5 creative ways kids can connect with friends while distance learning
The past few months have been hard on all of us, but our kids are really hurting for socialization. It helps shape their communication skills, teaches them compassion and empathy, and helps them to develop their problem solving skills. So what can you do to bring a touch of normalcy to your child’s day and help to maintain those precious friendships? We’re glad you asked! We’ve come up with 5 creative ways your kids can connect with friends while distance learning.
Here are the 5 creative ways kids can connect with their friends while distance learning
Old Fashioned Pen Pals * - Please note that if you’re feeling like you have symptoms it’s best to skip this activity until you’re sure you and your family are healthy and safe*. Kids love getting things in the mail addressed to them. It’s exciting and a sure way to surprise and delight. Have them draw pictures for their friends or write letters, then you can mail the letters or drop them off in your friends mailboxes.
Use stationary you have on hand or get creative and make your own with any craft supplies you have in the house. Put together a pen pal kit with kitchen tupperware. Add markers, tape, glue, stickers, colorful paper and anything else you want. Coordinate with parents and get crafting!
- Video Chats - Our kids are growing up in a digital world, let’s use it to our advantage. Coordinate with parents and schedule weekly zoom nights for your kids and their friends. Change it up with a different theme every week! A pajama party, costume night, dance parties, a pumpkin carving party, the possibilities are endless.
Movie Night - Teleparty, formerly Netflix Party, is a new way to watch TV with your friends online. Teleparty synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to Netflix, Disney, Hulu and HBO. It’s available on chrome browsers for desktop and laptop computers, you can get started here.
Anyone in the group can pause, play, fast forward and rewind the movie so everyone is in the same spot. Only those with an invite can get into the party, so parents don’t need to worry about strangers getting into the chat room.
- Sidewalk Chalk Art - Head over to a friends house and leave them some awesome sidewalk chalk art and a message to brighten their day (they will have to stay inside as you do this). Some families are even leaving notes to thank mail- and food-delivery workers. Spread a little love and kindness, it can really go a long way.
- Game Night - Virtual game nights are nothing new, but these days we’re seeing them in a new light. Apps like online game site Pogo allow your kids to play some of their favorite board games, like Monopoly and Yahtzee, with friends without having to sit around the same table. If you’re looking for a lower-tech option check out Let’s Play Uno. Kids can play this timeless card game with friends and it’s totally free.
Harvard Human Development and Psychology Professor Richard Weissbourd stressed the significance of children connecting in positive ways in an article published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Isolation can breed anxiety,” he said. “This is also a great time for kids to learn how to support each other during stressful times.” We hope these 5 creative ideas help your kids connect with friends while distance learning. While we know it doesn’t replace the real life connection we do hope that it will bridge the gap for the time being.
Keep in touch! Share with us some of your creative ideas for connecting kids with their friends while distance learning on social!