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Healthy Mind, Healthy Body


We've put together a list of activities, tips and information for you and your family to help you stay active and healthy during self-isolation. Remember to take care of your physical and mental health, keep in touch with friends and family and practise safe physical and social distancing.

Kid-Friendly Activities

Sensory paint

Make-Your-Own Sensory Paint


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Gel food colouring
  • Washable cups or containers
  • Popsicle sticks or spoons to stir with
  • Jumbo marshmallows for stamping or paint with your fingers


  1. Mix the water and flour, then add colour and stir.
  2. Use any white paper (watercolour or finger paint paper work best). Use a tablecloth to protect your table from messes.
  3. You’re ready to paint. Use the marshmallows as stamps by dipping them in the paint and pressing them to the paper.

What other items can you find to make different kinds of shapes?

Child playing with play dough

Make-Your-Own Play Dough


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (coconut oil works, too)
  • Food colouring, optional
  • Gallon-sized bags or waxed paper
  • Quart-sized bags


  1. Stir together the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a large pot.
  2. Next, add the water and oil. If you’re only making one colour, add in the the colour now as well.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form into a ball.
  4. Remove from heat and then place inside a gallon-sized bag or onto waxed paper. Allow to cool slightly and then knead until smooth. If you’re adding colours after, divide the dough into balls (for how many colours you want) and then add the dough into the quart-sized bags. Start with about five drops of colour and add more to brighten it. Knead the dough, while inside the bag so it doesn’t stain your hands. Once it’s all mixed together you’re ready to play.

Ice Paint

Ice Paint


  • Ice cube tray
  • Water
  • Food colouring or substitute with washable paints*
  • Seven popsicle sticks cut in half


  1. Fill ice cube tray with water. Careful not to over fill.
  2. Add a small drop of food colouring to each cube.
  3. Use the cut side of the popsicle stick to gently mix the water and food colouring. Leave one popsicle stick inside each cube.
  4. Freeze overnight (roughly six to eight hours)
  5. Enjoy painting. Any white paper can be used to paint, however, water colour paper produces the best results.

*If you're substituting with washable paints, begin by filling the tray roughly one-third of the way with paint, then add warm water the rest of the way and carefully stir until combined.

Dad and daughter playing

Tape Geometry, Numeracy and Literacy

Use the tape to make a variety of shapes, letters and numbers on your floor. To begin, have your child choose one of the shapes, letters or numbers to start on. Give them instructions that will lead them to their next destination (for example: bear crawl to the triangle, hop like a frog to the T, run to the square, tiptoe to the four, fly like a butterfly to the B, or slither to the rectangle like a snake). Tape games are great to keep your child moving and also to help support their learning through geometry, numeracy and literacy. For a fun change, instead of naming the letters, try using the sounds they make. To incorporate older children, try quizzing them by using more advanced concepts (bear crawl to the shape that has four equal sides and four vertices).

Tape Ladder


Make six to 12 separate lines of tape, each roughly a foot apart (or a distance that works for your child) on your floor.

  • Alternating two foot and one foot jumps
  • Jump and turn 90-degrees
  • One foot jumps, alternating feet
  • Forward two foot hops
  • Lateral two foot hops
  • Jump and turn 180-degrees (front to back, back to front)

Come up with many other ideas to keep your body moving through the ladder. Don't be afraid to get your hands and arms involved by adding frog jumps, grab walks, plank walks etc.). This active game is great for the whole family.

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    Fitness Activities

    Family running outdoor on paved trail

    Enjoy Clarington's Trails

    Get out and enjoy nature on Clarington's trails. Clarington offers over 21 kilometers of recreational trails made of asphalt and limestone surfaces.

    Woman Stretching

    Stretching: Simply and Safely

    Start your workout with five to 10 minutes of active stretching. Active (or dynamic) stretches are multiple, short repetitions through a range of motion – for example, arm circles, or torso twists – movements are quick but controlled and you don’t stop moving. This will get you moving, waking up all of your supporting systems and warming up all your muscles. This will increase the effectiveness and enjoyment of your workout.

    Always end your workout with five to 10 minutes of inactive/static stretching. Static stretching involves holding repetitions of a stretch for longer periods of time, allowing the muscles to relax and your body to sink into the stretch. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds, allowing your body to slow and settle down. This will increase the range of motion and flexibility of your body and the serenity and tranquility of your mind.

    Dad and son doing a modified plank exercise


    ParticipACTION has been encouraging Canadians to get healthy by getting active since 1971. They have resources on the website and app including videos, articles and tips. 

