COVID Connections: Ways for families to thrive

COVID Connections: Ways for families to thrive

The COVID Connections column will provide games, recipes, crafts, physical activities, and conversation starters for families.


As walls of protection rise between us, we may experience fear, frustration, and uncertainty. With once busy calendars wiped clean, the bustling noise of birthday parties, sports events, and meetings is silenced. What now?

“We have a priceless opportunity here,” said Jodi Salvo the director of Prevention Services at Personal & Family Counseling Services.

Salvo is also the coordinator of the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition, and a mother of two grown sons. She has watched the COVID-19 pandemic sweep the community as families cope with school closures and follow government advice: stay home.

“The tragedy of coronavirus has a silver lining: it is bringing families together,” said Salvo. “We hope to make the most of it and stay positive. That’s why we started our ‘COVID Connections’ column.”

The “COVID Connections: Ways for Families to Thrive” column will provide games, recipes, crafts, physical activities, and conversation starters for families. These activities will help parents maintain positive connections with their kids, relieve anxiety, and most importantly, have fun while at home.

“By staying home, we make a noble sacrifice for the health of residents in Tuscarawas County,” said Salvo, “but we also seize a unique opportunity to be fully present with our families. Let’s use this time to really connect with our kids.”

So, what does meaningful connection at home look like? To answer this question, parents can reflect on their own most cherished childhood memories. This is not about lavish vacations to Disney World or expensive gifts. Cherished childhood memories are the simple moments: cooking together, playing games, and fun conversations at the dinner table.

It really is simple: children want to know you love them. What better way to demonstrate that love than good old-fashioned family time. Intentional time throughout the day can include family meals, projects, and games--times free of phones and screen time. We can all make the best of our situations and sustain these connections in the coming weeks.

If you are looking for some easy ways to help your family connect, consider the following ideas. Conversation prompts are an easy way to build meaningful connections (see game), as well as cooking and crafting. In addition, let us not forget the importance of physical exercise to burn pent up energy or to reduce stress that arises from everyone being home. Look for this column in upcoming issues to help us use this “forced family” time as an opportunity to strengthen family relationships at home.


Would You Rather


Take turns asking which scenario you would rather be in. Some examples:

Would you rather live in a tree or in a cave?

Would you rather meet an alien or a superhero?

Would you rather have a robot or a helper monkey?

Would you rather live the life of a dog or a cat?

Get creative.



1 ½ cups oats (oatmeal or old-fashioned rolled oats)

½ cups nut butter (peanut butter or almond butter)

⅓ cup of sticky liquid sweetener (honey or pure maple syrup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix ins (experiment with chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, etc.)

Salt to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl Stir. If the mixture seems too wet, add more oats. If it’s too dry, add more nut butter. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll mixture into balls of desired size.

*To find recipes using ingredients you have at home, visit



8 ounces of Elmer’s white school glue

1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons contact saline solution, more as needed

1 tablespoon baking soda

Food coloring and glitter, optional


Add glue and food coloring to bowl Mix in saline solution Mix in glitter or other add-ins (optional) Knead slime with hands until combined


Obstacle Course Race

Use, furniture, toys, and other objects in the home to create an obstacle course. See how fast each family member can reach the finish line for a fun way to exercise!



“If time stopped for a day for everyone but you, how would you spend your day?”

Submitted by OhioGuidestone (Personal & Family Counseling Services) Prevention Department

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