Staying in Touch Via VideoNovember 8, 2018
Long-distance video chatting, using apps like FaceTime, Skype, or Whatsapp is a great way for children to stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. Video chats give children an opportunity to build a relationship, communicate with, and learn from a loved one on the screen. This week’s tip on how to help children get the most from screen conversations is from Zero to Three’s series on Screen Sense.
1. Make it Interactive
Just like an in-person conversation, try using rhymes, songs, dancing, finger plays, and games like peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek so children can fully participate in the conversation.
2. Use Props
Encourage the screen partner to read one of the child’s favorite books as the child follows along with his own copy. Or, the two parties can play with stuffed animals or even share a snack together.
3. Be the “Hands and Heart”
When the screen partner “tickles” your baby’s tummy, give your child’s tummy a tickle, too. When a grandparent leans toward the screen to “kiss” your toddler, you can give her a kiss on the cheek. By taking on this role, you help nurture the relationship between the child and their on-screen family or friend.
4. Explain Technical Difficulties
When the call inevitably drops, freezes, or lags, explain what happened to your child. Using simple terms to explain these experiences helps children better understand both the technology and the interaction.
5. Let Children Take the Lead
As they grow, allow children to lead with the technology. For example, toddlers can learn how to touch the green button to call or the red button to end a video call.
For more from Zero to Three, click here.