As the shared experience of ‘Zoom fatigue’ sets in, those who work with children are especially strapped to find a way to keep their screen-partners engaged and connected.
But with a little inspiration from Pinterest, one Women and Families Center advocate was able to bring a personalized touch to brighten what can often be a dull virtual landscape.
Jessica LaComb now welcomes her young clients into a virtual online room where they’re greeted by her animated Bitmoji and encouraged to explore the space’s various therapeutic areas.
A breathing and relaxation room walks children through grounding techniques and teaches them to utilize their senses to reconnect. Characters from Sesame Street and Disney’s animated “Inside Out’ film are tacked to the e-walls in another space where young clients learn to identify and express their feelings. A photo of Elsa from ‘Frozen’ prompts discussion about the themes of consent presented in the animated movie.
“We play games to get them talking, so it’s more of a game and they’re not just thinking about the conversation,” said Jessica, who had struggled to keep her young clients engaged when social distancing first began earlier this year.
“To sit there on Zoom and talk to a child wasn’t really working for me,” LaComb said. “The younger kids weren’t having it. Now the kids really enjoy it. It makes the conversation better.”
Jessica will lead part of an upcoming advocate meeting in January to walk fellow advocates through the process of creating a virtual room. Look out for upcoming meetings from the Alliance to register.