COVID Connections – Ways for families to thrive

(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is encouraging families to see the value of the opportunity to be home with family during this uncertain time.

The world is being forced to stay isolated and cut off from the world. And as frustration, boredom, fear, and worry begin to creep in, the community is being reminded to see this as an opportunity to make even more memories with families.

“We have a priceless opportunity here,” explained ADC Coordinator Jodi Salvo. “The tragedy of Coronavirus has a silver lining: it is bringing families together. We hope to make the most of it and stay positive. That’s why we started our ‘COVID Connections’ column.”

The ADC is publishing regular publications titled “COVID Connections: Ways for Families to Thrive” to a variety of platforms, including These publications will provide games, recipes, crafts, physical activities, and conversation starters for families. Salvo explained the purpose is to 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,” added 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.”

She noted that meaningful connections do not mean lavish vacations or expensive gifts. The most cherished childhood memories are often the simplest of moments: playing games, cooking together and fun conversations.

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.

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 our 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!


No Bake Energy Balls


1 ½ cups of 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


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

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


3-Ingredient Slime  


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


  1. Add glue and food coloring to bowl
  2. Mix in saline solution
  3. Mix in glitter or other add-ins (optional)
  4. 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!

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


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