If your kids are anything like mine, they are talking about missing their friends and family and wondering when they will get to see them again. One of the positives of this situation happening in 2020 is that we have so many ways to stay connected with one another. If your kids are wanting to spend time virtually with their friends and loved ones, here are a few ways they can do it using free apps!
Zoom is a great way to have a video group chat with friends. If you set up an account, you can make as many 40 minutes video calls as you want! Kids can chat, show each other their rooms, and play games like:
- Bingo (get a free Bingo card here)
- Guess Who (both kids need the game boards to play)
- Would you rather?
They can also practice their reading skills by taking turns reading to each other or turn on some music and have a dance party together. Set up your account to use Zoom on your phone or computer.
Caribu is an app that allows you to read kids’ books and play games together. They are offering 60 days of free and unlimited access to the family-friendly app. This app is perfect for grandparents to feel like they’re having a virtual playdate with their grandkids. Download it here.
Facebook Messenger Kids allows kids to chat with their friends from their device or your phone. Kids can use Facebook Messenger Kids to video chat, send audio messages, send stickers and emojis, and play games like Guess the Llama. The great thing about this app is that parents can see what their kids are doing on it and approve contacts. Kids can also chat with adult Facebook profiles that you’ve approved like grandma and grandpa! Download it here.
Houseparty app (kids over 13)
If your teens are missing their friends, tell them to check out the Houseparty app. They can use the app to video chat and play games with their friends on their phones. This app is recommended for ages 13 and up because you can potentially chat with strangers and there’s a live video feed. Parents, it’s also a fun way to connect with your friends during this time! Download it here.
If apps aren’t your thing, here are some non-tech ideas for staying in touch!
Write each other letters, mail a hug, and send drawings
If you want to try something old school, have your kid write a letter or send a drawing to their friend through the mail! Set up some pandemic penpals for your kid to write to until they can see them again. Elderly family members would especially enjoy this and you can even mail them a hug!
Chalk a message
If your kids live close to their friends, go on a walk, bring some chalk, and leave a nice message for them on their driveway or sidewalk! It will brighten their day.