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.

Congratuations to our Virtual Match Contest Winners: Ambyr and Mackenzie!

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 Messy!

    Make different types of slime with your match virtually with these homemade slime recipes

     

    Click Here!

  • Find Your Inner Artist

    Get creative. Try a virtual drawing game with your match and let your creativity flow.

    Dice Art – all you need is dice, paper and something to draw with! Try creating fun works of art together.  

    Roll a doodle 

    Roll a Picasso 

    Scribble.io is a free multiplayer drawing and guessing game. One game consists of a few rounds in which every round someone has to draw their chosen word and others have to guess it to gain points! 

    Draw to your favorite music together. Put on your favorite music while on Facetime and draw as the music inspires you both. Draw how the music is making you feel or illustrate the story the song is telling you. After the song is over, compare pictures and compare the stories you created.

     

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.

Staying Connected Virtually

  • 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

  • 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. 

  • Meditate Together

    Try a kid-friendly guided meditation to practice mindfulness and reduce stress. Go to Headspace.com and screen share on zoom to do the meditation together. 

  • Do yoga or a fitness class together

    Get moving with your Little and virtually do yoga or other fitness classes together such as Zumba, a dance class, or work out routines. There are tons of free videos on Youtube that do not require any equipment besides your body. Screen share on Zoom to watch the video together. 

  • Have your Little teach you a Tik Tok dance
  • Karaoke

    Take turns singing your favorite songs or sing along together. Check out free karaoke videos on Youtube or use a website like KaraFun

  • Start a Food Passport

    Get adventurous in the kitchen and try different foods from around the world with your match. Choose a country and pick out a recipe from their culture to complete together over Facetime. Try crepes from France, Matcha Cheesecake from Japan, and pasta from Italy. 

Staying Connected, 6 Feet Apart

  • Picnic Outside

    Enjoy the outdoors and meal together at your favorite park or even in your own backyard. Don't forget to bring a meal (not shared, of course).  

  • Photography

    Our cameras are only a phone away! Take advantage of them, click away, and share with each other about what you are photographing. What “spoke” to you in your photos and why? Can you send each other some of your work in the mail? A framed photo can be a very meaningful gift! 

  • Socially Distant Games

    Bocce Ball, Cornhole, Paddle Ball, Shuffleboard, Toss, Frisbee, golf, volleyball and tennis all fit the bill. Make sure to sanitize your equipment and your hands before and after play! 

  • Explore the Emerald Necklace

    Outdoor Activities brought to you by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy: Tree ID Activity, Be the Scientist with iNaturalist, Learn About Birding 

  • Biking, Jogging, Roller Skating, Oh My!

    These types of activities are perfect for social distancing together.  Don’t forget your safety gear! 

  • Practice Your Hand Eye Coordination

    Play some frisbee, paddle ball, or beach volleyball together. Make sure to sanitize your equipment and your hands before and after play! Wear your masks and do not touch your face. Be safe and have fun! 

  • 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.

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