Bronzeville families safely keep kids busy on holiday break during COVID-19 pandemic

Activities for kids during COVID: Northwestern epidemiologist Mercedes Carnethon gives suggestions
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Kids are on holiday break after already spending a lot of time at home.

So, some families are arranging scavenger hunts, races and outdoor activities even in the cold. They're staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, while trying to keep kids busy.

This holiday season you will likely find activity on a block of Bronzeville.

Some of the families with school-age children allow the kids to play together with precautions.

"It's been challenging since it's been colder but we let them run around, even when it's colder, while the sun's still out, we pick an hour and let them run around," mother Andrea Allen said.

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Being together indoors is limited to a short amount of time, no eating or drinking and masks on always.

"We should keep wearing masks so we can be healthy," Grae Allen said.

CJ Lord, 12, suggests if you have to be indoors without other playmates, find a new hobby. He's found a few.

"Look up what you like to do; I make masks and pillows, and I picked that up right after we went into quarantine and it's been really good," Lord said.

Their parents prioritize outdoor activities even for just 15 minutes.

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"While we want to protect ourselves against COVID, we also want to make sure the kids have a normal social experience that they get fresh air every day because we know how important it is," said Mercedes Carnethon, an epidemiologist with Northwestern University.

Carnethon is among the parents coordinating the outdoor play.

"Some of those winter activities that can be done safely with a mask on present us with an opportunity to revisit some of the social activities and fun we like to have year-round," she said.

One of the families is getting a start on a new winter activity -- a do-it-yourself ice rink in their backyard.
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