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How to keep kids social during a time of social distancing?

At the time of social distancing, keeping kids social and playful becomes a big task. Endless video chatting and Youtube streaming can also be sometimes ineffective. Hence, check out these ideas to keep your child social during a time of social distancing.

Lockdown period is not only boring for adults but it is also frustrating for the kids. And on top of it, the clause of 'social distancing' makes it further difficult. By the term, 'Social Distancing' it does not mean to stay away only from your social media, rather it means to maintain a certain degree of remoteness from the other group of people. However, social distancing is not isolation. Interaction can be continued as it strengthens social skills in children. According to medical experts, social distancing can help in stopping the spread of Coronavirus infection.

During this pandemic period, every school, college and other educational institution including the work areas have been shut down for more than two weeks. As a precautionary measure, kids are being kept at home to keep them safe and protected. Although doctors think that children, who get in contact with Coronavirus are not that affected as much as adults, still they can be the carrier of the same and may infect the other members of the family or group. And many a time, symptoms are not visible from the Day 1 of the infection, therefore, to stop this transmission and its further spread, it is important to follow the rule of social distancing. This (unanticipated) vacation has made our children lazy as well as cranky as they are unable to go out for their playtime or for any recreation, neither they can go to their friend's place for an indoor play session. It is totally understandable that parents may get short of ideas on how to keep their children happy and social when they are at home for more than a week and that too with no idea that when the normal situation will resume.

Social distancing is not isolation. Interaction can be continued as it strengthens social skills in children.

There can be a number of ways to keep your kids social during this social distancing, however, the best way should be a creative one. Sharing here some good ways to keep your child social during the time of social distancing.

1. Play together

Playing together does not mean that make a big gathering and play, rather, go for any board game and play with your child. This board game can be your kid's favourite one or you can introduce any new one to him. But remember it should be an age-appropriate so that your child can have fun as well as can understand the logic behind that game. Playing board games can be a good choice while staying indoors. They are good for brain development as well as it makes your child understand about the teamwork.

2. Dance Together

Dancing is of my favourite past time activities and even my kids enjoy it a lot. :D This activity not only helps the children to stay active rather it uplifts their happy mood. Dancing together can also be a fun time for a family and through this kids enjoy their bonding with the family. Social distancing can refrain someone to interact with the society for some time, but dancing can still maintain the ignition of social skills in a human.

3. Indulge in Art

Art not only develops fine motor skills in children but also helps them to express their mind through different mediums. Being socially active not only means to be talkative; it also says that how do you interact with the outer world in different ways. Art can be of anything - sketching, painting, music, dance, poetry, clay work, collage work, etc.

Hence, utilise this lockdown time to bring out the art in your child. Give them crayons, oil pastels, watercolours, etc and ask them to draw and colour on paper that they want to and show off their creativity.

4. Spend some time together

Spending some good time with children always renders the positive outcome. It not only boosts the confidence in a child but it also helps a child to open up with his parents. It will make him feel that he can express and share his feelings and thoughts freely with his parents and they are there with him in every situation. Hence, take this social distancing and lockdown period positively and spend some time with your child to make him social.

5. Online Educational games

Many of you must be in perception that online games has a negative impact and it hinders the child's ability to learn. However, it is not 100% correct. Online educational games strengthen the logical thinking capability of a child. A study has found that online games are one of the ways to improve social skills in children. (Ref: Video games may improve children's intellectual and social skills, study finds) It improves social and communication skills in children. Moreover, children with attention disorder get a lot of benefit from these online educational games. These online games can be a quiz, puzzle, sudoku, crossword, etc.- anything that catches the attention with the use of concentration.

Besides, always keep an eye on your child's online activity. For example, which site he/she is browsing and which game he/she is playing. At the same time, there should be a time limit for this online gaming activity as an excess of anything is not good always.

Lastly, I would say that this is a tough time, being confined in a house is no-way easy for none of us. However, the more you stay connected, the more you will feel stronger.

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