Just because we all have to social distance, it doesn’t mean we have to stop being social, and the same goes for our kids. The same way we’re all adjusting to this new normal, allow them space and time to adjust as well. They may be missing their friends a lot, and that’s a good thing! It means they’ve formed strong and healthy social connections.
Everyone’s going through the same thing, and it just means it’s time to get a little creative with setting up social time for the kids. Luckily, we have many options to connect online with others and we can use these platforms for this as well.
To make virtual playdates, Schoolclosures.org suggests a few ideas:
- You can use Facetime, Zoom or another platform. The video chat app "Together" is another option that offers a catalog of books as well as different games that can be played during a video call.
- If kids are younger than 4, they may get bored with screen-mediated interaction. Try giving them an activity to do with another kid virtually (for example, a painting project or a mini dance party).
- If kids are younger and need adult support for a virtual playdate, you can put one parent in in the “facilitator” role and have them read stories or sing songs with two or more kids via video chat, giving the other parents a few moments to load the dishwasher or prepare a meal.
- You can also coordinate with another parent so that two or more families are all working on the same project independently, and then set up a time to share their projects and talk about it on a video call — or meet online over lunch to share a mealtime together. Get creative and experiment with ideas to see what works for virtual meet ups for your kids!