Ways to Stay InTouch Distantly with Family and Friends

By: Easterseals Central Illinois Therapists

Most of us love the excitement of visiting or getting visits from families and friends.   Right now we are helping to keep everyone healthy by staying at home.  This will not last forever, but while we are stuck at home we can be creative to stay connected with people outside of our home.  We all miss hugs, high fives, and playing with neighbors, cousins, grandparents, kids at school, and other family friends, but there are ways we can still stay connected to our loved ones from home!

  • Talk to your child about how there are different ways to visit people we love:  Sometimes we see them in person at their house or our house, sometimes we talk by phone or Facetime.  Right now everybody is practicing visiting with people in new ways, but later we will be able to visit in person again. 

  • Schedule time to visit remotely: If your child has a set routine of visiting or spending time with someone regularly (such as a grandparent), work to set up a schedule for a short phone, facetime, or skype session for him to look forward to (this could be daily, weekly…..).  Kids often do well having the structure a designated time gives to their routine.   This also gives parents a specific answer to questions of when they will get to talk to or see _______.
  • Written Word: Write email, notes, or letters to each other (notes and letters can be mailed or you can take a picture of the note/message and text it to the intended recipient).  An adult or older sibling can write/type note a young child dictates or they can draw a picture for the person.
  • I’m Thinking of you Projects: Child can spend the time they would normally be with the other person making something to give to them when he sees them next (craft, drawing, collage, etc.).
  • Do an activity together remotely: When connecting to loved ones by phone, skype, or facetime, it can be great for kids to do activities that they would normally do with that person.  Brainstorm ways to complete some of your daily routines or fun activities at the same time (i.e. bake cookies, make slime, read a book, sing together, watch a show).
  • Distant dinner party: Dinner out is a great way to socialize, but you can make dinner in a social experience as well.   Plan and cook the same dinner as family/friends.  You can facetime/skype during the meal for real time conversations or you can take pictures of family and food to share with each other (Food or dessert competition anyone???)
  • Take a Virtual Tour together:  There are museums, zoos, and amusement parks offering virtual tours.  These resources can be used for educational purposes but you can also have friends/family take the same tour and discuss what you liked the most, what you could do without, foods you would try….   Here is a resource for virtual tours you can take from the comfort of your own home:   https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/a31784720/best-virtual-tours/

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