Communication as a strategy to combat social isolation

Published: 01 May 2020 Tagged: anxietychildrenCoronavirusCOVID-19eldersgrammarpen palsreadingScattergoriessocial isolationvocabularywriting
Communication as a strategy to combat social isolation

Children worldwide are facing an unexpected phenomenon which is restructuring everyone’s perspectives about life, work, studies, science and faith. According to a study named “Children’s voices in the time of COVID-19”, produced by World Vision organisation (which you can read and download by clicking here), children are anxious and fearful because of an invisible presence which is threatening their family and friends. However, they feel stronger while supported by parents and determined to fight this menace with their available resources and capabilities. It’s crucial for parents to strengthen their bonds with children in order to prevent negative feelings and keep them busy with activities which might make them forget about being isolated.

One cute and emotional initiative is the return of pen pal practice, having one or more friends to send handwritten letters talking about their days, feelings and expectations. Children can keep practising their writing skills by making those letters, so even Grammar and Vocabulary can become a practical activity while making the letters. In aged care facilities across Australia, some elders have become pen pals of children, receiving letters full of caring and cuteness, so they can dedicate part of the day reading about children’s daily activities and can even have some nostalgic memories from their own childhood. Children also practice their reading skills by receiving letters from their elder pen pals.

Another use of communication as a way to fight the feeling of loneliness is by playing Scattergories, or homebrewed adaptions of the official game. The game is very engaging and can be played by distance if the players are connected in a chatroom such as Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts and other options. This game is primarily a powerful tool for improving vocabulary, quick thinking and writing, but specific school subjects could be addressed with some small changes. Watch the video below to understand how easy it is to be played, and search for more examples of people playing Scattergories in YouTube, the playing sessions can be hilarious!

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