Focus on respecting each other and communicating well.

In many ways, the pandemic restrictions have been harder on young people: While many adults have been able to stay home and continue life relatively uninterrupted, young people have been abruptly yanked away from their universities, apartments, internships, graduations, social events, and just about everything they were looking forward to. Many feel heartbroken. It's only to be expected that they will have some very difficult days. As much as possible, respect their autonomy and treat them like fellow adults, instead of enforcing all the rules they had to follow the last time they lived at home. That respect goes both ways, of course, so check in with each other about what's working and what isn't to make the most of this time.

Avoid talking about COVID after 7 p.m.

There's so much illness, uncertainty, and disagreement in the world right now, and everyone needs a break from talking about it sometimes. It helps to set aside times when you don't talk about the pandemic at all.

Get outside as much as possible.

Reams of research show the physical and psychological benefits of time spent outdoors. Grill in the backyard, eat on the balcony, or pack a picnic at a forest preserve. Get a use-it-anywhere hammock or set up a hammock stand in the yard. Listen to music or the sound of the birds. You'll all be glad you did!

Set the scene.

Set up a faux coffeehouse, beer garden or vineyard at home, and invite everyone (of age) to enjoy a family coffee or wine tasting or beer flight. Feel free to go all out with the menu or decorations. This pretend getaway to a German brewery or French countryside winery will feel like a much-needed change of scenery!

Get in character.

Do you have a box of old costumes in the basement? Perfect, you're ready to plan some silly fun with costumed theme nights! Have everyone dress like actors on Downton Abbey, or superheroes, or characters from your family's favorite movie, TV show, or book. You might have everyone guess who the others are dressed as, or go all-out with a murder mystery dinner game.

Start some friendly competition.

Who doesn't love a good trivia contest or board game night? Pull out the old family favorites or order some new games for the occasion (here's a list to get you started!).

Make their favorite dessert.

Surprise your kiddo with their favorite dessert if it's been a rough day. A just-baked chocolate chip cookie can lift anyone's spirits! If you've got an ice cream maker, experiment with making fun combos worthy of Ben & Jerry's. Chocolate-covered strawberry ice cream, anyone?

Organize a family movie club.

Sit down together to make a list of movies you and your kids have always wanted to see, and work through it as a family, maybe with a regularly scheduled Friday night movie. If you need ideas, you could start with Deacon Steven D. Greydanus' recommendations on Decent Films.

Channel your inner cooking show contestant.

You've got to make dinner anyway, so why not do it together? Cooking with your young adult kids is beneficial on so many levels: They'll learn to be pretty decent cooks, and it's fun to spend that time together in the kitchen. You might aim for themed dinners, like making a Thai menu one night and Cuban food another, or plan a family cooking competition (and name yourself the judge!).

Get active together.

Your kids might miss going to their regular gym, so find ways to get active together. You might track your miles on walks and runs together, take online fitness classes together, or even set up a home gym if you have space. Working out is more fun with a buddy!

Explore a new topic together.

If you've never done a family book club, this summer could be the perfect chance. You might read your kid's favorite book together, or share yours with them, or even read along with a novel assigned for one of their college classes. If you're short on time, watch an online class or lecture together to spark a discussion.

Get to know your natural habitat.

There's a reason bird watching is everyone's new hobby in quarantine: It's entertaining, easy to do from home, and connects you to the natural world. Just print a backyard bird bingo sheet or download a bird-watching app; add binoculars or a field guide to level up. A variation if you're near a forest would be planning a family scavenger hunt for trees and wildflowers common in your region.