Developing social skills is even more important for kids than it is for adults. It’s a crucial part of their overall development.

It is through socialization that they learn values such as sharing and cooperation. It also trains them how to regulate their emotions around other people. 

Therefore, young kids need to be exposed to an environment where they can socialize and learn to interact with others. One excellent venue for doing so is through playdates. Playdates are a perfect place for kids to interact with other children. 

But with the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the implementation of social distancing, staying connected with other people has become more difficult. 

As parents, it’s important that we try to make sure our kids do not feel isolated despite the current situation. They may be physically distant from their friends but don’t worry, you can host remote play dates so your child can maintain friendships even from afar. Here are a few tips to guide you through.

Set up an online playdate

Thanks to the internet, staying close and connected with the people who matter to us does not have to be as difficult as it might have been in times past. Kids can leverage the internet to connect with their friends, too! 

Allow your child some digital time by exploring apps like Marco Polo, Facetime, Zoom and WhatsApp. Whether they want to have a digital group playdate or just a one-on-one chat with a close buddy won’t matter. What’s important is that they are given opportunities to interact with their friends as it is vital to their overall wellbeing.

What’s nice about setting up a remote playdate is that you can create an environment that resembles that of a school.

Kids can play with their toys, read books to each other, tell stories, play simple games, or they can even sit silently while they play on their own.

It’s perfectly okay if they enjoy comfortable silences. The mere fact that they have friends around may be comforting enough. 

Host a game night

Long before the outbreak took place, there were already existing game applications for players who aren’t together in the same room. Try exploring the game site Pogo. This platform allows kids to play virtual board games, puzzles, word games and more. 

Bonus: Most of these are so-called ‘thinking games’, where players have to think, strategize, or use other reasoning skills to be successful.

Kids can also use Nintendo Online or Xbox Live to play video games against each other. Let them select a game of their liking and schedule it on the weekend or in the evening, after school work and chores are done. This will give the kids something fun to look forward to.

Schedule a movie night

Movie nights are fun and in times like this when people can’t go to the cinema, don’t worry, you can still get caught up on the latest movies in the comfort of your homes. Thanks to platforms like Netflix, we can all watch movies together!

And kids can hang out with their friends while watching movies, too!

Schedule a movie night for your child and their friends. Watch the movie from a computer while also hosting a video conference with an app like Zoom. That will allow you to do screen sharing so that everyone in the conference can watch together. You can also allow them to chat and interact by adding group chat. Make the experience more fun by grabbing your kids their favorite snacks like popcorn or some chips. They’re surely going to love it!

Mail letters

Who says writing letters is a thing of the past? It may be a bit old-fashioned but letters are much more meaningful than mere chatting on the internet or texting.

Help your child learn the art of writing and mailing letters to their friends. Encourage them to mail letters to their classmates and friends they haven’t seen in a while.

Not only is it a good way to maintain the connection. It’s also a good practice of their writing skills and a way to channel their creativity by incorporating drawings, artwork, or using cute stickers.

Situations like this pandemic may prevent people from seeing each other in person to bond and connect, but it doesn’t mean maintaining friendships has to stop. The internet is a very useful and vast resource at our disposal. Leverage it to keep meaningful connections alive. 

Find these parenting tips useful? For more tips and tricks to guide your parenting journey or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your child, feel free to visit Cornerstone Learning Center.