There has been a trending idea of playdate pods going around to increase social interaction between children during COVID-19. Families typically choose one or two other families and form an “exclusive” relationship with them. The pods are typically formed with the criteria of being local, having similar risk levels, and having honest and open communication. Finding safe activities for your pod that all parties agree on (within you set parameters) may be tricky. Here are a few activities we have done in our own pods:
This is a great activity to play with your pod while remaining socially distant. Take a nature walk with your pod and find specific items in your environment. You can make this activity trickier by adding in adjectives, for example: red/black truck, yellow/green leaves and tall/short trees.
This game is also known as Cheeto Head, but we have eliminated the temptation of eating the cheesy snack and ingesting germs and replaced them with pom-poms. This activity requires a shower cap, shaving cream, and pom-poms. Place the shower cap on the child’s head and add shaving cream on top. The other child then tosses the pom-poms in an attempt for them to stick to their peer’s head (the peer may attempt to dodge them). Count the pom-poms at the end to see who wins!
DIY Plate Memory Game:
Each child is responsible for decorating pairs of matching plates for a total of 6, 8,or 10 plates. Lay them in the grass, face down, and your pod can have fun taking turns on finding the matching sets! You can use pipe cleaners, glitter glue, markers, googly eyes, and any other crafting materials you have on hand.
Bean bags may be more difficult to come by, and many don’t have them on hand. Instead, we use sponges as a modification to the classic “Ball Toss” game. Use wet sponges and have three to five numbered buckets lined up for the game. For different spin on this game, you can use sidewalk chalk to draw a target on the ground and toss the wet sponges as “darts”.
Every game may be adjusted to the comfort level of all who are participants in the pod. Communication between members is key to maintaining safe and successful playdates with your pod.Below are listed a few resources if you are considering forming a pod of your own.
Picking Your Pod: How to Safely Do Playdates as We Widen Our Contact Circles
Blue Bird Day fosters socialization, sensory regulation, and pre-academic learning in children ages 2-7years in therapeutic rotations that simulate preschool and kindergarten settings. Our compassionate therapists practice a relationship-based and family-centered approach, provide parent training, and collaborate on goals and individualized intensive treatment plans for your child.
We believe in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team approach to therapy. A team of occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians, developmental therapists, behavioral therapists, physical therapists, and therapeutic assistants are created for each child to ensure child and family are fully supported and the best possible results are achieved.
Options for individualized, group and virtual therapy sessions are available as well.
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