Call Pathfinder: Rural or Urban–Family Fun with Tennessee 4-H

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Caller:  Hi. Our family lives in Memphis. Both of my children have disabilities, one is 9 and the other is a tweener. I know I’m blessed to be able to work from home. But it is hard, keeping them directed, and being there for tech, academic, and meal questions, preparation, mediation, and troubleshooting. I’m always looking for fun things they can do as we mostly stay home and safe. We don’t have a big yard though, and they need more activity.

Pathfinder: Great question!

A good place to get some new ideas is in our Pathfinder database.  Pathfinder is very helpful in the Recreation category, across the state.  You can search by your county, Shelby, or you can search by region. As you would expect, organizations have had to modify how they operate due to the pandemic, so call be sure to call before you go for the latest details.

West TN Recreation Resources

Middle TN Recreation Resources

East TN Recreation Resources

One organization that may underutilized by city dwellers is Tennessee 4-H, which is for all children age 8-18 (and their parents), no matter where their family lives or what their future career direction may be. Recently I was exploring their website, and found their 4-H Healthy Living Project:

https://4h.tennessee.edu/fitness/

The 4-H Nutrition, Health, and Fitness project helps with learning about healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as physical activity, healthy eating, food preparation, and personal health. Children can design their own project or use some of the ideas listed. There is a simple Looking Ahead and Looking Back 4-H plan worksheet to help organize and learn from any project, and activity sheets, project sheets and project leader sheets already made up.

Tennessee 4-H Youth Development is a program of the University of Tennessee Extension for every county in the state. There are a lot of great projects and activities on their site that are free. One of their statewide events that does have a registration fee of $25 per person, is a virtual race — the 2,021 miles in 365 days. The miles — about 11,074 steps per day during 2021 – can include walking, biking, running, swimming, treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bike, rollerblades, and sports such as tennis, basketball, and soccer. And the race can be done solo, or your family can do it as a team, and divide up the goal.

And if Fitness doesn’t motivate your children, have them start with this What Interests You? page:

https://4h.tennessee.edu/what-interests-you/

There you will find many other categories, such as animals, photography, leadership, which may be of more interest.  Here’s to a new year full of new healthy discoveries and fun for your family.