Top 10 Virtual Kids Playdate Ideas

While Sweden’s kids may still be officially in school and daycare, there are many of us parents who have chosen to take our kids out to self-isolate and physically distance ourselves during this unnerving Covid-19 pandemic. It’s unfamiliar and confusing for us all, especially our little ones. This is not about how to console them or coach them through as I am not qualified to do that! What I am able to do though, is give a bit of my time to helping you find ways to keep your kids occupied and connected, while remaining at a distance from their social circles and support community.

A few things before we get into our list of ideas!

General advice:

Keep it relaxed (as one parent to another, we know they smell stress and anxiety), don’t force it, you can always call back or try again another day. Keep it short, it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out replacement of an in-person playdate which would have lasted at least an hour. Finally, let the kids come up with ideas for future virtual playdates. Take the planning stress off you and get them involved!

1

Scavenger Hunt

This could be a fun way to get the kids moving and if they are older even become a race of sorts, a la The Great Race. As the weather improves (yipee!) head out for a physically distant from others hunt for things in nature. A quick google search can help you find lists of things to hunt for. Here are 2 to start with, one for indoor and one for outdoor.

2

Dance Off

Get the music going and get moving. Perhaps each kid can pick a song and they can choose to just let go free style, have a dance off, or follow the leader style dancing. If you have older kids maybe you can try Just Dance, our 6yr old is  big fan of following along and maybe you can challenge friends to see who can learn the most moves? Some of our fav little kid songs are by Raffi, The KiBoomers and classic American 50s era jams.


3

Story Time

Each pick a favorite book and have the parent read aloud to everyone. If you have early readers have them try reading to their friend. If you have older kids challenge them to a poetry reading perhaps?!

4

Board or Card Game

Check in to see if you each have the same board game at home, or see if one friend would be willing to play and let the other “play” for you with the game they have? Candy Land anyone? This is also a good one to try with Grandparents and other family we can’t be with. You could also try an easy Tic Tac Toe style game. Kid friendly card games we like are memory, Go Fish, Old Maid, or for some Uno is doable.


5

Art Time

Find a shared coloring page to print off (LBA coloring pages coming soon!), draw, or color/paint to send to each other, or try a game of pictonary. For the older ones, there are lots of good “how to draw” tutorials out there with a quick web search. If they are up for it, perhaps you can get them to try drawing each other!

6

Kid Interviews

Inspiring the next generation of investigative journalists. Perhaps you can try a parent led toddler/kid survey. Friends can get to know each other and their families. If they are older, perhaps they can start with the provided list and add their own questions. This particular resource is for parents to ask their kids but, I think its a great place to start and you can search out other kid-friendly survey question lists if you like!


7

Show and Tell

Give guidelines to the kids, maybe suggest 3-5 items, give them a time limit for picking out the items to share. Set the timer and have the kids tell each other what it is, what its for, and why they like it. Take turns, limit to a few minutes per item.

8

Band practice/Sing Along

Grab a musical instrument of choice and have at it! Or, perhaps have them listen to an easy song to start and see if they can repeat it. Try a kid friendly YouTube channel to get kids singing and jammin’ along. Musical Dots perhaps?


9

Shared Play

This may seem obvious, or maybe it isn’t! Select a few types of toys each family has and suggest you play together. Example, each have a train set? build it so that you can have the train continue on the track on the other end of the line. Or, don’t over complicate it and just have the kids playing play dough at the same time and see who comes up with what. Set a time limit and rules on touching the device being used to have the virtual meetup and off you go! Try, blocks, legos, dolls, cars, and so on!

10

Parent led Learning Game

The idea I have is geared toward the smaller ones, but I’m sure everyone can come up with something no matter the age of the kids! Try using blocks or whatever toys you have to see if you can engage the kids in a lesson/play time on colors, numbers, or letters. Maybe a mini magic show to keep their attention and help them continue some learning at the same time!


11

Before the Playdate To-Do List

As the parents, here is a helpful checklist of things to do pre-virtual playdate. I love a good list.

  • Agree upon the time for the call. What time of day and for how long it will last. Set up a different time to catch up as parents, this one is for the kids.
  • Agree on who will call whom and who will hang up (avoid the inevitable argument and let the kids know ahead of time! ya think I’ve done this before? ;)).
  • Agree on what App the call/video will be on.
  • Settle on a few playdate options to suggest to the kids. Let that be the first thing they decide on the call if they are old enough to.
    • Gather toys/supplies needed for those suggested activities.
  • Agree upon the shared rules of the virtual playdate so the kids can be prepared ahead of time.
    •  Who will hold the device, what will happen if they walk away, etc.
    • Rules for individual activity that is chosen: Example) say the kids chose show and tell, agree on the time you feel is good for how long the kids have to search out their items, and how long they can show them. So on and so forth.

Hope these ideas help keep your little ones connected and engaged, and take the weight off of you parents a tiny bit. Also, we’d love to hear what you do. How do you use virtual meetups with friends and family? What would you add to the list?



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