Ways for kindergarden-age kids to socialize online?
March 16, 2020 1:23 PM   Subscribe

My almost-five-year-old son's school is closed. As an adult, I'm able to address a lot of the isolation of social distancing via video conferencing tools. Does anyone know of ways to do that that might work for little kids? I'd love to organize some sort of structure through which his school friends can "be together" online, whether one-on-one or in groups.

Are there games or activities kids can do together online? (My hope is for them to be able to actually see each other and interact, as opposed to playing an onlne game where they don't see each other).
posted by ManInSuit to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
(i'm thinkng maybe a game of Simon Says over zoom? Or reading an interactive story like "the Book with no pictures". Or something like that but better... Any experiences/ideas/suggestions very much appreciated. Also happy to hear about failed experiments and what went wrong...)
posted by ManInSuit at 1:43 PM on March 16

My elementary-school-aged kid has been having a blast FaceTiming with friends individually. The kids don’t seem to need an actual activity to do or focused thing to talk—the novelty of using FaceTime has been exciting enough for them.
posted by TEA at 4:56 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]

Could you do google hangouts so he can talk to his friends while they engage in some kind of mutual activity, i.e. watching a movie? Something simple. He can even just have structured time to video chat with his friends while they each free play. At least then they can talk. Kind of like parallel play, which isn't uncommon at that age anyway.
posted by Amy93 at 6:56 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]

For anyone reading this: It is 100% possible!! We did it! We got a dozen classmates together in zoom. We treated like a little classroom, with fun structured activities: The kids did show-and-tell with objects around their homes, and we read a story with lots of participation, and they took turns telling jokes. It went great and we'll do it again soon! It wasn't as hard as I thought. The kids were really happy to see each other. Some judicious use of the mute button was helpful but not essential.
posted by ManInSuit at 11:22 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]

I've wondered if using Zoom/Hangouts/Skype on a big TV would be easier for kids, like a window into the other world where they could run around and play, but also go up to the "window" and show friends stuff.
posted by advicepig at 7:09 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]

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