Like you, many parents are worried about how the pandemic will affect children’s engagements and socialization with other kids. As restrictions in many parts of the country start easing and more outdoor activities are slowly being allowed, it may be time to think about different ways to keep kids engaged and help them socialize during COVID-19.
There’s no doubt that socialization is an important aspect of every child’s overall development. This is what allows them to manage their own personal feelings, relate to others, and interact in a respectful & acceptable manner. Lack of socialization may have stumped parents at the start of the pandemic — especially for children with learning disabilities, but there are a few things you can do to help your kid. Read on to learn more.
Virtual playdates are fun and engaging ways to help your child maintain their friendships, interact with children their own age, or simply enjoy non-academic activities. As a parent, this may also be a great way for you to meet other parents or even share tips and tricks to help kids with the pandemic.
With the number of video conferencing platforms available, conducting online playdates has never been easier. Parents can set up different activities, such as movie streaming, arts & crafts, online board games, charades, sing-a-longs, dance parties, and many more.
For example, you can try making virtual dates a weekly thing that your child and their friends can look forward to. This will allow them the opportunity to learn value-adding skills and intermingle with their peers.
Going to the mall or dining out in restaurants is not really advisable during this time, but there are safe outdoor activities that your child can do. If your child is the hands-on type and loves engaging in sports or light exercise, such activities will be a breath of fresh air from the idleness and boredom they may experience after spending days on end at home.
This may be the perfect opportunity for your toddler or child to start learning how to ride a bike or a scooter. You can also take them for short walks in the part where they not only get to explore their surroundings but also encounter other children their age.
Engaging in physical exercise during the pandemic can certainly be done safely by ensuring your child is always wearing the right protective gear and is keeping socially distanced from other kids.
Your children may have already gotten used to the same routines at home where they spend most of their time alone, simply browsing the web or watching videos on YouTube. Relaxing from time to time may be okay, but kids will definitely need some form of interaction or two, even if it’s just a simple conversation with their friends.
After their classes or during their breaks, encourage your children to talk to their friends or make new ones through video calls or messaging apps. If you’re worried about the risks of face-to-face interaction, these simple interactions will go a long way in helping younger kids develop communication skills.
Even if the entire household spends their time at home, they may not have a chance to truly bond with one another. Whether it’s due to busy academic or work schedules, the lack of interaction might lead to cabin fever or heighten children’s emotional and mental needs.
Knowing this, families should see to it that they spare a few moments to spend time together through family game nights, and film-watching sessions. This allows parents and children to truly communicate with one another and further develop familiar relationships into something stronger.
Listed in this guide are just some of the ways to keep kids engaged and help them socialize during COVID-19. Like many parents, you might have also found yourself concerned about how the pandemic will affect the way your children relate to their peers.
Fortunately, the pandemic has also opened up opportunities for richer and more meaningful interactions. The key for parents is to find creative solutions that will benefit their children’s engagement and socialization in every sense.