    Check out their article on 15 ways for you & your family to stay active at home.

    Family Fitness Challenge

    Family Fitness Challenge

    Use Google maps to print a map of your neighbourhood or recreate your own simplified drawing. Choose a route and assign a challenge at different points. This could be 20 jumping jacks, 10 push-ups, 10 box jumps, etc. You can also include a scavenger hunt checklist if you wish.

    Challenges and scavenger hunt items can be modified depending on the ages and fitness levels of your participants. Active adults, older kids and teens can modify the activity to include some jogging or running between challenge points and to create more difficult fitness activities. For those just starting to get active, challenges can include gentle stretches or low impact activities.

    For very young children, keep the route short and include challenges such as jumping like a frog, twirling like a ballerina, or galloping like a horse. Does your route pass along a creek? Why not create a challenge stop on your map to see who can skip a stone the most times?

    Planning out activities, drawing maps, and completing challenges will keep you and your family busy for hours. You’ll get a great workout, fresh air and have a chance to be creative as well.

    Clarington Fitness Videos Screenshot

    Cardio Workouts

    Watch Clarington  Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Aquafit Instructor Karen Ross as she guides you through simple exercises to keep you moving while you're at home.

    Woman doing lunges at home

    Sample Dynamic Warm-up

    The importance of a proper warm-up cannot be stressed enough. By warming up sufficiently and correctly, you’ll dramatically decrease the risk of injury and ensure you are getting the most out of your workout.

    Here is a sample warm-up circuit that will take around five to seven minutes to complete and will prepare your entire body for exercise. Adjust the intensity and number of reps to your fitness level and ability. Repeat as required until you feel warm and limber.

    1. March on the spot. Swing your arms and keep your knees high.
    2. Jumping jacks. Start to get your heart pumping. Keep a soft bend in your knees to minimize impact, or modify with steps out and in. Keep your knees pointing over your toes; don’t let them fall inward.
    3. Arm circles and shoulder circles. Complete at least eight in each direction.
    4. Mountain climbers. Starting in plank position (arms and body straight and palms of hands and toes on the floor), pull one knee toward your chest, resting your foot on the floor. Using a jumping motion, switch positions of your feet. Your opposite knee should be pulled to the chest and your starting leg extended. Repeat quickly for as long as you can. A great exercise to keep your heart rate elevated and send more blood and oxygen to your extremities.
    5. Toe touches. Reach to the sky, drop down to touch your toes with a flat back, repeat, making sure not to hold any position for more than two seconds.
    6. Leg swings. Forward and back and side to side. Use a chair or wall for balance support if you need it.
    7. Hip circles. Like you are hula-hooping. Complete several large circles in both directions.
    8. Bodyweight squats and lunges. Using your full range of motion, squat down eight to ten times. Perform stationary walking lunges, eight to ten, on each side.

    Woman Stretching at home

    Guide to using Household Items for Fitness

    • Gallon Jugs: When filled with water, these weigh around eight pounds. You can also fill with rocks or sand for great makeshift dumbbells.
    • Soup cans: Use as hand weights during your aerobic workout or for high repetition arm movements.
    • Tires: Have your winter tires sitting around in the garage? Bring them out to the driveway to perform tire flips.
    • Buckets: Fill two buckets with water and use to complete a farmers walk. With a bucket in each hand, stand with your body straight and walk forward quickly.
    • Couch: Elevate your back leg during lunges, do tricep dips, elevate your feet while doing glute bridges.
    • Backpack: To add some resistance to your walk, fill a backpack with heavy items. You can wrap dumbbells or soup cans in towels, so they are not uncomfortable against your back.
    • Stairs: Use a staircase or your front steps to get in some cardio as you would in a step class.
    • Reusable cloth grocery bags: fill with books and use to do curls or presses, or hold in front of your body while doing squats.
    • Bags of dog food or kitty litter: Carry these up the stairs or across the yard, lift overhead, or use as resistance for squats or seated leg extensions.
    • Towels or belts: Use to replace yoga straps for stretching.
    • Tea towels or hand cloths: Use as sliders under your feet on a wood or tile floor for mountain climbers.
    • Wall: Hold a wall-sit or use the wall to assist with balance or stretches.
    • Countertop: Use for stretching (hamstring stretch) or for push-ups. It can also be used for balance with calf raises and leg swings.
    • Laundry basket: Add a few heavy items and use them for deadlifts.
    • Your kids: They can add some weight to a plank hold or wall sit or climb into a piggyback position while you squat.  

