Being cooped up at home all the time isn’t easy for anyone. Parents have to keep working while doubling as homeschool teachers. And kids don’t get to spend in-person time with their friends and are probably pretty antsy at this point. That’s why you should set up a virtual show-and-tell for them using FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom.
Kids love show-and-tell: They get to tell someone about a beloved object and have a platform and audience talk about what they feel passionate about at the moment. (That dollar-store slinky they were obsessed with last week may not be cutting it anymore.) They can show off artwork that they’ve made while they’ve been at home, sing a song or just show you what it looks like at their house and how they’re feeling that particular day.
As a parent, you’re probably used to your kids’ babbling and may even want a break from it, given how much time you’ll be spending together for the foreseeable future. That’s where virtual show-and-tell comes in handy: Grandparents, aunties and uncle will gobble that shit up. Just ask them for a time when they’re free for a FaceTime call, make the call, hand the phone to the kids and take a minute to breathe. You could also use it as one of their “lessons” during their at-home school day. They can take turns calling different friends or family members each day to give everyone some variety.
Or, if your kiddos’ grandparents want to see them on FaceTime as much as possible, but the kids run out of things to say, virtual show-and-tell can be a lifesaver. Instead of them just blankly staring at themselves on the screen or answering every question with “I don’t know,” this gives you a ready-made conversation topic.
If you want to get fancy, you can even pick themes for each show-and-tell session. For instance, one day you can have them pick something that’s red, and another day have them go with something they deem their “favourite” (like favourite book, favourite hat, favourite socks, etc). And of course, the person on the other side of the call can participate if they want to by showing and telling about their own object (though kids might not enjoy this part as much and protest/run away).
I’ve been doing FaceTime show-and-tell with my friends’ kids (ages two and five) for the past few weeks. During that time, I’ve seen chess trophies, breakdance moves (specifically, the coffee grinder), artwork, a hopscotch game, their toes, some really fun pajamas and a lot of close-ups on their little faces. These calls don’t necessarily need to be long—just a nice quick break from our new, isolating routines.