When most of us are at home and physically distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we can be feeling a loss of connection from our friends, and family members we don’t live with. Children feel this too, and in a different way than adults. Not only do children have fun playing with their friends, but play is the main way they learn about the world and other people. If your child is having trouble being apart from their friends and family during quarantine, here are some tips to help them stay connected despite distance.
Set up regular video chat sessions
Thanks to video chat services, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with people in your life. Whether you set up a regularly-scheduled video call with your child’s grandparents, or let your child video call their best friend when they feel like they miss them, it’s an ideal way to stay in touch.
One fun idea is to organize a virtual play date with your child’s closest friends. Get in touch with their parents ahead of time to find a time that would work well for everyone. Depending on the age of your child, this play date might not last very long, or they might benefit from suggested activities. For example, they can do show and tell, or each draw a picture together. Even if the children decide to just talk to each other or wave and say hi, it’s a valuable opportunity for them to stay connected.
Engage with your child’s preschool or daycare online
Many schools and daycares are offering online solutions to help keep students engaged and connected. For example, KLA Schools has set up a Virtual Learning Resource Portal, an interactive and virtual program with components led by teachers as well as opportunities for children to experience our unique curriculum at home with their families.
You can also follow along with teacher-read stories or participate in conversations teachers and parents are having on social media outlets such as Facebook. Many schools are helping their students connect online by sharing photos on Facebook as well.
Write letters and draw pictures
Letters and artwork are not only an ideal way for your child to develop their creativity and fine motor skills, but they can also help them to stay connected with friends and family. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to help them write a short letter, or they can draw a picture for someone special. You can mail this letter traditionally, or drop it off at the recipient’s home while maintaining proper social distance.
Drive past and wave
Maintaining proper physical distance is important during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are still opportunities to see friends and family face-to-face. Make plans to bring your child over to drive by and honk or wave at their friend or family member. Even if they may not get a chance to play or have a conversation, being able to see a familiar smiling face can go a long way in helping your child stay connected.