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Family fun

30th Mar 2020

My children and I signed up to penpal schemes and it really helps the cabin fever

Melissa Carton

I highly recommend it.

It’s been roughly three weeks since the schools closed and we all started spending a lot more time at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We’re lucky enough to have a nice back garden, so even though we’ve been keeping leaving the house to just shopping trips, we’re still getting lots of time outdoors.

Still, spending this much time at home does start to wear on you and sometimes you just need to do something new to break up the days.

What’s the saying a change is as good as a rest?

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Last year a social group I’m involved with starting a card giving scheme on the run up to Christmas and it was absolutely brilliant.

There’s something so nice to receiving post that isn’t bills and my mantlepiece was overflowing with cards by the end of December.

Due to everyone being on lockdown the same group has started a letter writing scheme for all of its members which I volunteered for straight away.

Not only that I found another penpal scheme set up by a friend of mine that connects children of a similar age together so my son now has someone to write letters to too.

Yesterday we both set about writing and posting our first letters to our penpals.

Helping my son write is was a great way of bonding and also a great distraction from all the COVID-19 chaos.

Instead of thinking about the news we talked about things he could write about himself like his favourite film, his sister, his cat and his favourite holiday. He also wrote about how he was learning to play the guitar and how he is going to use his telescope more.

I also found myself talking about things in my letters than had nothing to do with coronavirus like what shows I’ve been watching, what hobbies I’ve taken up again and how I’m enjoying learning new recipes.

It was very cathartic.

An Post are planning to send free postcards to households across the country and I would highly recommend writing and sending some off as it has really improved our mental wellbeing.

If you’re involved in any kind of group yourself or have a WhatsApp with other parents, why not set up your own penpal scheme? You won’t regret it.