together. Have them teach each other a new dance, or find a tutorial on youTube.
Try playing freeze dance. Start some upbeat music and have everyone begin dancing. Suddenly stop the music in the middle of a song. The last person to stop dancing is out. Continue until only one person is left dancing, then begin the game again.
Play dancing feelings. Choose many different types and genres of music. Instruct children to dance how the song makes them feel. Is is happy and upbeat, sound and angry, sad and slow, etc.
Try turning the lights down and handing out glow sticks for a fun glowing dance party.
Toss is an easy game to play while socially distanced. Have kids stand apart and throw each other a ball. Kids can throw straight across rows, or in a circle to each other.
Change up the way kids play toss by using different types and textures of balls. You can even change up the type of object they throw to each other.
Try a small soft ball, a koosh ball, bean bags, etc. If the weather is nice, you can even let kids throw sponge balls or water balloons!
Hula hooping is a great way to get moving and have a laugh with friends. Grab several hula hoops and set the kids off to see what they can do. Make a contest of it and see who can hula hoop the longest, or who can get the most hula hoops going at one time.
Jump ropes are another good active and socially distancing friendly toy. Kids can simply jump rope, or they can play a game while jump roping.
Do you remember any of the fun jump rope rhymes from your childhood? I know I have fond memories of singing songs with my friends while jumping. If you don’t already know several of the rhymes, try this book of 101 jump rope rhymes.
Kids can sing the rhymes while jumping with their own ropes. Or you can get a long ropes to try jumping together or even learning double dutch.
Have kids race to get them active. You can even change the races up, to keep the activity fun and interesting. Have kids hop, skip, jump, walk backwards, etc for different races. For young kids you can use tape or chalk to make lanes to help keep them in their own space.
Have kids each find a personal space and play a few rounds of Simon Says.
Kids toss a ball around a circle to each other, trying not to be the one left holding the ball when the music stops. Change this game up by varying the object kids are tossing. Try a small ball, a koosh ball, or a bean bag.
Kids love to run around searching for items on scavenger hunts. There are so many fun ways to vary scavenger hunts to keep kids interested in them too. You can have kids follow clues to find a treasure, or print out a sheet of items around the backyard or neighborhood to check off.
Racket Games and Activities
Racket games are easy to make socially distancing friendly. Go to the public park and play tennis, or buy a backyard racket game for kids to use.
Create a fun obstacle course to get kids active together. Use whatever you have on hand to create obstacles for kids to run through. Make things to jump over, places to squeeze under, places to zig zag and more. Cheap pool noodles are a great option for creating a fun obstacle course. You can also use jump ropes, hula hoops, cones, and string for the course.
Another fun option is creating an obstacle course using chalk. Draw wavy lines kids must follow, make boxes on the ground where they must stop and do an activity (jumping jacks, hop on one foot, etc)
Kids can take a socially distanced nature walk together. They could also use this time to do a scavenger hunt, or pick up objects for a nature art project.
Kickball or Softball
Modify kickball or softball to make it more socially distancing friendly. Choose soft balls and only allow outs when a person is hit by a ball thrown at them, rather than standing on base or tagging.
Frisbee is a favorite outdoor activity at my house, and it’s perfect for social distancing. If you live near a city with frisbee golf, that’s another fun frisbee game that kids love. You can make your own frisbee golf course by placing different containers around the yard for kids to throw the frisbee into for points. Use baby pools, plastic bins, buckets, etc for the targets.
Limbo can be social distance friendly if you get a long enough pole!
If you create personal spaces on either side of a volleyball net, kids can play a modified volleyball game that meets social distancing requirements.
Hopscotch can definitely be social distancing friendly. Simply be sure kids stand away from each other while waiting their turn to hop.
Kids can space themselves out to do a work out or yoga together. YouTube has some great options for kids exercises.
Many lawn games can be social distancing friendly too!
Try mini golf sets, croquet, corn hole, ladder ball, badminton, and horseshoes.
Don’t forget the wheels.
Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and rollerblades can all provide a socially distance active activity that kids can do with their friends.
This time of keeping our kids socially distant is difficult for everyone. But, social distance doesn’t mean they have to spend all their time away from friends and on devices. Try these fun and active social distanced games and activities to get kids moving their bodies while spending time with friends.