In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19 in Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health (link is external) is now recommending that all residents of Ottawa practise physical (social) distancing. Physical (social) distancing (link is external) involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
These guidelines are not meant to say “you must stay in your home!” You can still go outside to take a walk, go to the park, or walk your dog. If you need groceries, go to the store. We simply recommend that while outside you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of 2 metres from those around you.
While you may not feel sick, and while we know these measures are an inconvenience, please be mindful of the members of our community who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others. We are all in this together.
Make Room for Play – Kids are more active when they’re outside!
Did you know? Ontario preschoolers spend twice as much time being active when they play outdoors. When children are outside they move more, sit less, play longer and sleep better at night.
Spend Time Outdoors as a Family
Spending time outside is good for your entire family. Kids are more likely to take part in outdoor-based activities if you do too. If you move outdoors, your kids will too!
Provide your child with approval and encouragement. This can help motivate them to embrace the great outdoors. The more a child is exposed to nature when they are young, the more likely they will seek it out as they grow up. Help your child develop their lifelong love of the outdoors.
Here are some fun things to do outdoors as a family:
- Start a rock collection.
- Have a scavenger hunt. Make a list of things for you and your child to find.
- Collect leaves. Make a leaf picture with paper and glue.
- Start a journal. Record animal sightings together or fun things you’ve seen.
- Collect treasures in a small bag. Talk about all the neat things you have found.
- Find animal tracks and follow them as long as you can.
- While outside, challenge your child to find one object that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
- Play “I Spy with My Little Eye”. Pick something you see and give your child hints until they guess what you are looking at.
- Put your children to work raking the leaves in a big pile and then encourage them to jump in.
- For a wintertime scavenger hunt, freeze colored water into ice cubes, then hide them around the yard.
Outdoor Play in Ottawa – What to Do