Overseeing the Kids' Play Time During the Pandemic

Photo Credit: MIA Studio/Shutterstock

From March to late June, we were home — and home together, A LOT. We had a ton of family time, which was wonderful. However, with my kids being 6, 9, and 11, they truly missed their friends. They were very innovative by joining apps such as FaceTime and HouseParty to virtually see their friends. These served the kids so well from the beginning to about June. But being children, they needed outdoor time with friends. As a mom, I was utterly confused if I should allow them to have playdates or keep them at home.

At the end of June, we started with strictly outdoor playdates, where the kids were riding their bikes or walking six feet apart. They wore masks and were extremely socially distanced. This worked out well for June but as time went on, they asked for more time with their friends.

As a mom, I was utterly confused if I should allow them to have playdates or keep them at home.

After my husband and I discussed it, we told the kids they can each have a playdate with two children, and those two kids would be in their bubble, meaning their mini “pod” where they stayed together outside only, but still wore masks. At the end of August, they were still their mini pods and are really enjoying being with friends.

Then we had to decide if we would allow the kids to go to theater camps where they would be with various children. They followed strict protocol and we had to fill out COVID forms every single day. After much discussion, we allowed our older two to do the camps. Honestly, it was such a wonderful decision. They got to see friends, and they were again put in social pods wearing masks and face shields. We saw them put on two amazing performances of Peter Pan Jr. and Matilda Jr. It was awesome to see and, thankfully, not one kid got sick. I think that is because everyone is very careful these days and forming pods.

Small Bubble, Big Reward

Our kids also belong to a pool club with us where they have to wear a mask upon entering and existing. This summer, they were allowed to go in the pool and swim with friends. We started this at the end of June and again, the protocols were really great.

It is definitely not easy deciding if the kids should play with friends, and this really is a decision each family has to make. For us, I feel safe knowing who the kids are playing with and keeping our kids together who have been playing since July. I try to keep our bubble small, and so far this is working!

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