fbpx Better than Gazing at Grass
Authored by Margaret Vimont on July 13, 2020

Do you remember the profound sense of boredom that could inflict you as a child? Perhaps with the influx of screens many kids access at will, they don’t have those loooong summer afternoons with nothing to do; the times when it’s on you to make up your own fun.

I remember lying in the yard after being chastised by my mother for following her around too much, given the edict “Can’t you just find something to do?”

No, no I couldn’t. An extrovert from birth, filling space without interaction was not easy to me.  I remember being so bored that after flinging myself onto the ground in exasperation, I studied the blades of grass from an extreme closeup position with periodic interludes of picking shapes out of clouds. Until finally,  I’d saunter into my room and create play school or office scenarios. Funny to think now how much I liked playing “office” where I moved papers around, wrote reports, and had very important calls. How envious my 8-year-old self would be of me now!

Fast forward many years, and here in 2020, the plaintive “but what will we do?” is being heard again across our child welfare systems as families and kids interact socially distanced, through a video camera or outside. To answer that plea, we offer this list of activities you can do distanced, both with and without materials or objects. 

Social Distancing Activities


Battleship – each player has their own battle case
Yahtzee – use a second set of 5 dice and each person gets a separate paper
Farkle – use a second set of 6 dice and each person gets a separate paper
Scattegories – each player gets a paper sheet. Either one person rolls the letter die or have two sets so each person can have a letter
Tenzi – each player gets one color of dice
Pictionary – use two separate white boards/ paper and markers. Split cards in half or make up your own.
Bananagrams – use two games, each get your own
Connect 4 – use two games, add both players pieces to each set

Bike riding
Throwing balls and games that involve throwing balls (spud, four square)
Physical challenges (timed runs, juggling challenges, time you and jump on one leg)
Hopscotch (needs chalk, a rock)

Guess Who
I Spy
Would you rather - https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/fun_content/would-you-rather/ 
Storyteller – Start with sentence and then each person adds on.
Simon Says

Resources: https://littleredwindow.com/fun-board-games-to-play-over-facetime-with-kids/

This blog article was contributed by Margaret Vimont, Vice President of Strategy and Service Development for Nexus Family Healing.

Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.