Updated: Apr 17
After a year of distance learning and with summer months approaching, you may be finding yourself looking for ways to help your kids feel more connected for the rest of 2021.
The online classroom isn’t the only place for your children to connect and feel part of a community. As you look for ways to navigate online activities to foster connection, here are some things to look out for when selecting an online experience for your child or children.
Prioritize Social Interaction
Small groups with the opportunity to work as a whole and individually is a great way to establish an online community where the facilitator can focus on each child but still provide time for teamwork. Smaller groups create time for kids to share their own experiences and connect with peers. Kids get a chance to see how their individual strengths can add to a team dynamic. Whether it’s a classroom, lesson or camp, think quality over quantity.
Play and creative time that fosters social learning. Using FaceTime or Zoom where kids can play games or create crafts online can foster social learning even when they aren’t in person. Games like Pictionary, Simon Says are types of games that translate well online. Having time to guide kids through a craft or watch the same tutorial together can be a shared experience even though they are not in the same room. Set up time for your kids to play games online with friends or family!
Community events online create a space where people can gather without having to leave the comfort of their own home. When looking at online activities for your child don’t just think of the individual activity, is there a time where the group can meet as a whole and just connect? Maybe it’s a group storytelling time or online show and tell. Having an Art Night where kids can paint and talk together without a formal tutorial but the same supplies allows kids to get creative and socialize without leaving home.
Get Your Kids Moving
Kids learn better when they get up and move in whatever online experience they are engaged in. Finding online exercise classes or lessons where the facilitator incorporates movement into the curriculum can make screen time less sedentary and more active. Attending online exercise classes regularly can build a sense of community even if you aren’t sharing the same space.
Online camps and online birthdays that individualize the experience for your child. Are the facilitators using technology to make the experience special to your child? Birthday Parties at SpringSpot allow the parent to individualize the theme and types of activities your child would want at their birthday party. Our teachers guide you through an immersive storyline and offer Zoom backgrounds for each child so it feels like you’re in the same space even though you are apart. Kids leave talking about how great their party was because it was crafted with their interests in mind.
Let Their Interests Guide You
Online or offline you just want your kids to have fun! When looking for online activities for your child to do, the best thing is to navigate around their interests. Find something that they want to engage in and see if there is an online way to make that happen. Whether it's formal by signing up for a class or lesson or something you and other parents put on. Keep these things in mind when looking online:
The time works for you and for your child. Finding activities that your child can do anytime with pre-recorded videos or activities that come prepared for you are a great way to make time for your child around your schedule. The nice thing about On-Demand online content is that it's flexible to meet your needs, not relying on having to be somewhere at a certain time.
Breaks are tied in so your child isn’t in front of the screen longer than you want them to be. Whether it’s a live class or recorded activity, make sure your child is getting time away from the screen, making sure it’s part of the curriculum when choosing a class, lesson or camp.
Earning badges or rewards for participation is a great way to motivate a child to socialize online with peers or engage in an activity. Our Kids Camps are a great example of how campers can earn badges through participating in online and offline activities. Look for ways to acknowledge your child’s progress and participation in whatever online activity they engage in.
Offline opportunities can allow your child to stay engaged. Taking an online class is great, but can your child remain engaged offline as well? Look for lessons or classes that also offer an offline component. It doesn’t just provide your child with something to do but reinforces whatever lesson or activity they are engaged in. It also allows your child to share something when they meet online again.
Whatever the online activity might be, finding connection in 2021 is possible and can be enjoyable! Making time for your kids to socialize is never an easy task, so finding something online provides more flexibility and time for the parent if the activity fosters the offline experience.
Could you use a little help? Try our Kids Camps or weekly Summer Camps for an online experience that caters to smaller groups, fosters social learning and personalizes your child's experience. We look forward to helping you and your kids stay connected and feel a sense of community online.
Also check out our online events and activity boxes at www.springspot.co!