Keeping Up With Outdoor Learning Amidst Social Distancing

No doubt about it, kids are a bundle of energy. But with the current circuit breaker measures in Singapore, how can parents ensure their little ones are getting enough physical activity each day?

Experts generally recommend that kids have about 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day, especially outdoor activity. Educational experts also agree that outdoor time is a valuable opportunity for learning. In sum, outdoor activities offer children benefits like building up their fitness, allowing for hands-on learning, and developing their problem-solving skills.

That explains why international schools in Singapore, like the Canadian International School (CIS), are strong proponents for learning opportunities beyond the classroom. At CIS, which runs the IB programme, there are plenty of outdoor learning platforms for children, including open learning spaces dubbed ‘learning pods’, the Open Minds programme, and regularly scheduled excursions and field trips.

However, the recent circuit breaker measures in Singapore has effectively put a halt to all these activities. With children staying indoors more than ever, how can parents still engage children in physical activities and ‘outdoor’ learning while practising social distancing? It may seem like an impossible task, but the truth is, it can be done! Let’s take a look at some ideas you can use:

  • Make use of space at home

Not everyone has the luxury of a huge home, but by shifting some furniture around, it is often quite possible to clear out a bit of space for some simple exercises. Of course, don’t expect enough room to play soccer or a game of tag if your home is limited by space.

However, in tight areas you can still engage in quite many activities! Mark the ground with masking tape to begin a game of hopscotch. Or whip out the jumping ropes and get your children to learn a few tricks with it!

  • Follow an exercise tutorial

The advantage of living in this digital age is that there is no shortage of resources we can access at home. If you’re running out of exercise or play ideas, why not hop on to Youtube for some exercise routines?

Choose videos with upbeat music and easy-to-follow steps that are suitable for children. There are plenty of exercise types to take your pick from, from yoga to zumba. Some of these videos even implement additional learning elements, like dances that accompany educational songs, or movements that mimic different animals.

  • Help out in household chores

While everyone is stuck at home, it is a good chance to get everyone to chip in with the household chores! Whether your kids find it a burden, or they love to help, it is a valuable lesson in responsibility and ownership.

Start them with simple tasks like dusting shelves, cleaning the table after the meal, or sweeping the floor. Cleaning and decluttering also offers a good workout, and can teach children practical domestic skills as well.

  • Work on a home project

Got a home improvement project you’ve been meaning to work on, but just didn’t have the time to? Now’s your chance! It could be anything from touching up the paint on the doors, to planting a mini home garden. These projects offer your child the chance for hands-on learning as well.

Involve the kids in the process, and let them ask away to satisfy their curiosity. You’ll be surprised at what learning opportunities these activities offer. Children can pick up a lot of useful new knowledge, from plant life cycles, to the names of tools.

That’s right, fitness and learning don’t need to go out the window even during a lockdown. Don’t just limit yourself and the kids to their virtual classes and IB subjects. With a bit of extra creativity and a constant thirst for learning, the home can also be a great and vast classroom! Which of these activities will you be trying out this week?