I feel like my 4-year-old nephew wrote this story: “There will be a virus that will scare the whole world, a lot of people will suffer, schools will be closed and the world will run out of toilet paper.” Who would have thought that year 2020 is going to start out like this!

It is not an understatement to say 2020 is going to be a defining year in many ways for all of us. This year put family, life, and staying healthy into focus like never before. As we all get into the groove of working from home, cooking three meals a day, online classes for the kids and social distancing, we also need to pay attention to staying sane, healthy and reaching out to those who are alone and could potentially be impacted by social distancing more than many of us.

Extroverts, like me, are going to have a hard time being in isolation and not being able to interact with people face to face. We tend to get our energy through these interactions. If your kid is an extrovert and thrives in the company, they will also face similar issues. Please be mindful of this and figure out ways to give them social interactions.

How can you handle all this from home? You have plenty of useful tips on the web on how to work from home, set a routine, and manage day-to-day activity without losing your mind. Here are some tips from us at S’moresUp on how you can make it fun and a better experience for kids.

  • Do a brainstorming session with the kids to come up with fun activities for the family. Ask everyone to come up with ideas and vote on it. We came up with a bunch of ideas in our family like family potluck (where each one of us will make a dish for dinner), scavenger hunt in the house, jumping jack competition, etc. Reserve time in the evening every day to do this together. These all can go to the Rewards section in the S’moresUp app.
  • Set up daily and weekly chores for the kids. Make it a competition if you have more than one kid and reward them weekly. Movie choices, a virtual hangout for an hour with a friend of their choice, they get to set a menu for a day, they get to be the adult in the house for the day (play the role of dad or mom), etc.
  • Daily family workout time. Do simple workouts together. Keep them active.
  • Set up a time for them everyday to hang out with some friends via Google Hangout or FaceTime. There is a chrome extension called ‘Netflix Party’ that you can use where they can watch a movie together and chat at the same time. Give that a try.
  • Set up their calendar and help them plan, so they know what their day looks like. Put in everything from playtime, workout time, virtual playdate time in the schedule. Given them a structure and set expectations for the week.

Social distancing is essential, but you can still take them on a drive. If allowed by local government, go out for a run. Walk the dog. Make sure that they get some fresh air.

You can get playful with the family wall. Put up a surprise game for them for the day like a scavenger hunt. Start a friendly challenge with your neighbor using Family Circle or send virtual hugs and kisses to your ones.

For more ideas and tools on how to stay organized, stay informed, and stay connected, check out www.smoresup.com.