Socialization is important for people of all ages, but especially so for children. Connecting with other people is fun, but it is valuable for much more than that! Being around other people helps children learn emotional regulation and language skills, as well as common social norms like waiting in line. Right now, many normal activities have been postponed or canceled to help flatten the curve, but there are still lots of ways for you and your child to connect with your community. Here are a few ways you can help your child connect while staying at home.
1. Utilize video calling tools
From Zoom, to Google Meet, to FaceTime, there are lots of ways you and your child can connect virtually with others! Even if they don’t totally understand at first, your child is sure to light up when they see some of their favorite people on the screen. To start, try setting up video calls with far-away family members and peers from school. As your child gets used to the video call format, consider letting them push some of the buttons to call their friends and family members.
2. Try having penpals
Whether you are connecting with someone far away or simply sending a letter to a friend across town, there is something special about sending and receiving real, physical letters in the age of email! This may be a great thing to integrate into your homeschooling day as well, as it is a great way to practice language arts skills. It will also be a good opportunity to let your child practice patience, as they may need to wait a few days to get a response from their penpal.
3. Go for walks
While your child probably shouldn’t run up and hug all the neighbors right now, they can still wave at neighbors on a walk! Getting outside will be a welcome breath of fresh air – literally and figuratively – for everyone in your family, so when the weather is nice enough, get out and enjoy it. These walks can be a great way to help your children learn healthy habits while connecting with neighbors at a distance. You may be surprised how many other people are out doing things in their yards or going for walks too!
Now, you’re ready to implement these fun and easy ways to help your child connect while staying at home! Which is your favorite?