How Kids Can Stay Connected With Their Friends During Lockdown
In today's increasingly connected world, kids are feeling even more disconnected than ever thanks to COVID. As Sydneysiders dip in and out of lockdown, so too do our mental health levels, and not just for us struggling parents. As we all know, kids are highly sociable beings and get their daily dose of happy hormones by physically connecting with those around them - hugs from Mummy, tickles from Big Sister, playing chase at school, thumb wars with their bestie. When you remove social interactions with friends from a child's life, the world can suddenly seem like a bleak and boring place.
If your little social butterflies are feeling increasingly isolated, we've got eight ways kids can stay connected with their friends during lockdown.
1. Play Virtual Games
Gone are the days of dealing out Monopoly money from your dusty board game, today it's all about online board games. Get the kids to connect and play with their friends from your own home with virtual games. There are plenty of online games for the kids to choose from, but some of the best online games to play with friends include Scrabble, Uno, and Monopoly.
2. Have a Zoom Party
Let the kids keep up with their weekly playdates by converting them to Zoom parties. Zoom parties took off during the first wave of COVID in 2020 and are definitely still a thing in 2021, particularly for those celebrating a birthday during lockdown. While we're not suggesting you throw a birthday party every week, it'll be fun for kids to see their friend's faces at least once every week, and they can mix their Zoom parties up by coming up with a different theme for every week.
3. Parallel Play
If you'd rather your kids didn't get hooked into the world of online games, they can always engage in some parallel play. Thanks to the invention of the telephone, kids can build their favourite LEGO creations while chatting with their friends, or battle it out over Battle Ships, Pictionary, or Cluedo if their friends have the same board game or card game with them at home.
4. Sign up to Messenger Kids
For little ones who love to chat, Messenger Kids is a great tool for kids to stay connected with their friends during lockdown. Parents get to control who their kids are chatting to on Messenger Kids so there are no strangers lurking in the background, and kids will have a ball using the app's filters, sound effects and games.
5. Start a Book Club
Along with connecting kids with their friends and sharing in a common interest, starting an online book club is a great way for kids to keep up with their school reading while in lockdown. There are a number of ways for kids to start an online book club including using Google Hangouts, chatting over Zoom, or creating an online forum via a private Facebook Group.
6. Send a Letter
Call us old fashioned but who wouldn't love to receive a hand-written letter in the mail during this difficult time? Get the kids to keep up with practising their writing by encouraging them to write and post letters to their friends and extended family.
7. Deliver Something Sweet
Did your tween's best friend become more than a friend before COVID hit? If romance is in the air and your kid wants to connect on a sweet level, there are loads of online dessert deliveries you can use to send someone a very sweet message during lockdown - that's right, you can even get a whole cake delivered in Sydney now! And hey, why not order something sweet for yourself while you're at it.
8. Online Movie Night
Friday movie night doesn't have to come to a grinding halt just because we're in lockdown. Kids can still enjoy watching their favourite movies with friends while chatting in Google Hangouts, via Zoom or even just over the phone. If they're in need of some movie inspiration, here are all the best kids movies coming out in 2021.
Other Ways to Help Kids During Lockdown
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