Your preschoolers are definitely missing their friends by now. Here are some ideas for how to recreate a sense of community using the digital tools you have available.
- Regular zoom calls. Whether you’re hosting daily or weekly zoom calls focused on learning, don’t forget to think about how you can foster community on those calls. Make sure at least one of your virtual hangouts is truly focused on community.
- Host a weekly Show & Share and give each child a chance to share about something in their home life.
- Dedicate one zoom call to just saying “hi” to each other and waving.
- Spend time sharing your screen as you look through old photos of the kids. You can use this time to reminisce about this you’ve done and make plans for what you’ll do in the future.
- Send a collection of photos to all of your parents. Parents can print these out for their child or just store them on their phone so they can scroll through. Parents can ask questions like, “I wonder what your friend Tyler is doing today?” and “Remember when we went to the zoo with Erica?” to spark conversations about the friends they miss.
- Use photos of your kids to create a picture book inspired by Eric Carle’s Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See? Instead of animals at the zoo, feature the children in your class. Send a digital copy to families so they can print. Google slides is a free and easy tool you can use for this project. Simply export as a .pdf file and print or share!
- Create a free Slack channel for your families and encourage parents to share photos and videos of their children. This also allows parents to vent about frustrations they are having and seek help on new behaviors that might be arising during this time.
- Continue using the Wonderschool app to communicate with parents. You can share activity ideas, favorite songs, and cherished memories on a regular basis.
This is a challenging time for everyone, and it can be painful to hear how your little ones are struggling at home. Small efforts to keep everyone connected can really go a long way, both for the children and for their parents!