Virtual Playdate Ideas to Reconnect Kids with Friends
Ways to stay social while practicing social distancing.
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For Kids Practicing Social Distancing
The days of hanging out at the playground, playdates and team sports may be halted, but that doesn’t mean your kids need to stop interacting with their friends. There are many great ways that kids can still connect with each other, even if they can’t be in close contact.
Play a Game Over Zoom
Younger kids may have a hard time just chatting over Zoom, so why not make it a bit more interactive? Mad Libs is perfect for Zoom chats, and we can guarantee there will be plenty of laughter involved. Bingo is another great one to play and you can customize your own cards here. You can always mail out cute prizes or do doorstep drop-offs if playing with someone local.
Virtual Chess or Checkers
If your kid is into chess, checkers or any other strategy game, now is a great time to play against friends and brush up on skills. Chess.com and other apps allow you to play against each other from your phone or iPad.
You may not be able to play video games side by side, but you can still play against your friends. Nintendo Switch and other gaming systems can be set up so you can safely play against friends who know your screen name. Get ready to race Mario Karts for hours of fun!
Read or Draw Together on Caribu
Caribu is a great app for interacting with friends and family members. The app–free for 60 days–is an interactive video platform with a built-in library of stories and other activities. Friends or family can read books to each other, jointly do electronic coloring sheets or play games like tic-tac-toe.
Start a Business Together
Kids are some of the most creative people we know, so why not encourage them to flex their entrepreneurial muscles? Whether they plot out how to get more Girl Scout cookies into the homes of the quarantined; make bracelets or cards to raise money for food banks; learn to sew masks for healthcare workers; or collaborate with friends on a business project, they can use their extra time to make a difference.
There’s a new Chrome extension that lets you screen a movie or show on Netflix with friends. Load up the Chrome plug-in and one person can control the show for the entire crew. Pop popcorn together and use the chat to communicate while you watch the flick.
Even if you can’t have dinner, lunch or an ice cream party together, you can still enjoy creating it at the same time. Coordinate in advance to have the same ingredients and whip up cookies, a pizza, a sundae or any food you’d love to bond over. You can compare creations over Facetime or Zoom and then eat together.
This app is a great way for kids to let friends know that they are thinking of them. You can create groups and, just like the game Marco Polo, give friends a video shout out. When the receiver has time to login, they can send a message back and you both can continue sending clips back and forth.
If your kids are a fan of Lego Masters, now is a great time to emulate the show at home. Have your kids pick one or two friends to play with. An adult can help pick a theme and set a timer, and friends can compete against each other by building the same structure. When the time is up, adults can judge for who is truly the building master.