Kids are missing out on lots of conventional social interactions with their friends right now, but we’re also getting pretty good at figuring out pandemic variations on the classics. “It’s Better Than Nothing” should be everyone’s mantra by now, which is why I’m going to recommend that you let your kids have video sleepovers with their friends.
I cannot take credit for this idea — it comes from a Lifehacker commenter named Andrew, who says he restricts his daughter’s screen time during the week but loosens the reins on the weekends:
On Friday [or Saturday] evenings, she can arrange a video chat “sleepover” with a friend, where she’s allowed to stay up as late as she wants to chat / play / make art with a friend since she can’t do those things in person.
Set up a badass tent (like the one in the picture), coordinate with the other parents so that the kids can eat the same dinner together, such as pizza, or snacks, such as popcorn. Get really wild and let them have soft drink. This is a party!
To pass the time, they can play board games together, watch the same movie, build some stuff in the same Minecraft world, or just generally be giggly and chatty, the way kids having sleepovers are supposed to be.
If you want this to be a success, though, you have to think of it as a true sleepover, not just another Zoom call. Implement as few rules as possible and let them stay up as late as they want. They’ll be tired tomorrow, but they don’t have anywhere to be anyway.