Finding ways to connect with others is a crucial part of one’s well-being.
For children, love and emotional connection are basic needs. Those connections are important for adults, too!
Social connections help people feel a sense of belonging, they lower anxiety and depression, not to mention the fact that they regulate emotions and increase self-esteem.
When children are missing their friends and loved ones, it may be hard for them to feel that sense of connection.
Here are five fun and creative ways you can help your child connect with friends and family from afar:
1. Send a hug or high-five through the mail
Get out your art supplies! Paper, crayons, markers, pencils, and scissors should do the trick. Don’t forget an envelope and postage.
It helps to have a partner for this project. Have the person lie down on a large piece of paper and simply trace the head, arms, and hands of the person who wants to send the hug! Or, trace a hand for a “high five.” Color in the tracing, write a positive message, and deliver through the mail.
2. Make yourself a flat friend
Travel around to visit all your friends and loved ones by making yourself a flat friend. This activity is similar to Flat Stanley. Flat Stanley is a book series where the character is squashed flat and goes on regular adventures learning things about the world.
First, make a paper cutout of yourself that can fit inside your envelope. Then write a letter to someone about things you like to do. Ask your friend to take pictures with your cutout and send them back to you with a letter and a paper cutout of themselves so you can return the favor!
Watch how fun it is to get a note in the mail!
Connecting with others is important.
3. Find a Pen Pal
Pen Pals are a great way to connect with others, too. Write a letter updating a friend on things happening in your life and ask them questions about what’s happening in theirs. The best thing about having a pen pal is that you can have more than one! And it’s so fun to get letters in the mail.
4. Create a Creature
Create a Creature is an activity that you can do with multiple people. In this collaborative art process, you first fold a piece of paper into thirds from top to bottom. Keep it folded and draw a head and neck on the top third of the page. Extend the neck a little bit into the second third of the page for the next person to use as a reference.
Now fold the first part back to hide what you have drawn and expose the middle third of the paper. Send the paper in the mail and invite someone to draw a body on the middle third of the page making sure to extend the lines of the body down into the last third part of the page for the next person to see.
Let the second person drawing know to fold the page back so what has been drawn can’t be seen and then mail it to a third person who adds the feet or tail. Have the third person send it back to you to unfold and reveal the unique creature that’s been created.
Fold a piece of paper into thirds. Draw a head and neck on the top third of the page.
Hide what you have drawn and expose the middle third of the paper. Send it in the mail to a friend. This person can draw the body.
Fold the paper to expose the third section where the next person can draw the feet or tail!
The third person sends it back to the first person who can reveal the full creature!
5. Create Sidewalk Art
A great way to connect with neighbors and friends from around your community is to draw fun paths on the sidewalk and write positive messages using sidewalk chalk. Enjoy watching their reactions from your front lawn or window. Be sure to wave “hello”!
Are You Looking for a Pen Pal?
We hope you have fun using these different methods of connecting with others. We know it will not only brighten your day, but it will also brighten the day of others.
If you’re looking for a Pen Pal, Kidoodle, the mascot for the Children’s Museum of South Dakota would love to hear from you. Feel free to use one of the activities above to connect. If you send Kidoodle a note, drawing, or photo, the Museum will be sure to return the favor.