Remember just a few years ago when virtual playdates were the only playdates happening? Thankfully we’re back to safely playing in person, but virtual playdates still come in handy! Maybe you want to keep your child connected to long-distance family or friends. Or maybe they just miss their local school friends so much over summer break that they can’t wait for the next in-person playdate! Whatever the reason, we’ve got creative ideas to keep the kiddos connected. These 8 virtual playdate ideas are the next best thing to in-person play!
Kahoot is a virtual quiz game that’s a longtime favorite of teachers pretty much everywhere. Find a few fun quizzes based on the kids’ age and interests or make your own! They can play in real-time and compete against each other for the highest score (or just have fun answering questions together). Zoom or Facetime as you play for an extra sense of connection.
Art & Tell
Set up a video call as the kid’s paint, color, or craft. If parents can coordinate beforehand, you can have the kids work on the same craft at the same time. Try setting everything up on an art easel so the kids can see each other’s progress in real time. They can chat, show off their creations, and get a little creative inspiration from each other’s artwork!
Together with the parents of your kiddo’s playmate, create a list of items the kids can hunt for in their homes. Work through the list on a video call with their pal. They’ll love racing around the house to beat their friends back to the computer or phone and showing off their finds!
Work Up a Sweat
Youtube is full of fun dancing and exercise videos for kids. Set up a picture-and-picture configuration or use multiple devices so that the kids can see the video and each other at the same time. The sillier the dance moves the better!
Dress Up & Pretend
Have the kids pick out some favorite dress up costumes and let them interact with each other “in character.” Depending on their choice of characters, they can pretend that they’re princesses from different kingdoms using magic mirrors to communicate or firefighters calling each other to coordinate a rescue. Whatever they choose, help them find a way to make the devices and the distance a part of the story!
Play kitchens are a great spot to rest the laptop or phone and to coordinate some joint play! You can try to offer fun ideas to incorporate both the play kitchens and the physical distance. For example, they can pretend that they’re ordering food from a restaurant for delivery. One kiddo cooks and the food is “delivered” to the other house – bonus points if you can use similar pretend food items at both houses!
Caribu is THE app for video calls with kids. It has plenty of stories, games, and activities that kids and adults can do together, so video calls feel a little more like playtime and a little less like, well… a video call. It’s free for 60 days, but if social distancing is a long-term thing for you and your kids, investing in an account may be worth it!
You know how young toddlers don’t really play with each other so much as next to each other most of the time? That’s called parallel play, and no matter how old your child is, it’s a great approach for virtual playdates. Have kids play with similar types of toys during the video call and let them do their thing. Constructive play toys like blocks, building bricks, and train sets are perfect for this! They can peek at each other’s creations for inspiration and talk about what they’ve made.
So fire up FaceTime and get ready for some fun!