Sometimes the best hacks are the tiniest ones; a thing so helpful and obvious in hindsight that you really should have thought of it yourself. And maybe you did (good for you!). But if you, like me, had not yet thought to hand your child a stress ball when they log into their classroom Zoom meetings, now is the time to try it.
When I posted a roundup of ideas for taming kids’ after-school meltdowns earlier this week, Kinja user Shc32 came in with another method to help calm their frayed nerves:
I give my primary school kids stress balls to use during their video conferences, and then we go outside “after school,” run around, and have a treat to try and mitigate issues.
Running and snacks are good, but giving them a stress ball during video chats with their classmates? That is an extra good idea. And while normally this would be an obvious throwing hazard, but without other kids around it can actually be used as directed.
It’s hard enough for kids to sit still through a full school day when they’re actually in the classroom, among other students. But to sit still in front of a screen while their teacher is talking but her face keeps freezing, and for some reason their audio isn’t working and no one can hear them, and good god this is boring…they need to channel their energy in a way that helps them focus and isn’t distracting for others on the call.
So hand them a stress ball and let them squeeze away. (A fidget cube would work, too, but I’d steer clear of fidget spinners—they won’t be able to resist holding those up to the camera for their classmates to see.)
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