Keeping Kids Connected During COVID-19
by Jennifer Convissor, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) at the Shames JCC
- Creative Housecalls: Call on your talented and/or patient friends and relatives. Can grandma guide the children through a FaceTime simple baking project? Can an aunt conduct a Skype painting project? The kids will be delighted to see their loved ones, you will get a bit of a respite and the children will receive some creative enrichment.
- Screen-Free Connections: Can your child’s bestie procure a walkie-talkie and get on the same channel? At our house one day, we learned that a friend/neighbor had a walkie-talkie tuned to the same channel randomly when we heard a tiny, familiar voice coming from a device we forgot we left on! This set off a fun virtual playdate that felt like a cross between Spy Kids and a modernized Huckleberry Finn.
- Parallel Scavenger Hunts: Email a list of common items found in your local environment and have estranged buddies conduct scavenger hunts and Zoom a record of their findings.
- FaceTime Playdates: When my daughter was in kindergarten, she and her friend coincidentally were out sick on the same day. Adorably, we learned just how compatible the girls were when they passed a peaceful hour playing with their Playmobil people together over FaceTime. Just prop the screen somewhere with a view of the field of play and let them do their thing.
- Other Techno-Solutions: On Netflix Party, kids can watch a movie with their friends. Facebook Messenger now has a Kids Messenger in which a parent can control the invitees. Have a pre-scheduled dance party with Zoom! How about a Skype game night?
- Share Creativity: My girl scout troop has a bunch of girls who love pretend play and performing. We set the idea out to do a talent show. The actual event has not successfully crystallized, but it got the wheels turning in my household and my kids decided to film the “commericals”. They invented a product and a service and created cinematic advertising using the Clips program on the iPad. They had a lot of fun sharing ads with friends and family.
- Snail Mail: Yes, Coronavirus has been known to live on surfaces for three days and we’re all taking precautions, but, we all still love receiving mail and putting letters aside for three days can let the anticipation build! After a virtual visual art lesson, we sent one of the paintings to a grandparent we missed in another state and felt so good we were able to brighten his day from afar.
SEE A CLIP OF JENNIFER PRESENTING THESE TIPS FOR BROAD RIVER’S VIRTUAL LIVE EVENT:
For many, kids included, the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community is causing anxiety and stress levels to soar and become unmanageable. Please know that the Shames JCC is here for you. We ask that you never hesitate to reach out to our licensed clinical social worker, Jennifer Convissor, if you need an ear and some sound advice. Jen has a great depth of knowledge and much experience helping people at all stages of their lives, and with varying concerns and challenges. You do not need to be in dire straits to reach out!
Jen can be reached at [email protected] or 914-366-7898 ext. 1162.