As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make sure our NAN families and volunteers stay safe and practice social distancing. We also know that the weekly visit from a Nanny Angel can make all the difference to a mom with cancer and to her children and so we encourage our volunteers and families to continue their visits during COVID-19 by meeting virtually, either by phone or video conferencing.
This time is yours! Please use it however you feel is best, but if you’re a little stumped on how to have a virtual visit, our Child Life Specialist has come up with a few suggestions to get you started. Keep checking back for new Skypetivities!
1. Story Time
Want to test the waters with a virtual visit? Consider reading a book together! This is great for all ages and can be done over the phone or through any video conferencing app. You can take it a step further by creating your own stories together or pre-recording yourself reading a story for the kids to access offline. Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing, communication skills, logical thinking, concentration and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. You can access free online books for children of all ages by visiting Oxford Owl, Amazon Kindle and Scholastic Online.
2. Guessing Games
Try playing a guessing game together. This is an amazing interactive way to virtually occupy the kids and provide our moms with a chance to rest and recover. You could do this by acting out or drawing an animal or action over a video call. You could also describe a person, place or thing over a phone call. Want to make it even more fun? Get creative by using props from around the house or trying out different voice accents.
3. Play I Spy
I SPY with my little eye is an entertaining and interactive activity to enjoy with your NAN families virtually through video conferencing. Put on your binoculars and begin this mystery game to beat the boredom blues. Your background is your playing field. Try moving into different rooms to change the background and keep it entertaining. Use colours, shapes or riddles as clues. If you don’t have video, encourage the children to describe what they ‘spy’ around them and guess what they see or where they are in the house.
4. Virtual Jam Session
Do you and your NAN kids love music? Think about hosting a virtual jam session with your NAN family. This is an innovative way to engage the kids and continue to provide support to your NAN family as we practice social distancing. Try these tips to make the most of your jam session:
- Use the instruments you have, or items found around the house to make music together
- Try different rhythms and beats. Play fast, and then slow. Play something that makes you want to dance, or something to keep you calm
- Don’t have access to any instruments? Use your voice and have a sing-a-long to your favourite songs
- Prefer to move to the music rather than make it? Why not have a dance party!
- Are your NAN kids a little bit shy? Talk about your favourite music, bands or concerts you’ve been to. Play your favourite songs for each other. Or simply stay on the line, listen and enjoy the sounds of music together, yet apart
5. Virtual Tea Party
Feeling a bit parched? Have a virtual tea party! It’s a fun and engaging way to interact with the kids while practicing social distancing. It is time to get this par-TEA started! Right?
- Think about who will be invited to your tea party? For young children, encourage them to bring their favourite dolls or stuffies
- Where is your tea party happening? Are you in a café in Paris or in Alice’s Wonderland? Let your imagination run wild
- Have your NAN kids grown out of the imaginative play stage? Turn your tea date into a game. Play two truths and a lie. Tell two things about yourself that are true, and one that is a lie. Guess which one is the lie. If you get it right, you take a sip of your tea. If you get it wrong, the other person take a sip. The goal is to try to finish your tea/hot chocolate/warm milk before it gets cold!
- Not into playing games? Your tea date is an awesome time to connect. Use this time to check-in, see how they are doing and learn about their week. It can be helpful to have a few things to share too. Make it a re-occurring date to keep in touch with your NAN kids from a distance
6. At Home Scavenger Hunt
Want a fun activity to entertain the kids with on your virtual visits? Try hosting a scavenger hunt! This is an amazing way to beat the boredom blues and add an interesting twist to their day. To make your quest a bit easier, pick a theme for your hunt like the ABCs or “things you use on a rainy day.” Go around the house together searching for those items. If you are working on the Letter B, maybe you’ll go into the kitchen to find the Bread or go into the bathroom to find the bathtub.See how many things you can find! The scavenger hunt activity will work better on a tablet or a phone rather than a computer so keep this is mind when planning your activities with your NAN kids.
Do you have some great ideas that Nanny Angels can do during a virtual visit? Please let us know by emailing email@example.com