With the world on lockdown, we are finding new and exciting ways to utilise technology to help keep us connected. How better to also help keep some normalcy in the kid’s lives than by having an online Easter Bonnet Parade!
At my kid’s school (Qld) we usually hold a special assembly which parents are invited to attend and grade prep – 2 show us their hats in a fashion parade manner then gather and each year level performs a song. Obviously with the schools being closed (except for essential services children) that didn’t happen this year… welcome to the Zoom meeting with a bunch of hypo children who have been housebound and not seeing their friends, all wanting to talk about their hats at the same time! It was an absolute joy!
I am part of the year 1 cohort and we have a closed Facebook group for the parents/carers of our year level, a lovely parent – Anne-Marie – had the idea to hold the parade “I really organised it so that the kids could continue to feel engaged with their classmates. The Easter bonnets were a bit of an excuse. My son’s been struggling a bit with the isolation – being an only child”
I’m sure there are a number of App’s you could use (skype, facetime, house party) but we used Zoom “I actually saw Hamish Blake, the comedian, doing his skits ‘Zoom for one more?’ (Highly recommend) and thought that’s a good platform where they can all see each other at the same time and chat.” We had even shared the meeting information with the teachers so they joined in “It was really great, all the kids had the biggest smiles when that happened!”
Even though the invitation was extended to the entire year level the 20 odd kids who joined the call tended to be from the class that Anne-Marie’s child is in. It was nice to see siblings there too …as well as pets and trampolines and ceiling fans that made appearances!
We didn’t put any ‘rules’ around the meeting “I just let them talk whenever. A few needed prompting with a few questions about their holidays but all the mums and teachers really helped. It was a surprisingly smooth discussion. The kids were mostly happy to stare and smile at each other.” It was a definite success and all the feedback has been positive, we’re also planning another zoom meeting over the holidays to keep them all connected.
We also created a photo album in the year level group so the kids could peruse the photos in their own time which has also been a big hit as not everyone could join the meeting at the time set but can still see all of the creations.
Leah, a mum in year two, also organised a Zoom meeting for their grade but seeing they had had an overwhelming ‘catch up’ meeting the week before, they decided to run things a little differently. “I decided to make it like what we do at parade where I’m the MC and I unmute the child they can show& tell their hat and anything Easter” They had a five minute period where everyone joined was explained what was going to happen, they were also told that normal school rules applied so if they would like to ask something, they simply raised their hand. It worked really well and everyone had their turn. The meeting format had already been discussed and agreed on by the attending parents prior to the meeting so everyone knew what was going on. Obviously, after everyone had shown their bonnet, everyone was taken off mute to have a quick chat and say their goodbyes “A couple of the parents stayed on after and chat a quick chat and as it was Friday after a social drink “
The best thing that had been pre-organised was that Lead had a basket of eggs and when the child finished she would praise them and then pretend to throw an Easter egg at them and when she threw the egg the parent would drop one into the child’s hand! It looked so cool and even if the egg was different they simply called it Easter magic!!!
Another local school chose to do an online Parade by asking the parents to email their videos/photos to the school admin, they then collated them into a slideshow and posted it to the school’s Facebook Page. Angie said it was a simple process that worked well. Their school usually does Prep – Grade 2 but decided that seeing they were doing an online slideshow, they opened it up to the entire school!
This is just one of many ways that school communities can stay connected in this tricky time. We’d love to hear what you guys are up to – send us a message on Facebook so we can share it!!
This article was written by Sonia Leggatt, a member of the Fundraising Whisperer team/ family.