We’ve all heard the warnings for weeks…Stay at Home. Flatten the Curve. Social Distance. We’re all doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19…and our lives have changes overnight. Our schools started with extending Spring Break, then we began online learning…and ultimately are now closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Life has slowed down. We’re working from home, learning from home and spending more time with our families than we have in decades. Here are some ways to connect with your family during this time of rest while we stay home to stay safe.
Play Board Games, Trivia Games or Put Together a Puzzle
These have always been a great pastime during the holidays, on snow days or during the summer because they provide hours of entertainment. Classic board games can bring out some healthy competition and lots of laughter. Trivia games test your knowledge and keep your brains fresh. And puzzles are a great way to teach your family to work together.
Start a Journal
What we are experiencing is quite rare and will most definitely be written about in history books for years to come. This is a great time to keep a journal of day by day events in the news, as well as what your daily life looks like. If your children are old enough to write, give them the chance to help create a family journal and rotate the writing duties among all family members.
Family Movie Night
What better time to enjoy a favorite movie with your loved ones than now? Each evening, let a different member of the family select the movie, make some popcorn and snuggle up together. Or, if you’re trying to reduce screen time – or you’re just sick of watching movies by now – invite your children to create their own play or musical. They can create the story, hold rehearsals and make costumes, and then perform for their parents. Take a video to share with extended family!
Look at Old Photos
Break out your photo albums and begin sharing your memories. Children love to see pictures of their parents as children! And learning about family members who have passed on continues their legacy…recalling old times can encourage sentimentality. Or, if you don’t have any photo albums, there’s no time like the present to create some. If you’ve been meaning to make a photo book of your last vacation, have your children help you put the book together online…it will help them relive the experience and think about future vacations.
Bake Cookies or a Favorite Meal
With all of the extra time we have together, use it to get creative in the kitchen! Bake your favorite cookies or cupcakes and have fun with the toppings. Try something fun and let your children pick the recipe and everything that goes with it…it will be a culinary adventure that will help them figure out which foods go together, and which do not.
Make Cards to Mail to Loved Ones
Writing a handwritten letter or card to someone you love will definitely brighten the recipient’s day, especially during this time of social distancing. Younger children can draw or color a picture. The point is to think of it as a way to send a smile. Communication is so important right now, and family members who may be lonely, older or who don’t have access to a computer will appreciate it. If you don’t have family to send mail to, have your kids write letters to a local nursing home.
Have a Picnic
Backyard picnics are a great way to get outside for some sunshine while never leaving the yard. Place a good-sized blanket out and grab some sandwiches. Get the kids involved with the process so they get excited about spending time together. Watch the clouds and enjoy the sounds of the birds and nature all around you.
Build a Pillow Fort
A good old-fashioned pillow fort is always a fun option…grab a sheet, pillow cushions and all the fluffy pillows you can find to craft the best fort you can. This is a great idea for encouraging quiet time or reading time – kids may be more motivated to nap, read or journal in their new, kid-friendly space.
Check-in with Others
Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you can’t still check on others in need. Send them a text, give them a call or set up a video chat to stay connected. Use this as an opportunity to make sure older relatives have the supplies they need. Offer to pick up groceries or prescriptions so they don’t have to go out and risk being exposed.
Family Prayer Time
Before the quarantine, everyone was always so busy in the morning trying to get ready for work and school…this may be a rare opportunity for your family to actually have time to pray with one another for those you know. Give your children a prayer point to talk about or assign people to pray for that day…today’s prayer can be for Grandma and her friends, tomorrow’s for Grandpa. It’s a great way to remind the entire family to be thinking of others and giving all thanks to God. Even if only for 5 minutes, you’re teaching your children the right way to start and end each day.