With the time away from school caused by the coronavirus crisis, your kids might feel like all their Christmases have come at once (especially since we’re into the six-week holidays!). However, for all the time away from school, they have still missed out on an important chunk of their education. If your child starts at a new school in September for example, they may have a little catching up to do - especially when it comes to socialising.
Importantly, teachers are well-equipped to make sure pupils are fully caught up with their syllabus, especially with the use of remote learning tools in lockdown. What teachers can’t help with as much are the social learning aspects - this is where parents come in.
If you feel that your child has missed out on some of the social aspects of their education, you’re not alone asking this question. According to a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Kent, one of the biggest challenges of lockdown has been children missing their friends.
In this blog, we’re going to advise how you can maintain and even improve your child’s social skills ahead of the new school year. Take a look!
At school, the field trip is a standout event for most pupils and there’s a high chance that they missed out this year. Not only are field trips an opportunity for learning, they’re also a chance to spend time with friends outside of school which, as you can imagine, sets them up for socialising in later life.
Your solution is a virtual field trip. Now, this sounds like a few hours on Google Maps but we absolutely promise it’s not. Most museums and educational facilities are hosting virtual tours, including Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, and even the Louvre in Paris. With instant messaging and video sharing, your kids can chat with friends while enjoying their virtual trip.
Your children will miss spending time with friends, whether that’s on the playground or in the classroom. It helps if you switch off from parent mode for a little while and spend time with your children as their peers would. Don’t be afraid to get messy! Embrace your inner child, get creative and use your imagination. Most importantly: have fun!
Video calls can help to fill in the gaps where your child has missed socialising, but remember that video calls aren’t what they are used to. At best, adults tolerate video calls so a child simply won’t stick with it for too long. Brief video chats with their friends will help remind your child that everyone is in the same situation, which helps normalise the whole thing.
If, in lockdown, your child hasn’t been getting the same amount of outside time that they would in school then they’ll definitely miss out on that. It’s a massive boost to their mood (and yours) if you get outside for a little while. Whether that’s in your back garden or on a safe and socially distanced walk, getting outside makes lockdown feel less like being stuck in the house. Getting your kids out and about benefits everyone!
Lockdown has been difficult for all of us, adults included. It’s important that your children can voice how they feel about lockdown and, without getting too serious about it, the future. Get them excited about being able to go on holiday again, or seeing their friends. Having something to look forward to makes the whole situation seem a little more normal! It’s important that your children can voice their concerns or fears, and that can take the form of chatting or even a ‘lockdown journal’.
Now that you have a few recommendations, it helps to know exactly what social skills will help your child adjust to new situations once the school year begins. Here are some of the most important and valuable social skills for your child.
With the above lessons in hand, your child will start the new school year brimming with confidence. If you’re looking for some toys that will facilitate this, look no further than the cheap toys on offer at Toys For A Pound. From boys toys to girls toys and everything in between, you’re spoilt for choice. Our games and puzzles section will help to get your child’s brain in gear before school starts!Why not try our Kids Toy Generator to pick the perfect toy for your child? You can get learning toys, relaxation toys, puzzles and so much more.