Thankfully, we are now past the coronavirus crisis. The impact of the pandemic is now clear and many youth have suffered mentally and academically from the lockdowns. Social isolation, loneliness, lack of physical exercise, and family stress have contributed to feelings of depression and anxiety. Parental stress and mental health problems has also put children at an increased risk for maltreatment. As advocates, we must stay connected with these youth. We know that in good times and bad, our CASA volunteers are committed to the children they serve. Through in person and remote interactions, such as FaceTime, Zoom, texting, volunteers stay connected with their CASA children.
Contact your CASA Coordinator for free activities, coupons and passes. Each program has free crafts and tickets available!
In person visits are best, but when you can't make that happen, here are some other idea's.
Children respond very well to interactions with people by way of video chat platforms. Here are some ideas to create an interactive and engaging experience for children:
· Choose a good time of day for both yourself and the child(ren).
· Have materials at your side-storybook, musical instrument, even a creative art project.
· Keep eye contact to engage and communicate effectively.
· Be spontaneous and fun.
· Talk about healthy habits to maintain while at home.
· · Validate any disappointments and talk about concerns.
· Be mindful.
· Use age appropriate language.
Things you can do on Zoom:
· · Go on virtual tours of museums, aquariums, and zoos.
· Just chat! It can be easier to engage kids when they can see your face.
Drop off a Survival Kit at their front door (or have it mailed) and then use it to help you interact with them virtually. Here are some kit ideas:(These kits may require going to the store unless you have the items on hand. Of course, health and safety is our first priority so please do not go out if it's not necessary.)
· Coloring books, games, puzzles, small toys (Dollar Store)
· Home movie kit (Loan them a movie with some microwavable popcorn and candy.)
· A cozy blanket and a book (You can loan them a book of your own)
· Journal with some fun prompts
· Board games (games like Guess Who or Battle Ship can be fun to do virtually)
· Slime making kit
· Manicure kit (nail polish, nail file, & lotion)
· Cookies or a cookie baking kit (cookie dough and milk)