Guys, I know since the COVID-19 virus hit, EVERYTHING has been canceled and it seems every day there is more daunting news. But there are also some good things coming out of all this! I am here to inject your day with a dose of positivity and a boatload full of resources to hopefully help get you through all the madness.

Community

First things first, I know we are all missing our friends, family, and communities right now. To stay connected Hike It Baby has started the Front Step Challenge. It’s exactly what it sounds like, take a picture of you and your family outside your door and share it on social media with the hashtag #frontstepchallenge. The goal, to share the idea that getting time outside is as simple as taking a step out of your door. Let us know what you are doing to get outside every day and feel the love across those screens. We are all in this together. 

family on front porch #frontstepchallenge

The Hike it Baby 30 Challenge is another way to stay connected with your Hike it Baby family and keep the motivation to get outside daily. This April, commit to 30 minutes outside three times a week or 30 miles in 30 days. Or, make the Challenge your own. This time around, members are selecting a goal of total minutes outside for the month or no zero outside time days. Your entry fee to the Challenge is a tax-deductible donation to support Hike it Baby’s mission of getting more families outside. Your participation gets you access to an exclusive Facebook group, automatic eligibility to win tons of prizes from sponsors such as L.L.Bean, Merrel, Joovy, Sunday Afternoons, Joules and more!

Virtual Field Trips

Of course, getting outside for fresh air every day is still a priority, but for the rest of the hours in the day that suddenly need to be filled here’s a list of 30 virtual trips you can take with your kids. Explore Yellowstone, The Great Wall of China and even Mars.

Google Earth is offering tours of 31 of the nation’s National Parks! The Cincinnati Zoo is offering virtual safari’s every day through Facebook and if you’re trying to get your little one to relax and wind down for the day The Monterey Bay Aquarium is showing this live cam of jellyfish. They are both beautiful and sleep-inducing… you’re welcome! 

Oh and if your little one won’t sit still long enough for some of these try checking out Google’s new feature that lets you hang out with animals in 3D in your living room.

Books

The authors and entertainers of the world have come together to read books to us including LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow, Eric Carle, and Christopher Walken! Operation Story Time includes the likes of Mo Willems and Dolly Parton, and astronauts are reading books from space.

family reading together

Educational Resources

This site has compiled 150 educational shows on Netflix, many of them nature-based, such as Night on Earth, If I Were An Animal, and Monkey Planet.

This site offers 12 virtual tours of famous museums, and whale experts have gotten together to offer a free virtual marine biology camp.

As if that wasn’t enough to brighten your day and keep you busy it turns out people sheltering at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is actually having a positive effect on the environment. Plus, I’ve seen my neighbors coming together to help each other out by turning little libraries into little food pantries, offering to pair foster animals with people isolated on their own to stave off loneliness and hotels opening their doors to people who otherwise wouldn’t have a stable place to quarantine. Oh, and I almost forgot, John Krasinski of The Office just started his own news channel called Some Good News so if you need a smile, check it out (not necessarily for kids, but a little something for the parents out there).

I feel good just writing about all that. I hope it put a smile on your face, too! With all the resources and good deeds happening out there I’m sure I missed some, please share them with us and keep the smiles and good vibes rolling.

Hike it Baby branches are keeping their communities active during the COVID-19 pandemic by hosting virtual hikes and activities that can be completed by your family in your backyard or local outdoor space. Find your local Hike it Baby branch and join their Facebook group to create a connection with like-minded parents and caregivers and stay up-to-date on current virtual events as well as future in-person hikes when we can once again join each other on the trail.


About Hike it Baby

Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at HikeitBaby.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Photos courtesy of Sara Wesche and Jennifer Campbell.

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