Teaching 6 Foot Social Distancing to Kids
Updated: Apr 11
We were on a family walk today and my sons were scootering along with us. There were some kids playing in their yard and I told my youngest son to move over towards the other side of the sidewalk. I called out “remember 6 feet!” And he said “Why? I was 6 feet away!” (when he clearly wasn’t.) Then it hit me! He is just SEVEN years old! He doesn’t really understand how big 6 feet is quite yet. In the chaos of everything that is happening, it was easy for me to make an assumption about what my kids already know.
So we went home and I asked him to put two Legos down on the floor 6 feet apart from each other. Then we took out a tape measure to measure the space between the Legos.
I then asked my kids to go around the house and find objects that they think are 6 feet long (the couch, fridge, table, rug etc.) and then we measured them. Before we measured objects, I had them guess if they thought the items were bigger or smaller than 6 feet. We figured out in our home a couch distance is just about the right size for social distancing.
To make it a little more active and fun, I then laid the measuring tape down and asked them to guess how many skips, balance beam steps and hops 6 feet was and then we measured them too.
Denise Jorud, a kindergarten teacher, used dominos to explain why we are using social distancing to her kindergarteners. How brilliant is this!
For the littlest ones, here is a clip from 1975 of Grover from Sesame Street showing us the differences between near and far:
Courtney Hart shared on instagram the simple and kid-friendly way she explained social distancing to her kids – what society is doing right now is similar to how we all pull over for an ambulance to let it go by. When we see an ambulance “we are simply moving out of the way and stopping to make space for people who need help quickly to get it. We will all work together, pull over, and stop, which I think is a beautiful thing."
Here is a social story from the Illinois Autism Partnership that helps explains social distancing to kids. A simple way to say it is that we need to stay at least 6 feet away from other people, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Everyday Speech shared this video = that reviews the purposes of social distancing for kids and gives some Healthy Home Practices.
Here is a great video that someone animated using lego for children of Justin Trudeau speaking to children and thanking them for doing their part in social distancing.
I have been compiling lots of resources on my website about how to help your children understand and cope with coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Socially Skilled Kids is also offering this free social story about social distancing.
Created 2 Counsel, a middle school counselor, shared this cute mini-lesson for how you can maintain friendships while social distancing. This would be a great resource for middle-high school aged kids.
I am also offering lots of free resources on my Free Resource Library, just subscribe below for the password.
Please let me know what questions you have, or what you need help with right now to help your family deal with the COVID-19 pandemic? Reach out to me on social media!