Kids miss in-real-life playdates, and parents are worried about the current lack of social-emotional skill-building opportunities. The (not perfect, but still fun) solution? Virtual playdates! Zoom is not just for business meetings — it’s also giving kids a chance to connect with their peers during this long pandemic period.
While kids still have the opportunity to see their friends during remote learning or hybrid learning, they still need that one-on-one social engagement that allows them to play, relax, and hang out together. A virtual playdate can definitely consist of two kids engaging in a round of Among Us or Roblox, but there are also simple ways to get back to classic play over WiFi. It does require a bit of pre-planning, but it can be done!
Have each child come to the virtual playdate with their Pokémon cards, baseball cards, or other collectibles. They can show what they have to each other and even do virtual swaps. After the playdate, parents can swap envelopes with trading cards or collectibles in them.
Kids can have fun making crafts together! One parent can put together a baggie of various items like craft sticks, glue, construction paper, pom-poms, and ribbon and give one to each child. They can then each make a unique craft with the items and see how creative they can be! Alternatively, look up one of our Toy Insider Parents craft posts and get the supplies to make the craft. Just send the list of supplies in advance to the other parent, or drop off the materials before the virtual playdate. For a cute bag for the materials, that can also be part of the crafting fun, check out these scratch paper gift bags from Purple Ladybug.
Just because kids cannot play with dolls together IRL, they can still have doll fun over Zoom. Have each child bring their favorite doll or plush to the call. Then, they can each act out a play or scene for the other child. For older children, they can even use the doll for a game of charades. They can also extend the fun by recording their fun to create a music video with their dolls after coming up with the moves and music.
While it can be hard to play games virtually, it can be done even if one does not have two copies of a physical game. Some virtual game ideas are playing Simon Says, Would You Rather?, and Pictionary. On Zoom, you can use the polling feature and set up questions such as, “Would you rather have pizza or pasta?” Then, kids can vote for their choice. Alternatively, you can use the whiteboard function, and each child can take turns drawing an item for the other child to guess.
Check out charlenechronicles.com for more Zoom playdate ideas, or check out physical toy ideas that you can buy for each child to use during the playdate.