Active Games for Social Distancing

If you are reading this in the future, it is now July 2020, and we have been in a global pandemic for what feels like 18 years now. It’s exhausting. Hopefully from your view in the future you are like “Hang in there, it’s almost over and then all this great stuff happens!” But for those of us in the middle of it?

In the meantime, we at Boys & Girls Clubs are doing #WhateverItTakes to continue serving the youth in our communities. For many of us, that has been Virtual Club, with online video demonstrations, streaming live activity sessions, and getting very familiar with conference call platforms. But more and more Clubs are opening the blue doors to youth for in-person programming. So the question is, how do we do that in a way that ensures safety for our Club members and staff?

It’s really complicated. Figuring out how to program safely through social distancing while still creating supportive, active, and FUN environments is a lot. Thankfully, you aren’t the only one thinking about it. Across Boys & Girls Clubs and the entire out-of-school time field in general, the best minds are coming together to create resources and activities. Since it looks like this is going to be with us for a while, we will share the best ones as we find them here on the ClubX Blog.

Today I’ve got a round-up of some of the best lists of games to play while social distancing. There’s a LOT here, so be sure to bookmark this post so you can keep coming back to it! To get us started, here’s the recording of a webinar BGCA’s own Alise Dixon led for Clubs on this very subject. You’ll hear her mention the Social Distancing in the Club Guide, which lays out some of the initial steps you’ll need to consider and implement as you prepare to open.

(Note: You’ll need access to download the full guide.)

Playworks is one of our favorite partners, because they believe in something we do too – the power of PLAY! They released this printable Play at Home Playbook that is filled with games that require little to no equipment, so they could be easily adapted to a Club environment. Also be sure to check out their YouTube channel, where they have TONS of videos explaining even more amazing games!

We’ve been recommending this list of games from Asphalt Green from the start. These active games are not only sorted by grade level but include full instructions and even list the areas of your space to play them in! WE HEART YOU ASPHALT GREEN!

OPEN is the Online Physical Education Network, and this site is rich with activity ideas and entire modules for use in physical education. Parts of the site require free registration to access, but their Tools for Creating an Active Home section has a gigantic list of games, packets by grade levels, and calendars that are open. Most are designed for families, but could be easily adapted to the Club context.

I definitely saved the BEST for last because this is the most magical link you will ever have in your possession. Brenda from the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County cemented her place in the Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of LEGENDS when she put together this master list of social distance-friendly activities. You’ll see some from the sites I’ve already mentioned, as well as BGCA resources like the Play Breaks Guide. (Note: You need a account to access some of the links.) All the props and thanks and high-fives to Brenda for not only compiling this list, but for sharing it with us!

We’ll share more on ways to program in-person safely on the ClubX Blog, so if you haven’t already, scroll on down to the bottom of this page and find the Follow Blog Via Email spot. That way, you’ll never miss a post!

What are your favorite socially distanced activities? How are you keeping youth and adults safe in your Club? Share with us in the comments, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or email and your ideas may be in a future ClubX Blog post!

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