Virtual Connection for

Children's Program Volunteers

To our volunteers - we are here for you

As we navigate these uncertain times together, our connections with you and the relationships you’ve built with your Littles are more important than ever. Our team is here to answer your calls, texts, emails and video chat requests. We encourage you to reach out so we can answer questions, provide resources or even just say hello during this time that so many of us are at home.

Tools for Staying Connected

  • Please check in with your Little to make sure they are staying up to date with school work and remind them that they are not on vacation. Transitioning to online school work can be a big adjustment for your Little and their parent/guardian(s). Please check in to see what they have to work on this week and offer help or guidance wherever needed.

  • Schedule a virtual outing weekly using video services like FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom. We'll continue to provide virtual field trip ideas here, on social media and through your match support specialist on a weekly basis.

  • If your Little has limited access to a phone or computer, you can still keep in touch. Write a letter or card to your Little each week with encouraging messages and updates to let them know they're on your mind.

  • Talk with your Little over the phone on a weekly basis. Use our tips below for talking to kids about coronavirus as well as ways to continue engaging with them over the phone.

Have intentional communication

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it may trigger trauma for young people. They may have family members vulnerable to the virus or they may be overwhelmed by the constant influx of news and information surrounding the pandemic.

  • Help your Little understand why we are taking a pause on in-person meetings. Let them know you care and this is in the hope that we can reduce the number of people getting sick. Take this opportunity to educate them on the importance of staying indoors to protect themselves and others. ​

  • Your Little may need you as school is closed, parent/guardian(s) are working or laid off. Emotions can be high and they will need someone with which to express anger, fear or sadness.

  • Acknowledge what is going on and engage your Little in a dialogue about the pandemic using language that's easy to understand. Here is a helpful resource from the CDC: Talking to Kids About Covid-19.

Virtual Activity Ideas

  • Get your and your Little's creativity flowing and enjoy a virtual drawing lesson together over FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. Watch online drawing video tutorials in sync while you compete to see who's the better artist. When you video chat your Little, tell them you're their art teacher for the day and teach them step-by-step.

    CLICK HERE

  • Sign up for an online game with your Little to stay connected. There are many ideas on the app store like (Uno, Draw Something, or Words with Friends). Ask your Little if there are group games they like to play online and have them invite you.

  • Send your Little an e-book. You can read it together over the phone or video chat. Check out what your local library has for virtual resources. Boston Public Library offers ebooks, genealogy, wellness, and online learning resources on their website.
     
  • When you're on the phone or video-chatting your Little, play games like Desert Island or Would You Rather to extend your conversations.

Virtual Field Trips

Hundreds of zoos, museums, National Parks and art galleries are now offering free live webcams and virtual field trips to keep kids at home entertained and educated.
Schedule a “meetup” time with your Friend or Little (or their guardian), then share the links below to start your virtual field trip!
Click here for more virtual trips you can take with your match.

The MET

Hop into a time machine with your Little and explore the world by time period, idea, or location. Uncover hidden objects and artworks from the museum's rooms

San Diego Zoo

You and your match can tune into the live cams and watch baboons, koalas, elephants, and more

New England Aquarium

Dive into a virtual tour of the New England Aquarium. Watch multiple live presentations such as shark feedings, harbor seal tooth brushing, and sea turtle hospital tour.

Educational Resources

  • As a Big, you can encourage your Little in developing good self-regulated study habits.

    Click Here

  • Provide your Little with this resource for them to build a tailored practice plan. Make it a virtual match activity with online video study sessions.

    Click Here

  • Bake/Cook Together

    Share a recipe with your little ahead time so they can gather the ingredients ahead of time, Then cook/bake the recipe together during your virtual meeting.

  • Scavenger Hunt

    Go on a Scavenger Hunt with the Wildlife Conservation Society. This activity can be done in your own backyard! Draw pictures or take photos if you wish, but most importantly, later share your findings with your Littles and Friends. (options also to share with the world wide web) Find activity by clicking here Scavenger Hunt

  • Get Your Game On!

    Play some games with your Littles and Friends virtually. Many games often offer a chat component so you can chat while you play! Words With Friends App! (Calling all Scrabble lovers.) Draw Something App! (Do you like Pictionary?) Six games to play over Zoom! 10 Best Smartphone Games to Play With Family and Friends! (Scroll down to “games for multiple phones”. Terraria is recommended for Minecraft lovers and five more games follow.)

  • Virtual Art Galleries

    Visit some of the best art galleries in the world virtually. From Paris to New York to Amsterdam, you and your match can see priceless works of art from the world’s most famous artists. Option: you and your match can draw or create a piece of art at home inspired by something you saw and show each other virtually or mail it to each other!  Tell each other what it is you liked about your inspiration art piece or the piece you made.
     

  • Attend a Seminar, Learn Something New

    • Learn about Asian small-clawed Otters with the Houston Zoo. (click here: Live with Zookeeper Pricilla) If Otters are not your thing, check out Facebook pages such as the Houston Zoo and the San Diego Zoo for Facebook Live discussions.  Watch with your Friend or Little, re-cap together afterward to reinforce what things you bother learned!  Here are two more suggestions. 
    • History of the American Robin, click here Mass. Audubon. If you wait through the final pause, you’ll see a very funny ending! 
    • Learn about seals and desensitization training, click here New England Aquarium.  Covid 19, is affecting how our animals learn as well.  Seals need to understand why their trainers are wearing strange masks!  Watch to see how captive seals learn about important medical procedures.