Category: Childs

5 Benefits of  Artistic Expression in Preschool

How art helps children develop

Art is a vast tool in early years. It offers the children a way of expressing themselves even before they develop language. Through art they can manifest their inner self, express their feelings and at the same time, they learn about the world around them. It also helps them develop their creativity and expand their knowledge.  

Creativity is a dynamic process which involves the ability to combine previously learned concepts and/or experiences to create new things. Subsequently, creating new pathways in their brain.   

Young children learn through their senses and art is the perfect way for preschoolers to learn and begin to master many skills. 

Art promotes the development of many abilities and connects several areas of development. It fosters not only cognitive and intellectual development but also physical and emotional. All these are part of the creative process which links memory and imagination. 

Benefits of artistic expression in preschool

Artistic expression in preschool will help in the overall development of children in a positive way. The development and stimulation of creativity may be one of the most important benefits of artistic expression in preschool, as an avid creative imagination will give them tools for problem solving in everyday life. Art helps develop abstract thinking which in turn develops problem solving too. 

Here are some examples of how expressive art influences in a positive way the development of the whole child:

Physical: they develop fine and gross motor skills which help them improve their coordination.

Emotional: it gives them a way of expressing their feelings and experiences.

Communicative: they express their inner self and develop language skills.

Aesthetics: they begin to understand and discover the beauty of their environment and develop sensitivity. 

Moral and social: they learn to take care of the materials they use, to respect others’ work, ideas, and points of view. They also learn to accept criticism and being part of a group.

Creative: they have access to a variety of materials and different art techniques and are encouraged to experiment with them.

Benefits of incorporating nature in art projects in preschool

To talk about preschool is to talk about art, since most of the activities and teaching methods at this stage make use of artistic expression. Using nature in art projects help young children learn about their environment. Using materials like sticks, stones, leaves, shells, sand, soil, water, seeds, flowers, and feathers will help them learn about textures, colors, smells, patterns, and shapes. 

By using these materials, they begin to make connections that help them understand where these materials come from and therefore, learn about the world around them. When they learn about the seasons and the weather for example, they are learning about growth, cycles, and change. They can relate to nature as they see it happening around them. 

When children explore and play with natural materials all their senses are at work. They can feel if materials are soft, smooth, rough, or spiky. When they manipulate them, they instinctively begin to sort them, line them up, make shapes, count them, or stack them. All these activities are an important base for subsequent mathematical thinking. 

Having access to raw materials will make them conscious about their environment and will make them develop appreciation of nature and the importance of caring for it.

Artistic expression in preschool is a fundamental component of education, as it helps children develop their abilities for subsequent learning.  It provides them with an opportunity to develop empathy, self-esteem, and confidence too.

So next time you go out with your child, collect some natural materials while you walk and take them home and invite your little one to manipulate and play with them. Maybe even create some beautiful artwork together. Now you know the many benefits in doing so.

Build your own bird nest activity:

What do you need: 

  • Kapla blocks
  • Shredded pape
  • (Easter) egg

It seems simple, but did you know that during this activity we can cover most of the early stages development goals? Understanding of the world starts with the knowledge that birds build nests and that they can be built out of different materials. Expressive Arts & Design – children can express their artistic need and make their own design of a nest. They can decide on the size of the nest and its shape and need to find a way to put the blocks together that covers logical thinking and problem solving development. Physical development is very important as well. Manipulating blocks and paper with their hands and fingers, children are exercising their fine motor skills, not to mention working with different materials is a great sensory experience. While sitting together at the workstations children communicate and learn from one another, often they decide to build a bigger nest together and that enriches their personal and social development.

You can easily try to do this at home!

About Sanne

Sanne was born in Tokyo (Japan), grew up in the Netherlands and is now living in The Hague where she works as marketing and communication specialist for international childcare organisation Big Ben Kids.

Big Ben Kids offers high quality childcare to international parents and internationally minded Dutch families offering daycare, after school care and holiday camps at our locations in Scheveningen, Wassenaar and Amstelveen. Big Ben Kids is growing to establish itself as one of the leading international childcare providers in the Netherlands.

They want to achieve this growth through offering constant high quality of customer service, communication and childcare services. At Big Ben Kids they know how important it is for children to have a sense of community and familiarity. That’s why they offer children a safe environment and a home from home in an international setting where there is tolerance a chance to meet people who are like minded, yet also very different. Big Ben Kids is proud to say that their childcare centres are a melting pot of cultures where magical friendships can develop between people from all over the world. Big Ben Kids supports children in recognizing and developing their talents as well as their future potential. At Big Ben Kids, the parents are closely involved in their children’s adventures.

For more information: https://bigbenkids.com/ or directly book a tour at one of our beautiful locations: https://bigbenkids.com/book-a-tour/

Join Us at Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try storytelling activities at Peekabond go here. 

