Stuck Inside: Youth Edition, Episode 3

Check out these ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while also staying home and safe from our youth staff! This week, we’re focusing on connecting with others.
Katie Love Katie Love
Associate Youth Program Manager
April 12, 2020

Welcome back! Each week, The Mountaineers youth team is sharing ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while also staying home and safe. Last week’s Stuck Inside focused on how to keep spirits up during this less than ideal time. This week, we’re offering ideas on how to connect with others as we are physically apart.

Katie here, taking over the youth blog for a couple of weeks! I run break and summer camps as well as family programs, such as the Mini Mountaineers. When I’m not planning or leading trips and activities, you can find me hiking, backpacking, and channeling my inner marmot in the mountains. During this “stay home, stay safe" order however, you can find me cooking, running, reading books about mountaineering, and connecting with those I miss seeing on a regular basis.

I have found that these connections are keeping me sane during this confusing time. From regular FaceTime calls with my family and friends, to painting and sending postcards, it brings me lots of joy and comfort to keep those I love close to me even if they are physically far away. 

Here are some of my favorite ideas on how to connect with friends and family:

Send homemade postcards

Using stiff paper, decorate the front and write a note on the back. You can decorate your postcard with a painting, drawing, photo, or even a well-glued collage. Maybe it can represent a favorite place you have been with the recipient! Remember to draw a line down the middle of the back: one side is for your note and the other side is for the address. 

Interview your grandparents

Call up grandma or grandpa or any family member and ask them questions you might not make time to otherwise. What was your favorite age to be? What was my parent like as a kid? When you were my age, what were you like? You might just discover some family stories you’ve never heard before.

Host a game tournament

The Mountaineers youth team’s favorite online group game website is Board Games Arena. We’re able to call in and play games such as Hearts, Sushi Go, and Hanabi. Find your favorite game and a time that works for you and some friends and enjoy a game night.

Write a group story

This one takes a bit of coordination. Write the first sentence of a story on a piece of paper. Then mail that piece of paper to a friend with instructions to write the next sentence of the story and mail it to the next person. Have everyone initial their sentence so you can see how far the letter went! 

Take an online class

Remember Yoga with Adrienne and Lunchtime Doodles with Mo Willems from our first two blogs? Decide to do them at the same time as someone else and take time to talk afterward about the class. 

Talent show

Can you and your friends host a virtual talent show? Pick a time, plan your act, show your skills, and cheer on your friends!

Start a bookclub

Read a book at the same time as a friend or sibling! Scholastic has a great Home Book Store with recommendations for all grade levels.

Thank a healthcare worker

Don't forget to connect with people you do not know. Thank health care workers, police officers, firefighters, grocery store employees, and so many more.  Thank your parents, neighbors, and teachers. You can share your thanks with handwritten cards, a phone call, or a virtual high five.

Tech tips:

  • Some ways to video call friends and family include FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype. 
  • FaceTime tip: Come up with a question or prompt for a call! It’s easy to get stuck talking about social distancing and COVID-19. Have a show and tell. Ask questions such as “If you could have one superpower what would you pick” or “What food could you eat every day?” or “If you could be on any TV show, which would you choose and why?” or “If you were a professional athlete, what would your walk out song be?”

Youth Team Highlight: Katie Love

I have found reconnecting with others to be one of the many silver linings of the COVID-19 outbreak. While there are many stress-inducing news articles and inconveniences to my daily life, I have sincerely enjoyed catching up with far-away friends. One such friend has lived in New Zealand for the past three years. She, two other friends, and I have weekly FaceTime calls, checking in with each other and reminiscing on fun memories. Every call we’ve asked the question “Why did it take three years and a global pandemic for us to do this?” Connecting with loved ones has the ability to lift your spirits and brighten a dark day. 

Just remember, you are not alone. Even though you may not be able to physically be with those you care about, they are still supporting you from afar. Even if it’s as far away as New Zealand. 

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Stay safe, have fun, be joyful. See you next week! 

 

About Youth Programs:

The Mountaineers is committed to bringing outdoor experiences to today’s youth through our outdoor youth and family programs. We introduce young people to the benefits of outdoor experiences: a healthy lifestyle, outdoor recreation skills, perseverance, self-confidence, self-reliance, an appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to protecting the outdoor experience. We offer year-round clubs, break and summer camps, outreach programs through Mountain Workshops, a youth gear lending library and even programs for our smallest members: Mini Mountaineers. Learn more about the programs we offer, and you can find out even more about Katie and family programs on our camps page.

Check out all Stuck Inside blogs for more ideas!


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