We know this is a stressful time for families, but according to Catlin Hale, executive director of Plano-based nonprofit This Side UP! Family, family strengthening is important, now more than ever.
“Disruptions to daily life and uncertainty about the future can cause stress and anxiety, which can impact both physical and mental health for the whole family,” Catlin explained.
“Getting into an at-home routine and taking time to connect intentionally each day will provide much needed reassurance of love and safety for both parents and kids. It’s important to communicate, have a plan and extend grace to each other and ourselves during this new normal,” she continued.
Catlin’s day-to-day job at This Side UP! Family is to help families transition from surviving to thriving, whether that’s through free family connection night or parents’ night out with free childcare. Obviously the organization has had to temporarily suspend activities, but that doesn’t mean that families can’t find ways to stay connected.
Here are her suggestions for ways to turn some of the extra time we have at home into quality time together:
- Find a new recipe and cook together
- Play a board game
- Make a blanket fort and have a movie night
- Get curbside pick-up from a local restaurant and have a picnic in the car
- Make an indoor play house with all those extra boxes you have laying around from online orders
- Do a science experiment with pantry items
- Leave encouraging notes for people walking or driving by with sidewalk chalk on your drive-way
- Facetime with grandparents or other elderly relatives or friends
- Send snail-mail
- Make up a dance to a song you all love
- Make play-dough or slime
- Do a fashion show with clothes from the very back of the closet
- Have a spa night; paint each other’s fingernails and make face masks
- Take turns reading chapters out of a new book
- Make cookies and drop them off on a friend’s doorstep
- Create an indoor or backyard obstacle course
- Go on a nature walk
- Put on swimsuits and take a bath with popsicles or washable paint
- Take turns leading each other in at home exercises with crazy outfits and fun music
- Have a relay race while cleaning up at the end of the day
Subscribe to This Side UP! Family’s Quarantine Quality Time newsletter for more ideas and at-home family connection challenges every week.
Feel free to send an email to Catlin if you have an idea to share.This Side UP! Family >