JUL/AUG 2020
Video Chatting with Children
When circumstances keep us apart, we look for ways to stay connected. Building or maintaining a relationship with a young child may seem unattainable when you can't be together, but with today's technology, many families have found that video chatting is a viable option. If you're worried about limiting screen time, take heart. Research suggests that active interactions with a child during a video chat is more beneficial than passive video watching.

These five tips will help you make chatting enjoyable for everyone involved.
Plan ahead - Before the call, p articipants should gather their show and tell items to share and toys/puppets/stuffed animals to play with. Have books on hand that you can read or be read to. Keep a list of things you would like to ask or talk about such as what you saw on a walk or a recent activity. Kids are curious. Keep them engaged by making it interesting. It's also a good idea to do a test run if someone on either end is “technologically challenged.
Timing is everything - Pick a time that’s best for your child. Keep in mind that the younger the child, the shorter their attention span. Don’t take it personally if they lose interest during the chat. It helps to have an adult engage on the child’s end for part of the call. Try sharing a meal or snack together virtually. After all, some of the best conversations happen at the family dinner table.
Create rituals - Start the call with a special greeting such as “Hello Joe, what do you know?” or “Hey Papa, guess what I saw?” If you have regular calls, create a routine such as first talking about their week, followed by a story, then a check on the weather. It’s also helpful to establish a plan to end the call, such as “In two minutes Mommy has to finish our call.” Make sure to sign off by blowing a kiss and/or saying “I love you.”
Keep things moving - Children are very visual and need movement to stay engaged. Play peek-a-boo, do finger plays, put on a puppet show or do simple drawings on your own or together. Take your device on a tour and play I Spy. Look out the window together to check out the weather or show them your pet. Short pauses give children a chance to talk but long pauses will certainly lose their attention.
Let your child take the lead, at least some of the time - It helps to have someone on the child's end who is somewhat involved in the conversation to help strike a balance between being good listener and having a free-for-all call. When a child shows you something, try using phrases such as "I wonder how fast that can go" or "I wonder what your dog was thinking when he saw the squirrel at the park," to spark back-and-forth conversations.
Boost your child's learning anytime, anywhere - 
outdoors, on the go, mealtime, and more!
Choosing and Using Quality Child Care
Visit the Child Care Aware®  website   and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to learn more early childhood development and choosing and using quality child care.