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April 1, 2021

Keeping Kids Social during the Pandemic

By Allison Reynolds

As we move into Spring, we are still faced with the many effects and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be difficult for parents to navigate the social impacts it has had on children. While many of us are still practicing physical distancing, social distancing can be mediated with connections to friends and family – whether virtually or in person.

Encourage outdoor activities with friends

There are plenty of ways children can see friends in a safe and fun outdoor setting. This allows your children to catch up with classmates while burning off extra energy and staying healthy. A few ways your child can get active outside with their friends include:

Some of these activities require adult supervision or additional equipment to ensure safety. Make sure to have procedures set in place to monitor swimming children, and make sure your child uses safety pads and a helmet when biking or rollerblading.

Keep in contact with family members

If there are family members your child cannot see in person, set up video calls for them. This allows your child to maintain the relationship and connection they have with that family member. Share photos of family with your child and allow them to recall memories they have with them. Allow your child to write letters to send off to loved ones and include pictures or drawings they have created during their time at home.

Get your family out of the house

Being cooped up inside the house together can lead to tension, anxiety and frustration. Give yourself and your family a mental reset with outdoor activities you can do together like:

Children who are homeschooled or participating in remote learning need this outdoor time to unwind from a long day at their computer. These activities are fun for the whole family and can create good memories your child can remember when they think back to this difficult time.

Let your child ask questions

The pandemic is a confusing topic that can induce fear in your child. Focus on centering your answers around helping your child feel safe while also remaining truthful. If your child shares fears with you around COVID-19, reassure them that it’s normal and okay to be fearful, but typically kids don’t seem to get as sick as adults when they contract the virus.

The easiest way to navigate new challenges is to do it as a family. It is vital that your child can maintain and foster new connections to promote their social growth. For more safe and fun outdoor activities to try, check out our Day Trips page!

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