5 Ways For Children to Socialize While Being Homeschooled During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone, but especially children. The pandemic can be a confusing time for them and has impacted their lives in countless ways, mostly in terms of their friendships and the way they socialize. Socializing is crucial to their growth and development, teaching them important fundamental social skills. Here are some ways to get your kids to socialize when they’re taking classes from home instead of school.
Thanks to modern technology, virtual playdates are possible when in-person ones are proven difficult during these time. Zoom is a video chatting platform that has gained popularity during the pandemic. It is used for companies and loved ones to connect. Take advantage of its benefits by hosting virtual playdates for your kids as well. They may be happy with simply talking to their friends over video or you can arrange activities for them to do with their friends.
Depending on your government regulations and what you as a parent feel comfortable with, a friendship bubble can be a great idea to consider to allow your children to socialize safely. A friendship bubble is essentially a select few friends or family members that you can socialize with in person, mask-free. In a bubble, no one is allowed to socialize in-person with anyone outside of this bubble. It may seem strict, but keeping these rules in place can ensure that everyone is safe and virus-free.
Family Game Nights
A healthy family foundation is very important for children. You may be spending quantity time these days as everyone is home, but make sure to have quality time together too. Create a weekly family game night to get everyone together and have some fun. You can do this with the immediate family, or choose to do it virtually with extended family members too. Most popular board games even have online versions now.
Virtual Field Trips
Spending so much time at home can really take a toll on a child’s overall well-being. It’s important for them to explore and have new experiences. This promotes healthy development and growth. This is where virtual field trips come in. Your children may be at home physically, but luckily technology has made it possible to explore the rest of the world from the safety of your home. Depending on their interests, your children can explore museums, farms, landmarks, zoos, and aquariums virtually.
During these times, if you are working from home and your children are being home schooled, it’s important to get out of the house and enjoy outdoor activities. Depending on the weather where you live, hiking, bike riding, skiing, kayaking, or having a socially distanced picnic are all low risk activities you can enjoy. If you choose to involve your kids friends, the CDC recommends some tips for safe socializing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These precautions include:
- Outside environments are lowest risk for gatherings
- Social distancing in gatherings
- Wear masks in gatherings
- Don’t share objects in gatherings
- Limited number of people in gatherings
These alternatives may be helpful for some children to build friendships, but others may have a more difficult time adjusting to the new way of life. If social isolation is affecting your child, it’s important to seek help from a professional. MyTherapist is an online counseling platform that provides endless resources and access to licensed therapists that can give you and your child the help that you need. If you have any questions about supporting your child during the pandemic or giving them opportunities to socialize, a licensed therapist can help.
by Marie Miguel
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.