Six ways kids can socialize safely this school year

Encouraging kids to socialize has never been more important, but finding ways to do it safely right now can be tricky. Thankfully, you don’t have to put your child’s social life on pause. Instead, coordinate a time to do a virtual playdate on Zoom or Google Hangouts with one or a few of your child’s friends. 

Choose from any of these ways to bring kids together and have some fun from a safe distance, or try them all out!

Craft wild animal puppets

First, you’ll want to gather the materials – you’ll need brown paper bags and some basic art supplies for this activity. Next, brainstorm with your little one what animal they might want to make ahead of time to get them excited. Then, jump on the virtual playdate and have everyone create an animal puppet! They can do this activity while they chat to catch up on the latest developments from their pals or role play and make up stories with the characters they’ve created.

Decorate peace rocks

Gather rocks or pebbles big enough to write on from your garden or local park. Break out basic art supplies and encourage the kids to get their creative juices flowing. The theme of these decorative rocks can be peace, or you can ask your child and their friends ahead of time if they’d like to choose something different.

Design and share superheroes

Power up! Your child can use these helpful printables to design their superhero, and then share their creations with their friends virtually. Encourage everyone to dress up like their hero and play make-believe to save the world from danger.

Belt it out with a virtual singalong

Pick a few songs that your child and their friends love and play them virtually for the kids to sing along, dance, or just jam out to while they catch up. Try this example from Moana for inspiration!

Create art together online

Learn how to draw a haunted house or build a paper house using YouTube. Gather the appropriate supplies for your child, then play the video virtually so they can still make art with their friends, even if they can’t get together in-person.

Get moving

Take a new physical activity, or even an old favorite, online. Find an exercise video geared towards children, such as karate or zumba. Once you’ve decided what to do, make sure you’ve set up enough space for movement. Cap it off by sharing the video with the parents of a few friends and coordinating a time for everyone to join in, so kids can get active together, even when they’re apart.