We’re hoping 2021 is the year we can “thank u, next” social distancing, school closures, and the pandemic in general. In the meantime, we’re here to make the waiting a little easier with safe, creative ideas to keep the kiddos connected to their friends. Whether you’re quarantining for a couple of weeks, a few months, or just keeping in touch with long-distance family, these 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.
Set up a video call as the kid’s paint, color, or craft. They can chat, show off their creations, and get a little creative inspiration from each other’s artwork. Sure, it doesn’t beat a real-life finger-painting party, but it’s a great way to “play” with their friend virtually while still doing something tactile and creative.
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!
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!
You already know that kids love the silly effects on video calls. Voice changing, fun backgrounds and silly face-changing effects add an instant fun factor to any call. Challenge older kiddos to create a play together and use the effects to act it out.
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!
We know that watching TV together isn’t exactly the creative, social play you usually hope to see during a playdate. But in these times, it’s a simple way to help kids stay in touch with their friends and find some normalcy. Start the same show on Netflix or Disney Plus and let them enjoy laughing and talking about it via Facetime or Zoom.
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!
Need alllll the tips you can get to help your kids thrive during quarantine? (Don’t worry –– same.) Take a look at our ideas for keeping kids organized and focused through the long days of homeschooling.