Help Your Kids "See" Their Friends During Social Distancing

Social distancing has been a challenge for our kids. My daughter is 10 and had a major meltdown over the weekend.

In a million years, I never would have thought I'd see her shedding tears over missing school. But, it's more than that. This new world of social distancing and isolation is a lot for BIG people to handle. The little one's truly don't understand why they can't just "see" their friends. A friendly face would sure be a sight for sore eyes. Thanks to video technology, there are many ways for them to see AND interact with their buddies.

We've been using FaceTime, but there are plenty of legit video apps that are worth a download.

Messenger Kids

Facebook’s app is like “social media training wheels.” It’s designed for ages six to 12 and can be downloaded using a parent’s Facebook account. Carly Yoost, CEO and founder of Child Rescue Coalition says she thinks it “does appear to be safer from predators than other apps like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok,” since parents have to approve contacts and there are stronger filters.

Zoom

It’s typically used for video conferences in business, but it can work for kids during this time of social distancing, too.

Video exchange

For the youngest kids missing their playgroup friends, video exchanges are a simple, safe and sweet way to keep in touch.

First, set up a group text with the parents of the kids. Next have each child take a turn making a video for their friends in the group. This can also be done on a one-to-one basis if your child has a special friend they’re really missing.

Prompt your little ones with a few questions “What do you want to play when you see Alex again?” “What do you miss most about school?” “What kind of picture do you want to color later?”

Here are some creative activities to try "with" friends:

FaceTime "Bake Off Challenge" The kids each prepared a sweet treat "together." There are a ton of kid friendly recipes available on Pinterest. She whipped up banana pudding and buckeyes. Mommy's sweet tooth is very happy.

FaceTime "Guess What This Is?" drawing game.

Pick a category: Animals, ocean-life, flowers, buildings etc.

FaceTime "Hang-Man" You'll also need paper and a pencil

PRO TIP: Keep an eye on the clock. Time can sure fly when they're finally with their friends. Be sure to set a limit and make sure they get some fresh air outside.

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