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If you are not a natural home body, social distancing can be difficult. However, there are ways to stay connected and remedy the feeling of being isolated from family and friends. It takes a little creativity, but it can be done, according to Linda Inmon, Extension associate-family and consumer sciences at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Set up movie nights with longtime friends. Choose a favorite movie and watch it together using Zoom or any other video communication platform, Inmon suggested. If you're not that tech savvy, just use your phone and add others to the line. Talk, laugh and have fun.

"Find word games or puzzles to post on Facebook and invite others to play along with you. The same could be done to assist with homework," she said. "Of course, you must be able to determine the best answer, much like using your lifeline on the TV game show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire.'"

Create challenging tossing games for children using empty cans and crumpled paper as balls. Let them help make up the rules for the game, Inmon said. Cut out the large side of a cereal box to make puzzles.

"For tweens and teens let them help cook what they want for dinner. Have them Google the recipe and if substitutions are needed, assist them in making good choices by providing suggestions," she said. "Not only does this help improve reading, but also math and reasoning skills. Capture the moments on video to share with others."

For the creative artist or crafter, record a short video showing others how to create something beautiful and useful, she said. One suggestion is to collect small cans to paint or paper mâché to use as holders for pencils, utensils or even hair accessories.

"Social distancing does not have to be boring," Inmon said. "Let your creative imagination run wild."

DEBBIE ARCHER, EXTENSION ASSOCIATE-COMMUNICATIONS UAPB SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND HUMAN SCIENCES.

General News on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: Social Distancing: Staying In Contact With Friends And Family

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