10 ways to keep your kids entertained during lockdown

Aug 04, 2020

As parts of the world face further lockdown restrictions and the rest of the world continues to live in uncertainty, we are once again reminded of how important it is to stay safe by staying home.

And although we all know it’s the best place to be for yourself, your family and your community, there’s no denying it’s hard to continue living a life less open. This is particularly difficult for parents trying to keep young children entertained.

So, as a parent whose ideas may have been exhausted during the last lockdown, what can you do? We’ve created an incomplete list of thought-starter ideas to help you and your kids have some fun. Hopefully this list contains a few things you haven’t thought of:

  1. Camping trip – your backyard is just as great as any other outdoor adventure.
  2. Baking day – cupcakes, croissants, cookies or all of the above. Experiment with a new menu or have a competition to see who’s the best baker in your family.
  3. Build a cinema fort – paired with popcorn, pillows and the pictures, your home cinema has never been cosier.
  4. Science experiments – from play dough to crystal candy there’s plenty of experiments waiting for you – a quick Google should help you get started.
  5. Create a play – make some puppets, turn your favourite toys into stars or embrace your inner actor, however you choose to do it be sure you perform your masterpiece to the rest of your family.
  6. Family karaoke – how else are you going to find out who’s the best singer?
  7. Dress ups – a clown, a fairy or a fish, capture the outfit and send it to the rest of the family.
  8. Make a podcast – there’s a podcast for everything, why not make one too?
  9. Paint with Bob Ross – you’ve got 403 episodes to discover The Joy of Painting.
  10. Upcycle something in the house – turn that tin into a new home for the succulent you’ve been propagating or that old ladder into a new shelf.

If you’re lucky enough to not be in lockdown right now, consider doing some of the above to provide entertainment for those stuck at home. Or send a care package to a house in need. Or create your own list of ideas and share it with other parents online. Being there for people is more than physical and it’s never been easier than it is now to be a CareMonger.

Having purpose helps us feel less lonely

Jul 31, 2020

Most of the world is in its fifth month of lockdown measures. With some schools still closed, community centres shut and many still confined to their homes, loneliness is on the rise 😞

Chances are, everyone’s felt lonely at some point. But even before COVID-19, there were signs that we’re suffering from loneliness on a much bigger scale.

In January, a survey found that 79% of Gen Zers, 71% of millennials and 50% of baby boomers feel lonely.

In addition, the number of people belonging to community groups such as sports leagues and volunteer groups has fallen from 75 to 57% over the last 10 years.

While scientists are doing their utmost to understand how COVID-19 works, researchers are already aware of the impact that social isolation and loneliness can have on the body. Those who feel disconnected to others are far more likely to experience physical and mental illnesses.

The reason for this is that human beings are hard-wired for social connection.

So how can we cultivate social well-being at a time when connecting with others is difficult, and even dangerous for some?

While there’s no quick answer, a recent study found that developing something called “eudaimonic well-being”—a sense of purpose and meaning—is one of the most effective ways to combat loneliness.

Working towards a bigger, more meaningful purpose that goes beyond doing things for our own benefit had a positive impact on people’s physical health in this study.

Here are some ways that all of us, whatever situation we’re in, can help protect against loneliness and isolation.

Cultivating community

The basis of connection is having something in common. And sometimes, the thing we have in common is where we live. Our street, our neighbourhood, our town. There are friendly people all around us with interests, skills and a listening ear to lend. You can use your local networks to connect with others nearby and engage in the things that matter to you—whether that’s supporting local businesses, gardening or making a new friend.

Use a tool

Technology is often blamed for the rise in loneliness. People are seen to spend lots of time scrolling through social feeds without ever interacting in real life. But recent research at Harvard has shown that how you use such platforms matters more than how much you use them. We can all benefit from adopting digital habits that allow us to create meaningful human connections—it’s what CareMonger was made for.

Lend a hand

Being of service, volunteering for an organisation we believe in, helping a neighbour and contributing to charities with missions we want to support, can bring more meaning and purpose in our lives. The act of giving not only makes us feel good, it’s actually good for us too.

While current times have made human connection harder than ever, we can take this opportunity to recognise the importance of connections for our health. We can use our local networks and technology to spread kindness and cultivate ours and our local community’s social well-being.

📷 c/o Ian Schneider on Unsplash.

Why community is more important than ever

May 28, 2020

At its core, community is a group of interconnected people. Being part of a community can make us feel a sense of belonging, unity and purpose. It can give us opportunities to connect with people and can make us feel safe and secure.

In times of uncertainty, community has become more important than ever.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we experienced a rapid change in our usual support networks. While before we were able to build networks regardless of geography, life under lockdown showed that these networks alone cannot always provide the immediate support we need. Instead, we’ve turned to our neighbours, local businesses and neighbourhood communities.

CareMonger was created to offer that safe place where people can connect with others nearby for a smile, a favour or a friend. A location-based messaging app, CareMonger offers a way to come together (even when we’re apart) by making it simple for people to ask for a hand, offer help and connect with locals in their community.

From borrowing tools to pharmacy runs and everything in between, CareMongers are reaching out and assisting their community for all sorts of different reasons. By sharing resources and offering a helping hand, we’ve found much-needed solidarity, support and friendship right within our own neighbourhoods.

As lockdown laws ease, this new community spirit and sense of connection will remain as important as ever. Let’s continue to strengthen community ties and support one another post-COVID and beyond by reaching out to those in need and asking for assistance when you need it. Because together, we can all make a difference.

What we can learn from small acts of kindness

May 28, 2020

Recent events have seen us in a time of fear and uncertainty – it’s in these moments that we’re challenged to be our very best and to see the best in others. We want to introduce you to Michael from Strathmore, Melbourne. Like a lot of people, he’s looking for ways to help those who need it. As COVID-19 began to put stress on communities (but before social-distancing laws were in place) he decided to pop over to see John, his elderly neighbour. The two of them got talking and Michael asked if there was anything he could do for him and his wife. John replied he’d be grateful for some groceries and toilet paper. After delivering these, Michael realised John was having some trouble with his phone so he resolved those issues too.

“This encounter (and the sense of relief portrayed) prompted me to go next door and offer to help another neighbour who lives alone,” says Michael. That neighbour had a script which needed to be picked up from the pharmacy. Michael organised for the local pharmacy to home deliver the script to his neighbour that afternoon.

Inspired by a movement in Canada and stories similar to Micheal’s, CareMonger helps you connect with your community and assist neighbours any way you can. Our founder wanted CareMonger to bring all that goodwill together and give communities a platform to safely share and receive simple acts of kindness. Micheal noted, “An app that facilitates these kinds of interactions during such challenging times, has to be a good thing.”

These small acts of kindness remind us what community really is: a place where you can ask for a hand or lend one to someone else. A place that makes you feel safe in unfamiliar and uncertain times. As the world slowly returns to normality, let’s do what we can to ensure it returns kinder and more compassionate than before. Let’s remember how important it is to simply be there for each other. Reach out to your neighbours and ask if you can help, you never know who might need it but is too afraid to ask.

We’ve made a small change to create a big difference

May 28, 2020

As we move into a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve made some practical updates to our CareMonger app. We’ve made asking for assistance and lending a hand easier with new categories. From reaching out for a friendly chat to running errands or borrowing something off your neighbour, these categories provide you with an example to help you find what you need. Oh and we’ve added some emojis too 👋 🕺🐶

We hope these changes will help you navigate this new stage we’re entering. The best way for everyone to get through this tough time is together.