BRICK – With township parks, playgrounds and beaches closed in an effort to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus infections, parents who are looking for at-home activities need to look no further since the Township Recreation has come up with a plan.
“Play at Home with Brick Recreation” is the brainchild of the township’s Recreation staff who had to “think outside the box,” since all activities, including early childhood programs, youth sports programs, adult sports programs and challenger programs have been cancelled, said Director of Recreation Dan Santaniello.
While it is not yet clear what effect the coronavirus quarantine would have on summer and fall programs Santaniello is trying to help residents keep busy and to have some fun.
“Until life goes back to normal, we had to change what we do daily,” he said in a recent phone call. “We still have to provide services, but we never did anything like this before.”
Santaniello brainstormed with his staff, who came up with great ideas for fun activities to keep everyone busy and creative while fighting against the coronavirus, he said.
All the activities are online and include social media, with a big emphasis on Facebook.
The first activity was a Pizza Party. Oscar’s Pizza (located next to the Recreation office at 270 Chambers Bridge Road) donated 100 pizza kits for kids to make their own personal pan pizza at home.
“Mike at Oscar’s just wanted to give back to the community, and he said yes within seconds,” Santaniello said. “He provided the sauce, dough and cheese to make their own pizza. It was really great.”
Participants had to register online and could share photos of their pizzas on the township Facebook page. All 100 pizza kits were picked up curbside during designated hours, Santaniello said.
Over 50 families participated in The Driveway Chalk Drawing Contest, where kids would send in photos of their best sidewalk/driveway chalk drawings and posted on the group page.
The drawing with the most “likes” was shared on the Brick Township Facebook page and would be featured in the Brick Pride newsletter. To view the photos visit Play at Home with Brick Recreation on Facebook.
“It was for bragging rights, but down the road we might put some of them in the Brick Recreation Guide,” Santaniello said.
This past week, kids could sign up to build bird houses and bird feeders using kits from Home Depot.
For Friday Night Family Karaoke, kids and their families could make a video of their sing-along with the hashtag, and the favorites would be posted to the Facebook group.
“We’ll do family fitness days where families can log in and do it on Facebook Live, or they could do it later on,” he said. “We wanted to make sure the activities include all ages, from three and up.”
The Recreation staff includes James Murphy, Madeline Iannarone, Cindy Colantoni, Chris Hessenkemper and Jeff Napoli.
The program and activities are constantly evolving, changing and being updated, Santaniello said.
For more information, join over 300 other families who have joined Play at Home with Brick Recreation on Facebook, or call the Recreation Department at 732-262-1044.
Pre-registration is required for some of the activities.