As lockdowns continue and parents practice social distancing in order to stay safe, video play dates are once again on the rise. While virtual playdates cannot replace in-person interaction, they can be a great way for your children to see their young friends and family, all while having fun and getting some much-need play time in. If you are looking for some interesting ideas for video play dates, consider the following social distancing-friendly ideas that are perfect for younger children aged about 3 to 5.
Virtual Baking Party
If your young child loves to bake, then why not throw a virtual baking party? This one will require some prep work on part of both sets of adults, but it’s well worth the effort. For this idea, decide on a kid-friendly baking project, have everyone purchase duplicate ingredients, and set the camera in front of the table or counter so that the kids can bake at the same time.
Play Video-Friendly “Hide and Seek”
Virtual hide and seek can be exciting and fun! For this version of hide and seek, parents will need to be on hand to help out. Have one child count while the other hides in their own home, then have the parent of the hidden child follow the directions of the seeker–they can tell them to look in certain rooms, look under certain objects, and so on.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are always great fun, and they’re very social distancing friendly! Have either the children or adults create the list of things to be found, then read them off one by one–it’s best do to these hunts object by object in order to keep interaction at a maximum–and each child can bring the found object back to the screen to be shown off.
Charades is a highly popular game for video play dates for a reason: it’s a perfect visual game that can be done through a screen. To make this easier for younger kids, pick a simple category that they will be able to understand–such as “animals,” rather than broader categories (fairy tales, movies, etc) that are better for older kids.
Show and Tell
Show and tell is one of the most popular days at school for a reason: kids love to show off their favorite toys or special objects. Video play dates lend themselves well to show and tell, since it’s all about letting your kid have a moment where they hold something up to the screen and talk about it. If you have regular video play dates, establishing a “show and tell day” can be a great way to introduce a fun routine.
Simon Says works just as well in a virtual setting as it does in person! This is a simple, fun game that is perfect for younger children who will get a kick out of being “Simon” and giving their friends fun instructions.