(BPT) - Being apart from your friends is hard, especially for kids who can’t spend time with their favorite people. With a little thought and creativity, you can make the most of your time with friends even while social distancing. Try some of these inspiring ideas to stay connected to loved ones near and far.
Conduct a friendship parade
Celebrate how special your friends are and surprise them with a drive-by parade past their house. Decorate your vehicles with signs and streamers, blare some upbeat music, and make a celebratory ruckus. It will be an event to remember and put a smile on their faces.
Host a virtual baking day
Now that baking is on the rise and social distancing is keeping friends from having regular get-togethers, why not work on the same baking project, and enjoy the delicious results over a virtual meet-up? Grab your cupcake mix along with colorful icing and sprinkles to inspire creativity. Another essential ingredient is Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies — iconic pink and white animal-shaped sugar cookies covered with colorful rainbow sprinkles — which make a delicious topping for any cupcake.
Send personal messages with painted rocks
Get a handful of smooth rocks, a set of paint and surprise your friend by leaving a set of decorated rocks at their home. Decorate with their names, images of their favorite things or fun times from the past — whatever gets the message across. Then, leave these personalized rocks on their porch, along their walkway, or somewhere they’ll be sure to spot them the next time they head outside.
Host a virtual game night
Test your knowledge of each other's families. Maybe it turns out your friend really loves pizza with anchovies, or their child wants to perform movie stunts when they grow up. Even if you miss a few answers, everyone will hear some surprising new tidbits and get to know more about each other.
Have a living room dance party
Music has the power to evoke emotion and memory, which is why a collection of songs can serve as a sonic memory album. Why not liven up your friend’s day with a play list? With minimal effort, the right music can transport someone back to the decade you met, to a memorable day at the amusement park, or just inspire everyone to get on their feet and have a dance party.
Become pen pals
Even though electronic devices make it easy to keep in contact, now’s a perfect opportunity to revive the lost art of letter writing, while simultaneously offering a meaningful keepsake from a historic time. Get out the craft box and create a colorful, encouraging message your friends can hang on the fridge (and later tuck into the scrapbook).
Share photo memories
We all have photos saved up in our devices, but how often do we print, let alone share? Scroll through your images and select a few special memories to print and assemble in a special book for a friend. Some may capture special moments from past events, or the subject’s unique personality. Either way, your friend will appreciate the kind gesture.
Host a virtual camp-out
Though not quite the same as in-person events, there are ways to make online gatherings more lively. Especially if you build it around a theme. Why not have a camp-out in the living room or out on the deck? Once you’re all settled into your blanket forts, complete with plenty of cushions, blankets and battery-powered lanterns, let the singalong and spooky stories begin. Don’t forget to grab a bag of Mother’s Cookies to snack on during the fun!
Send a stuffed animal ambassador
If getting together isn’t an option, you can always send a friendly ambassador. Trade a stuffed animal or favorite toy between the two houses, and document their stay with social media updates. Seeing a familiar object on the screen can make it easier, especially for small children, to connect from a distance.
Set up a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is the perfect vehicle to help someone you care about have some enriching quality time together. Make a map, write cryptic clues to help them get to the next stage, and at the end, leave a small (but well hidden) box of treasure for everyone to enjoy.
While social activities look different in the coming months, finding creative ways to connect at a distance can keep the bonds of friendship alive.