Covid-19 Abventures For The Kids

Covid-19 adventures for your kids

If your area is like ours here in Middle Tennessee and you have kids. Someone is having to take care of the kids because school is relapsed to the 1800’s model. Well almost. It amazes me how smart kids are today. I have no young kids, but I do have lots of nephews and nieces. These kids can turn on a I-phone and dial grandmas’ number but can’t complete a sentence or tell you what hurts when they don’t feel good.

I know that there are a lot of parents that have had to make arrangements for their kids since the country has re-opened from Covid-19, parents had to go back to work, but school is now virtual. I remember what virtual stood for when I was a kid. It was the look into the future of that belt across my backside. That was virtual for me.

Anyway, so the kids are at home and the weather has been pretty good for the most part here in the big Orange state of Tennessee. So, I had a few ideas for the parents to use with their kids when they are not on the computer schooling.

I am aware that not all of us are lucky enough to live on a farm or too far from asphalt. If your one of those suburban families, then find a park to take your kids to. In Tennessee, we have some of the greatest park’s hands down. You can fish at most of the parks and walk in the woods (don’t forget the bug spray) watch wildlife, picnic. There are great times to be had.

If you can get to a park or If you happen to live in the country, take your kids out and teach them about our ecosystem. I have made a list of things you can start with. This is not an exhaustive list, just some thoughts.

Animal Tracks

One of the best times to find fresh animal tracks is after a good rain has moved through the area, maybe the next day or near a creek where the soil is always moist. Have a little fun and see if the kids can identify the track. You can cheat a little and have that trusty cell phone and google what animals are naturally in the area and when you find a track, look it up on your phone and educate your kids on the great things that nature provides. You could even use it as an educational trip and see how many tracks they can remember seeing or match the tracks to the animal when you get home. Maybe, show them a picture of the animal on your phone so they can develop an understanding about the animal.


You may not be able to do this in the park, but if your lucky enough to have a backyard then this is a perfect setting for a family. Of course, you have your hotdogs and marshmallows (everyone likes smores) But its about so much more. Teach your kids how to build a fire, the safety precautions and respect that comes with fire. We all have probably heard about the great fire in Chicago and most recently the Smokey Mountains. Rumor was, that it was started from a campfire. I have never seen a campfire that I didn’t like. It’s a great time to reminisce and share stories.


Hiking is a great activity for several reason. Not only are you outside but your also getting exercise. Everyone can use more exercise. When you find a trail and there are many in the local parks. Use the time to teach your kids about things to do and not to do in and too nature. Teach them about leaving nothing behind. I mean take out what you bring in. never leave trash in nature. Bring a trash bag our stick it in your back pack, and if you really want to teach them something, pick up and properly dispose of as much trash as you can that you may find while out in nature. When on a hike, you can teach them about any animals you may encounter or hear. Teach them about a bird that you hear and maybe try to identify it. Bring some binoculars and get that cell phone out and look up what it sounds like and looks like. If you’re not a nature lover, there is a vast amount of knowledge that can be learned about life in the outdoors.


I have never met a kid that does not like to get a prize or catch a fish. Some parents may not like handling worms and other slimy earth creatures, that’s ok there are many plastic and hard baits that can be used. You don’t have to go out and buy a boat or get the newest and most expensive fishing gear. A simple zebco fishing pole can be bought at your local Walmart for under $ 20.00. there have been more fish caught with a Zebco 33 than there are fish in the sea. You may even pick up the latest cartoon crazy favorite for that little boy or girl. Catching fish is easy, just go where the fish are and use a bait that they like to eat. If you’re not sure what to use, go to your local bait shop (don’t ask the guy or girl at the big box stores, they probably don’t even fish. Besides they have red or green hair anyway.)

I have seen videos of kids catching fish and being scared of them. Take your time and hold the fish for them. Educate them about the fish, take their picture with the fish, it will be a memory they have forever. Also, the Tennessee Wildlife Resorce Agency has a certificate for their first fish that you can complete and keep for future bragging rights.

Maps and Compass

If you live on a farm or rural area. Try to find a map of the area or use Google or Bing and make a map of the area. If you live near a park, get a map of the park. Help your kids get started with the location they are at and teach them to navigate the area using a map and compass. Teach them how to use these items make them aware that you can’t always trust the cellphone. Remember, batteries only last so long and a compass doesn’t use batteries.

Survival skills

Everyone needs to know some survival skills. No, I’m not talking about dropping your kids off ant the foot of in Gatlinburg, TN and saying I will meet you in Cherokee, North Carolina. I’m talking about teaching them the basics. Teach them about personal safety and survival, whether it’s in the woods or urban living.

Teach them how to make a fire with out matches, if you don’t know how, go to youtube. You can see anything on youtube. Get you a flint or Firestarter with a knife and teach tem how to do it safely. Teach them what plants are safe to eat or the ones that are dangerous (blackberries, honeysuckle) just to name a few. Teach them how to tie a knot, bring along some rope and teach them how to tie a knot, if you have more than a couple of kids you can use this as an example and put them on a rope line so you don’t lose anyone.


Show me a kid who doesn’t like to go swimming and ill so you a fat kid that doesn’t like cake. Swimming is important. Everyone should know how to swim. I myself never learned to swim. I grew up near a lake, but we were poor hog and tobacco farmers so the only time we went to the lake was to take a bath after hauling tobacco. Teach your kid to swim, do it safely or get them swimming lessons. I remember when my great uncle offered to pay for our swimming lesson and my dad could work the fee off on his farm. We declined because our dad already had more work than he could do on our farm. I say again, teach your kids to swim and they will thankyou when they get older, but don’t scare them with the water. Don’t pick them up and throw them in and say sink or swim, this could traumatize them and cause them to fear water.

Setup A Tent

Kids are fearless. That is if you protect them. Most kids love sleeping in tents. Remember building a fort in the living room or bedroom with towels or bedspreads when you were a kid. Sure, you do, or maybe it was a big cardboard box. Take your kids out in the backyard, teach them how to pitch a tent. If your lucky enough to live on a farm, take them out into the pasture and spend a night outside. Teach them about the stars and moon. Remember the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west. Start with a simple setup in the backyard, teach them how to camp safely and what they can expect when living off the land (and their yeti cooler) once you are comfortable and think they are ready, go to one of the thousand camp grounds around the country or try them all. What a great way to spend time with the family.

Is it going to Rain? The weather report is usually one of the things that disappoint us. Teach your kids to watch nature and the sky to determine what the weather may do. It doesn’t take a genious to realize it may rain when the sky is dark, and the wind is blowing. The American Idians did’t have the weather channel or cable tv to know when the weather was going to get bad. They had elders that knew at certain times of the year things happened. They also had knowledge of their surraonding. One of the things I still hear my mom say, is she has a headache it must be going to rain. The Indians also observed the clouds and the animal behavior. I can remember when we had cattle, the cows would always huddle up together if a storm was coming. Like a snowstorm or bad lightning, they would attempt to get under a tree which is a bad Idea. If your caught out in a lightning storm, get as low as possible. Many people and livestock have been killed huddled under a tree.

Tree/Leaf Identification

Teach your kids about the different types of trees and there leaves. don’t forget in the fall with all the beauttifulcolors. Take them to the park or better yet take them to the mountains. You don’t have to spend a lot of money going to the Smokies. Take a day trip and drive the rural roads. Meet some nice people and make some memories.

God Bless

Ricky Cooper

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