Socialization is vital to our children’s development as they learn how to share, read and express emotions, problem solve, and above all, have fun with their peers! This year, parents have had to get more creative than ever when it comes to socialization inside and outside of the home. Social distancing may have thrown a wrench in our normal playdate and meetup plans, but it doesn’t have to get in the way of your child’s friendships and fun. Here are 5 ways you can keep your kids social while social distancing in Pittsburgh.
Small group, in-person playdates are beginning to make a reappearance in social circles nationwide. Parents are working together to develop social “pods” or “quaranteams” that keep their interactions limited to a small network while following social distancing and safety precautions outside of the group. These groups are then free to socialize safely with each other in their “bubble” or network. While many traditional playdate meetup spots and activities in Pittsburgh remain closed, there are still ways to keep children safe and social. Snapology of Pittsburgh is the perfect host for your next small group playdate. You chose the kids, the location, and the theme and Snapology will take care of the rest. One of their certified Snapologists will provide the freshly sanitized supplies, the fun and entertainment, and shh…. a little bit of education, too.
Social media can be a scary place for children and young adults, but it’s hard to keep an ever-watchful eye on our children in this age of technology and social distancing. For parents who want to keep their children communicating with peers but don’t feel comfortable with them going full blown social media, there are safer alternatives. Facebook has a messenger app alternative called Messenger Kids which is helping parents and kids feel safer online. The platform is designed with a younger audience in mind with some restrictions and adaptations to keep information private and safe. With any social media app, be sure to do your own research, be open with your children, and trust your instincts.
Though social distancing requires us to remain physically distant, families, friends, and peers from around the world are able to connect virtually like never before. This pandemic provided us with so many challenges but rewarded us with innovation, creativity, and technology to fill in the social and education gaps. Virtual classes on topics ranging from the arts to the sciences are now available at our fingertips. Children from all over the country are now able to share ideas, have fun, and learn something new with each other. Virtual vendors like Snapology and Outschool are excellent resources for parents looking for a wide variety of educational, fun, and social virtual classes for their children.
Virtual playdates and meetups are the perfect solution for parents who want to keep their social calendars full from the safety of their own homes. All you need is an internet connection, some friends, and some creativity! Be sure to have a playdate theme or game to keep kiddos involved and interacting with each other. Have each child share something that they learned that week with each other and take turns asking questions about it. Draw pictures or make crafts together. Or if you want a little more structure to your playdate, contact a host like Snapology to help plan a playdate based on a theme of your choice. A Snapology instructor will lead all of the playdate activities, discussions, and make sure that each child feels welcome and has plenty of opportunities to socialize and share. Themes can range from fun and creative to educational and science-based.
Mark your calendars - Friday family game nights and Sunday family dinners are still on! Virtual calls are an awesome way to stay safe and connected with family members from all over the country for birthday celebrations, holidays, or just weekly get-togethers. Easy and fun to play party games like Jackbox will keep your family howling with laughter. Organize your own version of “Minute to Win It” with common household items like plastic cups and pennies. Have a virtual talent show with all the kiddos or have the parents teach a painting or cooking class. Family nights are officially back and better than ever with the help of technology.