With summer just around the corner, current CDC recommendations still advise against participating in team activities or sports. Many organizers say the most optimistic projections are late August for team sports to return, and when they do, there’s no consensus on what form they will take.
How can kids–and we, for that matter–play safely and stay active? Some tried and true activities allow athletes to play alone or farther apart from one another while still burning energy, building skills and having fun.
Think back to summers when you were a kid. Or to what your parents described as their childhood experiences. Many of those activities lend themselves to free play this summer and are on the State of California’s list of outdoor activities that are permitted during shutdown.
Use this as a guide, and remember to comply with your local regulations when selecting activities.
- Badminton (singles)
- Throwing a baseball or softball
- Hiking (on trails and paths allowing distancing)
- Horseback riding (singles)
- Jogging and running
- Roller Skating and Rollerblading
- Soft martial arts – Tai Chi, Chi Kung (not in groups)
- Tree climbing
- Volleyball (singles)
In addition to this list, we came up with a few games we particularly like for you to consider:
- Jumping rope (singles)
- Ladder Golf™
This is also a good time to try to master a new physical skill:
- Bongo board
- Ride a unicycle
- Walk on stilts
Whether it’s a team or individual sport, be sure the activities you enjoy are appropriate for your child’s age and skill level.
For all activities it’s important to follow these guidelines
- Do not use the locker room or changing area.
- Do not socialize or congregate after playing.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after play
- Keep a bottle of sanitizer handy
- Clean and wipe down all personal equipment
- Do not share any equipment
- Bring a full water bottle with you
- Avoid touching gates, fences, benches, as much as possible
- Consider taking extra precautions like wearing disposable gloves
If you have access to water sports, golf and tennis, here’s how you can enjoy and safely participate in those activities.
Paddling, Canoeing and Water Sports
Flat water paddling, park and play, and attainments are good lower-risk options. It’s important to paddle well below your skill level to reduce the risk of injury and need for rescue. Find the American Canoe Associations’ general guidelines here.
Remember to keep your Personal Floatation Device clean. The Life Jacket Association has provided updated recommendations here.
While putting and chipping at home are the safest ways to play, many golf courses are reopening around the country with modified guidelines. Changes have impacted bunker rakes, flagsticks and cups (be on the lookout for pool noodles!) Carry your own clubs, keep your distance from others on the course and abide by all updated club rules.
The United States Golf Association has provided updated information after releasing original guidelines when the crisis began.
Training at home either alone or with household members is your safest tactic but playing on public or shared court with household members is also low-risk.
To lessen what risk there is, the United States Tennis Association offers these tips:
- Open two cans of tennis balls that do not share the same number on the ball.
- Take one set of numbered balls, and have your partner take a set of balls from the other can.
- As you play, only pick up your set of numbered balls.
- If a ball with the other number winds up on your side of the court, don’t touch the ball with your hands. Use your racquet head or feet to get the ball to the other side of the court.
Get additional guidelines from the United States Tennis Association here.
individual sport, be sure the activities you enjoy are age-appropriate.
For more information on risk assessment of common sport and recreational activities, check out “Return To Play: COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool” a general informational resource created by the Aspen Institute.
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