Bonding with Kids While Social Distancing
Staying inside while social distancing can be challenging for children and their families. With all the restrictions during this pandemic, children are missing their regular routines and people they love, which can be stressful and difficult to understand. However, this additional time at home has also created opportunities for families to build a bonding experience. Making a conscious effort to connect through activities indoors and outdoors can help bring a positive time to destress. When it’s time to put the school work aside, here are some inexpensive ways to get creative and share quality time together while at home.
“During a moment of time in which the world needed everyone to stay apart…We stayed in together” - unknown
Backyard Splash Day – Temperatures are rising in Texas and it makes for a perfect cool down session! Pull out the pools, waterslides, or sprinklers to make your own waterpark getaway. Relax and enjoy splashing around as a family in the backyard under the sun.
Movie Theater from Home - Catch your favorite movies in the comfort of your own living room! Create your own box office for ticket sales and concession stands with popcorn, favorite snacks, and drinks. Give your child the full theater experience by allowing them to role play as employees or visitors of your exclusive theater.
Write Letters or Draw Pictures to Snail Mail – Break out the art supplies and get creative together! This is a wonderful way to stay connected with family members and friends who you may miss spending time with. Don’t forget to send encouraging art or notes to our first responders and nonprofits that are helping families affected by the pandemic or to nursing home residents and hospital patients who may be missing their loved ones.
Karaoke Night – Gather the whole family and make your own pretend microphone out of a used paper towel roll or a hairbrush and get ready to sing the night away. You don’t need an expensive karaoke machine to be able to enjoy an electrifying night of harmony. Play your favorite songs with lyrics on YouTube and cast it on your living room television for an entertaining singing session.
Explore the Fort Worth Zoo Animals Virtually – Every few days you can learn about the life of the creatures inside the Fort Worth Zoo via their live feed on Facebook. Learn interesting, fun facts about the life at the zoo and watch the zoo keepers interact with the animals. You may even discover you might be raising the next zoologist!
Sharing Highs and Lows – Sometimes bonding and destressing with your child can mean simply checking-in with each other at dinner time or before heading to bed. Sharing your highs of the day can be things that happened that were exciting, fun, or happy. The lows can consist of things that may have been challenging, upsetting, or sad. This is a perfect teaching moment to help your children express how they are feeling and for parents to take interest and help with any unresolved feelings.
Scavenger Hunt – Create your own checklist of items to search for during an indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt. The list can be as simple as locating items that are a certain color, size or texture. Challenge your children to use their “I Spy” eyes while taking a stroll around your neighborhood or while inside your home to point out the objects as they discover them.
Creative Chalk Mosaic Project – Grab your painter’s tape and favorite chalk and get ready to create a masterpiece with your child! This can be done on a wooden fence or sidewalk and the best part is that it is completely washable. Start by creating your shapes with the tape and then color in each shape with a different colored chalk. No worries if you color over the lines! When finished coloring the shapes, it’s time to lift the tape and reveal your beautiful mosaic.
Dance Off on TikTok – TikTok is currently wildly popular amongst teens and is a great way to bond with your child while showing them your best dance moves! New dances are trending daily on TikTok and it’s a great opportunity to learn silly and lively dance moves together to share on the social media platform. This can also lead to a conversation about being safe online. Although TikTok is a fun app for children and teens, it does present some dangers if we are not careful.
Quarantine Keepsake – This time during the pandemic has been a unique experience; we are truly living history. Make a memorable keepsake to remember the experience, so that one day you can look back and appreciate the time spent together at home as a family and reminisce on challenges faced. Get creative and print photos taken during this time, trace and cut family handprints, clip newspaper articles, or even create a memory box together.
“When the world stayed apart this was my favorite place to be.” – unknown
We are all learning to be flexible and adapting to an interesting time of social distancing. Allowing bonding and destressing time can bring the family closer together and make the experience memorable and positive for everyone. While it is a difficult time, the more connected we are together, the more we can help make this isolation period go smoother for everyone. Don’t forget to keep washing those hands and stay safe!
About the Author
Pera Claros is the Community Educator at Alliance For Children and spends her time talking with children about personal body safety and Internet safety. Pera is passionate about empowering young children and works diligently alongside her team to prevent child abuse in Tarrant County. In her free time, Pera loves spending time with her nieces and nephews.