Wow! This year is going to look so different as we run out 2020 and begin 2021. The pandemic requires us to alter plans to celebrate virtually and safely. It can be hard to spend a lot of time socially engaging on video but it’s also so important to connect with loved ones. Here are a few ideas from Integrated Pediatric therapists to make virtual holidays successful.
Just like in person holidays, with a little preplanning, virtual holidays can be celebrated with success and meaning. Try scheduling 10-30 minute gatherings throughout your holiday season with family and friends from afar. Have a purpose for each get together. This will be especially helpful for our youngest celebrators. Think “The Twelve Days of Virtual Christmas,” “The Eight Nights of Virtual Hanukkah,” or “The Seven Days of Virtual Kwanza,” and make it fun!
Many of the ideas below make great gifts too. Sharing time together with your child can be the best gift of all. Households can take charge of a craft, and mail or drop off the supplies to families’ homes. Bonus, preparing in advance gives you more structured activities to fill the day.
- Praise the positive: have each family member think about something they’ve appreciated about a person on the call. You can say or draw it, then take turns sharing during the call.
- Create a craft: homemade wreath, homemade dreidel, homemade woven mat. Create your crafts together during the call or show off the finished products.
- Game time: holiday charades, guess the song (played via YouTube or your phone), or trivia are great for video calls.
- Share your community: take a walk through your neighborhood and snap a few photos of your favorite decorations, the best snow people creations, or nature. Then screen share your photos during the video call.
- Share a meal: dress in your most festive gear and share a glass of hot chocolate virtually, decorate desserts together, or eat a full meal in the comfort of your pjs. Consider decorating your background for more fun.
- Share an object: Pick a favorite item or photograph in your home (with a theme or not) and hold the item up for all to see on the call.
As with all events, prepare your child in advance so they know what to expect, and find ways for your child to feel helpful, capable, and proud. Happy holidays.