Seeing more friends and family is a big change for parents and children after lockdown – a situation mums and dads have to prepare for. We want to support our children’s vital social and emotional development and play is one of the best ways to do that. That includes getting them ready to see friends and go back to school, and preparing them after months of home learning and reduced social schedules.
We’ve teamed up with Pom-Bear to promote its #PomBearAndPals campaign. Pom-Bear has created the Pom-Bear & Pals Guide: A fun guide to help rebuild your child’s social confidence. The Guide has great low-cost ideas, tools and tips to aid in this reconnecting process in a fun, playful way along with other top tips and ideas to keep families entertained, connected and forming their new routines.
Pom-Bear want to support and inspire parents as they prepare their children for fun with friends, transition back to nursery or school, cope with social distancing and get over any awkwardness as a result of lockdown*. It’s all about finding individual new ‘normal’ family routines. This post is sponsored by Pom-Bear.
* Always check and follow Government social distancing advice when seeing people outside of your household.
Here, we highlight 5 top tips and ideas from the Pom-Bear & Pals Guide that help you and your children establish a happy new routine.
5 ways to help build your little one’s social confidence again post-lockdown
1. Play Teacher
Grab a white board, notepad or tablet, then have your child teach their friends a lesson or a new skill – it could be a magic trick or all about their favourite topic or skill. This helps build confidence, reminds them of the school experience with friends and provides an opportunity for them to bring up concerns or fears about returning to school.
2. Plan a Teddy Bear’s Friend Picnic
Set up a picnic in the garden or living room and collect teddies to play the role of your child’s friends. Players give the teddy bears the names of their friends (who aren’t there) and introduce them to each other, saying one fact about the person or something they love about their friends. The children are responsible for the table manners of their teddies. It’s a fun way for children to communicate how they are feeling, practice their manners, remind themselves of what they like about their friends and think about what they would like to do with their friends when they see them.
3. Do virtual Show and Tell with Friends
By now we’re used to video calls. Mix it up with virtual show and tell: Explain to everyone that there will be a number of rounds in which all will show and tell something for each category. Categories could include:
- Something you’ve made
- Something you learnt when in lockdown
- Something you think someone on this call would really like and why
- Put on an outfit that you think someone on this call would find funny and why
- Show a toy that you think someone on this call would like and why
This provides some great structure while providing a way to think of others and allows children to proudly show what they have put thought and effort into during lockdown.
4. Have interactive storytime
Dial up the fun of video-chat story time but by setting challenges. Your children are tasked to go and find certain objects which the storyteller calls out during the story – kind of like a story scavenger hunt. Once it’s finished, children can make up their own story using the same objects as prompts and tell it to another family member. This promotes listening and comprehension, can help with vocabulary and support emotional attachment.
5. Balance your approach to play
It’s great to allow for plenty of active, social, imaginative play, and also some quiet time for concentrating – board games for logic, listening and learning to win/lose well and educational toys to keep them stimulated before going back to school.
Why parents should plan for socialising
Establishing play opportunities into everyday routines can help children see socialising as normal again and help build on important social skills on a daily basis. Visit the Pom-Bear & Pals Guide, filled with fun and low-cost games to help us families build our new routines following lockdown. It’s great for ideas and inspiration – perfect if you need some structure and ideas after months of childcare and home learning.
Pom-Bear is a perfect snack for families. The individual bags are great for everyday occasions no matter what we’re doing – picnics in the garden, games in the park, visits to family members…wherever you are going! Pom-Bear is light but fun and tasty, and suitable for little ones as it contains no artificial colours or flavours, is gluten-free and has under 100 calories per bag.
Get inspired ideas and download the Pom-Bear & Pals Guide now!