Hey everyone! As COVID-19 turns into a norm, Singapore slowly opens up to continue life with COVID-19 being viewed as “just another virus”. This also means that between families, more gatherings could be held! As all of us have gone through COVID, I believe all of us know that its impact isn’t only on our work lives, but our personal lives as well. For instance, we are unable to eat out as a family. We could only choose to takeaway or eat out in limited numbers when the restrictions were slightly eased. However, now that Singapore is slowly easing up more, how could we bond as a family and strengthen our ties? Let me share some methods today!
野餐 | Picnic
Eating with family members who live with you may not be a hard thing to do, but in the midst of COVID-19, eating out is a fairly difficult thing especially if you have a big family. Recently though, Singapore eased out restrictions, allowing up to 10 people in a group outside. This means just like before, including huge families, we can go out together! Picnic is an amazing activity to hold as a family, where you can bond through food, interaction, games and so much more.
Some of you may be curious, isn’t a picnic just a meal on some grass? It’s not only hot but there are bugs too. Actually, I personally feel that picnics aren’t that bad. If you’ve gone to one before, you’d know that there’s many things you can do other than eating, and this is one of those activities where “the more the merrier” truly means itself, making it one of the most suitable family outdoor activities. Other than eating, you can fly a kite, or play board games. It’s really up to you. As long as you plan it well, the most boring day could become the most memorable day for your family!
爬山 | Hiking
In a blink of an eye, COVID-19 has been around for more than two years. Today (the time of writing being May 2022), Singapore has finally eased up mask restrictions, allowing people to choose between wearing a mask and not wearing one when outdoors. With such a choice, outdoor activities increased in variety. One which I feel could strengthen bonds between family members would be hiking. Not sure if you’ve had similar experiences, but I remember as a child, I would often go hiking around where I live. We would see monkeys and even pick wild durians. These have all become part of my wonderful childhood memories. A pity however, that my parents don’t have the energy they used to have when they were younger, hence we don’t really do it anymore, but please do not let this be an excuse to stop you! Even if they don’t have the same levels of energy, you can still go hiking.
Hiking doesn’t mean rushing towards the end point filled to the brim with energy. It can be a slow walk up, with heart to heart talks while enjoying the scenery. Today, many hike to see the sunrise or sunset, which is definitely a memory waiting for you to keep! You can choose weekends, or any days where the sun is setting (so that it isn’t too hot), to hike with your family to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset. When it sets, it is also often the best time to take pictures. In fact, you can also choose to have a small break, eat some snacks with your family at the top. With beautiful scenery, food and drinks, and the company of family members, it is definitely a moment to cherish. You’d be hoping for more times like this after trying it out!
线上派对 | Virtual Parties
During the pandemic, many interesting and fun ways to interact online started appearing. This includes apps like HouseParty, which allow people to play different games and socialise online all at the same time without losing any fun. Another more commonly used app is Zoom. Although Zoom is a conference meeting app and not really an app for playing, you can use it to bond and have fun! You may ask, how do you use an app which is designed for work and meetings, to have fun. Well, let me explain!
Zoom is a conference app no doubt, but it is also what makes it the perfect app. On the platform, you simply have to open a meeting and invite your family members to join you. Through abilities like screen sharing, you can then play games with your family members. There are even websites out there designed for you to play online games with others. For instance, the well-known web page GarticPhone was designed exactly to play games online with your friends. There are many different modes on it, one which includes creating a sentence, having someone else to draw it out, and then having a third party to guess the original sentence. It may seem like a fairly simple game, but the fun and excitement comes as you suddenly realise that what others drew might be totally different from what your sentence meant in the beginning and may even seem ridiculous. As such, I encourage you guys to go find similar games, create a meeting with your family and play together. This way, you could play and have fun, bond with your family all whilst not having to fear the pandemic. Do try it out and let me know if you like this idea!
卡拉OK | Karaoke
I believe many of you agree with me that songs are an irreplaceable part of our lives. We all have our own idols or favourite songs. People even say that singing is the most sincere way of expressing ourselves apart from words and actions, and I definitely agree. However, do you know that singing is actually a way of bonding too? Think of your graduation performances (if any) from preschool. Most of them contained singing right? This is because singing creates a lively, happy atmosphere, suitable for people to bond with each other.
Although restrictions have been eased in Singapore, I’d still like to remind you guys to be careful and stay safe while you’re out, especially if you’re planning to go Karaoke and it’s a small room. Remember to wear your masks indoors and still maintain safe distancing (even if it’s not a must anymore). If you’re really worried, let me share with you a few methods on how you can still sing with your family without stepping out of the house. I’m sure you have a television (or computer) right? Go on Youtube and search for the songs you want to sing, bring the volume up slightly, find a rod-like item to act as a microphone and you’re good to sing with your family! I’m not kidding, this works. Otherwise, you can also choose to use online apps like Quanmin Party, which is basically an online karaoke application. Do check it out if you’re interested!
阅读与分享 | Read & Share
Everybody relax! Before anyone complains (and I know) that many people don’t read nowadays, I feel like it’s still a viable point. As I’ve mentioned before, the main purpose at the beginning of reading wasn’t actually for knowledge, but as a form of entertainment. If that’s the case, wouldn’t entertainment be an important element of family bonding? You can never imagine how big the world can be inside a small, tiny book. It’s enough to let someone keep their mouth open even after closing the book itself. You may ask, “Wouldn’t it be very slow if a whole family was to read the book together?” Well, I didn’t really mean it that way, but if you have a young child at home who wishes to read aloud to you, let them do it!
What I personally meant was for each family to read a book, then set a meeting every week and come together to share what you read! You can choose to recommend a book to each other or just share your thoughts about it. Just remember, the point of this activity isn’t to force you to read, but to create a space for you and your family to sit down and interact. In this fast-paced era, many of us are out there studying or working so much that we forget about our families. Being able to sit down and talk, bond with each other, would probably mean a lot and is something for us to cherish. What are you waiting for? Go discuss this idea with your family now!
Family will forever be the ones who do not abandon you nor do they judge you. Whether it’s because of studies or work, if you feel tired, just return home to rest. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you only return home when you’re tired. When you have the time, accompany your family and cherish each other. Time waits for no one and the power of ageing doesn’t show mercy on anyone. Nobody can accompany you throughout your entire life. What you can do however, is choose how much time you’re willing to spend with them. I hope you guys remember this! Today’s blog shall end here, till next time! Bye!