There is not a day goes by when my 12 year old is not hanging out with her friends. Whether she is taking a hike, playing basketball or studying for a test, she is always with the neighborhood kids. Once it was announced we were in a pandemic and school was canceled, my daughter did not know what to do with her self. She did her school work alone, took our dogs for a walk… alone and played all by her self. However it was like social distancing was sucking the joy out of her life.
As a parent I wanted to ease her suffering as much as I could. It started with catching up with some friends via facetime. However life isn’t very exciting for either party so they ran out of things to talk about fairly quickly. We decided our next playdate would include a board game. Where each child would take turns interacting through facetime. It was a huge hit. Next time i would prefer to choose a game both houses had on hand so that both girls could be actively participating. Other ideas include reading to each other from the same book (think kids in the same class), virtual study buddies and the new Netflix party extension through google chrome.
For older kids and adults try trivia night. This is a difficult time but we are happy to make the most of it. Slow down, spend time together and check in with our friends (electronically of course). And when all else fails we get outside. A hike, or fishing trip may just inspire our next conversation. These solitary outdoor activities are recommended by health care officials and are thought to be perfectly safe.