It has been very uplifting to see children playing with their friends once again.
It has and continues to be a very surreal time in all of our lives for so many different reasons. We will never forget 2020, that's for sure. A couple of months ago we worried that our children and their friends would suffer and struggle with such a profound break in their routine. With school closures and social distancing guidelines we feared the future and what it meant for our family unit. Now, as provisions are being made to re-open the country in a phased manner, we must once again adjust to another level of change.
Our children have shown us their incredible resiliance throughout this experience. They have adjusted, sometimes too well, to the change they have been met with. Many parents find themselves nervously excited about the next phase of change that is set to hit Ireland. If all goes well on June 8th we will be permitted to enter other people's homes for a short period of time provided social distancing is considered.
For a week or two now we've been seeing parents dipping their toe in the play-date water so to speak. Children have been given some freedom to play with their friends in their housing estate or in their back garden in a way that still maintains a social distance. It has been very uplifting to see children playing with their friends once again. Parents are reporting a huge difference in their children's mood, emotional well-being and even their sleeping habits.
But how on earth does one have a socially distant play-date? How does a parent encourage their children to exercise/play with their friend while keeping the recommended distance? Here are some creative ideas that we really loved. We hope they help you too.
Guess Who In The Garden
We just loved this idea. One mum set up a game of guess who with her daughter and her friend. They were very much together but apart as they giggled and played. This could work with a number of different board games. How creative.
Themed Video Calls With A Little More Freedom
Sometimes all our children want is a little freedom. Why not set them up with a virtual play date where they can talk about Pokemon, Dinosaurs, Princesses or whatever takes their fancy. This time let them have a little bit of space away from their parents. We know that for many people in rural Ireland in-person play dates will not be possible for quite some time so this could be a nice novelty.
Have A Car Play Date
This is so simple but so clever at the same time. Grab some snacks or treats and socialise from your car while parked beside your child's friend. The bonus here is that you get to have adult conversation with their parent too.
Scoot At The Park
The great thing about scooters and bikes is that children are always trying to out-do each other. It's a great option for a fun play-date that also keeps them apart.
Teddy Bear Picnic In The Garden
Sometimes keeping it simple is what works best. Grab a blanket, a couple of teddies and your favourite snacks. A socially distant teddy bear picnic with your best pal sounds quite lovely doesn't it?
We Had To Include This One Too
This is completely adorable. She's "swinging" with her cousin. We are not able!