Multi-Generation Isolation Activities
by Lynn Campbell
When there are three generations living in one household, it’s always a challenge to keep everyone occupied. The toddler can’t play board games, and it’s hard to pry the older kids off of their cell phones. Adults are often busy cooking and cleaning. Grandparents and the littlest ones all like to nap, but not always at the same time!
Here are some ideas for bonding and togetherness in a multi-generational household during the COVID-19 pandemic period of self-isolation. Maybe the Universe is trying to tell us that we need to change our priorities and value family time more? When have we ever had this rare opportunity to all spend time together? No running off to work or school, soccer practice or bridge club? Here are five unique suggestions for everyone who suddenly has lots of spare time.
All in the Kitchen. Take turns choosing a recipe or make up your own with the ingredients you have on hand. Even the littlest kids can get quite creative and love to cook or bake. Let all the brave household souls try the masterpiece together.
Books for All Ages. Depending on the ages in the household, choose some literature for all to enjoy and have a reading party. Classics like Treasure Island, the Harry Potter books, or even Dr. Seuss, come to mind. Everyone takes turns reading a page to keep everyone in the family engaged. Or assign roles, and people can “act out” the lines of their character. Even babies will be entertained by this live theater.
Paint the Day Away. Themed art projects are fun for the whole family. Get out the paints, crayons, washable markers, glitter glue, cardboard boxes, construction paper, pipe cleaners, paper cups, feathers, pompoms—whatever is on hand without shopping—and create a castle or a pirate ship together. Let your imaginations run wild. If you have costumes, dress up as a pirate or a princess, and do selfies with the finished masterpiece. Or make funny hats to wear for the photo shoot. You can easily fold old newspapers into pirate hats. And then make paper boats.
Window Decor Fun. In some neighborhoods, to provide a little cheerfulness for people who may brave venturing out for a walk with their children or their dog, there is a current movement to post lighthearted artwork in the window. In my neighborhood, bright green shamrocks were popular on St. Patrick’s Day. Some windows are currently displaying hearts. Pastel tissue-paper flowers are perfect to celebrate spring. Signs thanking our local essential workers are appreciated. Be creative!
My Own Favorite Idea. What I like most is planting seeds together. Just get an old egg carton and some topsoil, and you are good to go. Plant peas, herbs—whatever you like—to be transplanted later into the vegetable garden. Or, for an indoor plant-pot project, try planting apple, orange or lemon seeds from those you may have in your fridge. You may get a little tree! Teaching a child the miracle of growing things is very satisfying. Watch the little ones’ delighted faces when the sprouts shoot up. Growth is symbolic of hope. It’s a sign that not all in the world is negative. Brighter days will come. Maybe we all just need to get back to the land.
Photo by Gustavo Fring @gustavo-fring
Lynn Rhodes Campbell is a freelance writer, based in the friendly village of Sunderland, Ontario. For the past nine years, she has written feature articles for Focus on Scugog magazine. She started out her career as a newspaper reporter after studying journalism at Ryerson University. Previously, she worked as the writer/photographer/news editor of the Uxbridge Times-Journal, wrote high-profile columns for the Toronto Sunday Sun. Lynn’s comic novel, entitled Journal of a House Sale: Buy My House Please! was self-published in 2012. Despite other career pursuits over the years, she has always enjoyed writing fiction and poetry in her spare time.