By Deana K. Reed
COVID-19 has caused most of us to make dramatic changes to our everyday lives. Our kiddo’s are out of school and nearly all extracurricular activities and events, like 4-H, have been canceled, postponed, rescheduled or delivered online, as we work together try to minimize the severity of this new disease. As young people adjust to this extended break from their daily routines, chances are parents and caregivers will hear a lot of “I’m bored” in the coming weeks. Here are some ideas to get young people active and engaged during this time of much uncertainty.
Take a break from electronics and get outdoors. Here are some outdoor activities to break up the monotony: plan a backyard picnic lunch; go stargazing. Grab a blanket and observe the night sky; take part in the Kentucky Adopt-a-Tree Program. All you need is a tape measure, camera (a smartphone will work perfectly), internet access and a tree. Learn more at https://ufi.ca.uky.edu/adopt-a-tree; or grab your digital camera or smartphone and encourage your 4-H’er to participate in the new 4-H entomology project! This project allows 4-H’ers to create a virtual insect collection. Learn more at https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/4HEnt.
If the weather is not cooperating, here are some indoor ideas to help you pass the days: UPCYCLE: gather items that you would typically toss in the garbage or recycle bin and get creative repurposing them; Play Bird Song Hero, a fun, free online game from The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Play Lab. Several free interactive games are available to explore bird flight, song, dance, feathers and more. Learn more at https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/learning-games/; Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom has 32 Pinterest boards with fun activities related to agriculture, life sciences, environmental and earth sciences, and more. Visit https://www.pinterest.com/teachkyag/.
Meade County 4-H Youth Development has been posting ideas on our Facebook page (Meade County 4-H Youth Development – KY) on a DAILY basis! Like our page and see what virtual hands-on activities and 4-H projects you can work on at home! We will also be posting 4-H project “how to” videos over the next few weeks. In conjunction with these project videos, we will be offering (in limited supply) 4-H Project Kits that can be picked up at the Extension Office – you MUST call to reserve a kit. These will be free of charge and reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis as long as kits are available; a supply list will be available
Join us as we come together to support the youth (and families) in our community! For more information, contact the Meade County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. While our doors are closed to public foot traffic, we are available by phone (270.422.4958) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).