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    Healthy Recipes 

    Quinoa-stuffed Avocado

    Quinoa-Stuffed Avocados

    By Ethan Calabrese,


    • 2 avocados, pitted
    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
    • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • Juice of two limes
    • kosher salt


    1. Scoop out avocados, leaving a small border. Dice avocado and set aside.
    2. Make quinoa salad: In a large bowl, combine quinoa, beans, scallions, peppers, corn and diced avocado. Add olive oil and lime juice and toss to combine. Season with salt.
    3. Divide salad among four avocado halves.

    Baked Apple Chips

    Baked Apple Chips

    By Sarah Kozoski,


    • 3 large Red Delicious apples, cored
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp sugar


    1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the apples as thin as possible.
    3. Lay apple slices on parchment paper, making sure not to overlap them, sprinkle mix of cinnamon and sugar onto the sliced apples.
    4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Then flip apples, add cinnamon to the other side and bake for another 40  to 50 minutes. They should look shriveled up a bit, and the plain apples get a little golden brown. They should feel almost dry to the touch. 
    5. Remove from oven and let chips cool completely before transferring to a sealed container for up to three days, but these are best eaten within a couple hours of removing from the oven.

    Blueberry Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Muffins

    Blueberry Oatmeal Greek Yogurt Muffins

    By Elizabeth,


    • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh


    1. Combine one cup flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, honey, milk, and vanilla until well combined.
    3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined.
    4. Toss the blueberries in the remaining flour and then carefully fold them into the batter.
    5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling to the top.
    6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm and just starting to turn golden. A toothpick should come out clean.

    Energy Balls

    Eight No-Bake Energy Balls

    by Melissa,

    Learn how to make eight variations of this no-bake energy ball. Our favourite are the peanut butter chocolate chip.


    • 1 cup dry oats (I like 1/2 old fashioned oatmeal and 1/2 quick cooking)
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
    • dash of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional


    1. In a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients and stir to combine well. The mixture should be a bit sticky. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    2. Use a spoon to scoop about a tablespoon of the cookie ball mixture into your hand. Roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. This should make about 14 oatmeal energy balls.
    3. Store the balls covered in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for much longer.

    Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

    Easy PB and J Smoothie

    Turn this kid-approved favourite into a smoothie.


    • 1 cup frozen strawberries
    • 1 banana
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter, plus more for garnish
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 2 tablespoons fresh strawberries, chopped


    1. Combine frozen strawberries, banana, peanut butter and milk in a blender and blend on high until smooth
    2. Pour into two glasses and garnish with peanut butter and fresh strawberries.

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     Water Safety Awareness

    Bath time

    Bathtub Swim Lessons — At home skills

    If you're looking for ways to help your kids keep up their swimming skills, we have some ideas that can help. Swimming is a skill that can be practised at home – right from the bathtub.

    Comfort in water â€“ It’s important to familiarize your child with the feeling of water on their face and eyes. To practise at home, use a plastic cup or small bucket to gently pour water over your child’s arms, body and head. A fun idea is to pick an imaginary colour to “paint” their hair. If your child is not quite ready for this stage, begin by using a washcloth to get their face wet. It’s important to make it fun and to celebrate your child’s participation. By repeating the skill during bath time, your child will become more and more comfortable with the sensation of water over their head and face.

    Putting their face in the water â€“ Children can be nervous to put their eyes and face in the water. Begin by using a washcloth during bath time to get their face wet. A bucket or small cup can be used too.

    Blowing bubbles - It’s one of the first skills we work on in the Canadian Red Cross Swim Program – breath control. Blowing bubbles is a fun way to help your kids get more comfortable putting their face in the water while learning some basic breath control skills. 

    A few reminders:

    • Bathtub safety is important. Stay beside the tub until all water has drained and your child has been removed. Keep your eyes on young children at all times around water. Download this colouring sheet from the Lifesaving Society as a reminder to stay within arms' reach of your child in the bathtub. 
    • Your child may acclimate to different swimming skills in one day or it may take several days. Be patient in their progress and celebrate the successes.

    More Resources

    Girl on a boat wearing a lifejacket

    Boating Safety

    As the weather warms up and the recreational boating season begins, we remind everyone to be vigilant about water safety. Lifejackets save lives, and everyone should wear an approved lifejacket when on a boat.

    Learn more on the Canadian Red Cross website.

    Boating Safety Week is May 16 to 22, 2020. Learn more at the Canadian Safe Boating Council website.




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