“Daddy, we’re bored.”
That been a constant battle cry from my 8- and 5-year old this past week and a half. Usually, my girls would be in their regular routine of school (for my second-grader) and childcare for my youngest. Additionally, they’d both be practicing and playing soccer.
Now we live in a new normal, a normal that we’re still adjusting too and hopefully will be temporary.
Like many of you, we’re in a holding pattern as the Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our daily lives, and left many parents scrambling to find activities to keep their children occupied, while at the same time, work.
I briefly spoke with Priscilla Bloom and Erin Moore with Berea and Richmond parks and recreation, seeking ideas on how to keep everyone active during this crisis.
Berea Parks and Recreation has shared information from various online sources to many people who have contacted them seeking advice.
“The internet is a great resource,” Bloom added. “We have shared ideas from other parks and rec departments, and we’ve come up with a few of our own.”
One suggestion from Berea Parks and Recreation is to organize a scavenger hunt in the yard, Bloom said.
It gets the family moving and outside, weather permitting.
Another thought is going old school, Bloom said.
“Do things like jump rope or hopscotch,” she said. “I know it sounds odd, but it is effective.”
City Park in Berea, located near the board of education, also offers a story trail, which is excellent for hiking.
“Just make sure you follow the guidelines (of social distancing),” Bloom said.
Making sure kids and adults are not cooped up inside for days or weeks at a time is vitally important, Moore said.
“First and foremost, being active is both physically and mentally rewarding,” she explained. “Taking a walk has been proven to lower your blood pressure and relieve stress and anxiety. This is helpful while we all are experiencing uncertainty for what the future holds.”
Limiting social media use and television viewing is also beneficial, Moore added.
“Passive recreation is always a great way to help relieve stress,” she opined. “Go outside, read a book and relax. We have been a society that has been on the go and constantly moving. Now is the time to reset and appreciate the simple things in life.”
For those utilizing Berea City Park for hiking, Bloom assured me the public restrooms are open and are sanitized throughout the day.
One thing to be wary of are the playgrounds. Bloom said while they are not closed, it is nearly impossible to keep them sanitized, and the last thing anyone wants is to spread germs.
Both park and recreation departments have things planned as warmer months approach, but whether or not events are canceled are beyond their control.
“We have our usual events planned, such as outdoor movies and pool activities,” Bloom said. “It’s hard to say (if they will be canceled) because things are just so uncertain right now.”
Assuming life resumes to normal, Bloom said parks and recreation must be prepared, probably more so this year than in years past because there will be many people with cabin fever.
“When everything is ready to go, we have to make sure we are ready to go,” Bloom said.
“We are hopeful that once the sun comes out and people can get back to a new normal, our parks and recreation department can continue to serve the community.”