11 Fun and Useful Apps for Expat Families in 2022

11 Fun and Useful Apps for Families in 2022 by Vincent van de Noord

Do you ever feel like your family is missing out on the life of your child? I know I do. When I was young, I saw my grandparents often because they lived very close by. Naturally, we developed a very strong and loving bond.

Nowadays, my family is living further apart. My son can’t hop on his bike to see his grandparents, so we need other ways to stay in touch. Luckily, almost everything can be done virtually these days. We’re still waiting for technology but kisses and hugs, but my son is saving them up for the moments my family is together in real life.

Finding the right apps can be a chore. We know because we sorted through many of them. To help you, we’ve made a list of 11 apps that you could use. Some are free, but most are freemium (you can try it out, but have to pay to take full advantage of the app).

Each of these apps offers something different and can help you build a virtual connection with your family. So that when you are together in real life, it will be as if you were never apart.

We’ve sorted them into categories. Let’s dive in!

The best video calling apps

For live video calls, these are great options.

FaceTime (free)

Apple’s video calling platform is great for live interaction with your family. You can use it on an iPad for an extra-large screen, and it offers funny animal filters that you can play around with.

It’s only available on Apple devices. You do have the challenge of finding the right time, and depending on the creativity of your family members it will be a conversation with the child or just the adults talking.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/facetime/id1110145091

Zoom (freemium)

Zoom really took off during COVID. It works very well as a tool for video calls, but it’s built for business communication, so there is no playfulness unless you bring it yourself. The free option is limited to 40 minutes.

https://zoom.us

Alternative:

You can also use Google Meet, which is free to use.

The best messenger apps

If you want to send messages, these are the right apps for you.

Marco Polo (freemium)

Marco Polo is a great option if you want to have video chats with your family. It works by sending short videos back and forth, which makes it more suited to use for young children. It’s designed for close relationships and is relatively easy to use.

What it doesn’t offer is content or activities to get the conversation going. As a parent, you often still have to initiate the contact.

https://www.marcopolo.me/wellbeing/

WhatsApp (free)

I don’t think this one needs an introduction. With approximately 2 billion (!) users, WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messenger app worldwide. It’s great to share messages, videos, and photos. You can also create a group for your family.

The downside is that it’s a very generic messenger built for adults, and your videos and photos are easily lost in your message history. And let’s not forget it’s owned by Meta (formally Facebook), a company that isn’t well known for its privacy standards.

https://www.whatsapp.com

Signal (free)

Signal is privacy friendly alternative to WhatsApp. It offers similar functionality, but its focus on security and privacy can make it a better choice for users concerned about their data (and of course, that should be everyone!).

https://signal.org

Best photo & video sharing apps

If you primarily want to share photos and videos, these apps could be great for you.

Google Photos (freemium)

This is a popular platform where you can store and organize all your photos and videos and share them with your family. You get some free storage, if you need more you have to buy an additional subscription.

Google Photos offers a great photo-sharing platform. However, for some people (myself included), sharing private photos of my child with Google feels uncomfortable.

https://www.google.com/photos/about/

Tiny Beans (freemium)

Tiny Beans is a platform with lots of content for parents. They also offer an app that allows you to share photos of your child with your family and track their milestones.

It offers great ideas for parents, but they don’t facilitate two-way interaction between loved ones and a child. It’s perfect for keeping your family in the loop but less suited to building a relationship with loved ones.

https://tinybeans.com

Best family games

This is our favorite category. It’s not just sharing videos and messages, but really playing together. Being playful is important for a child’s development, and its also a lot of fun!

Together (freemium)

This is a family video chat focused on grandparents and grandchildren that lets you play little games and read books together in a video call. It offers games like chess, checkers, and memory. You can have 3 free calls, after that you will have to buy a subscription.

https://www.togethervideoapp.com

OK Play (freemium)

This is a bit of an odd one out because it’s not about connecting with loved ones remotely, but about playing games when you’re together. But because it’s also about creating a connection, I wanted to point this out as well. As a parent, definitely give it a try and play together with your child.

https://okplay.co

Caribu (freemium)

Caribu lets you do fun activities together in a video call. For instance, you can read a book or create a drawing together. You can start for free, but to make the most use of the app you will need a subscription.

It can make video calls more engaging and playful, but you still have to find the right time. As a parent myself, I know that can be a challenge!

https://caribu.com

Peekabond (freemium)

Peekabond is a family app that combines the best of video messaging, photo & video sharing, and family games. It’s built with children in mind and designed to be easy to use for all ages. You can share videos or play little games with loved ones. It helps grandparents and grandchildren to build a deeper relationship, with activities that grow with the age of the child.

Download Peekabond

A final word

I am a proud father and co founder of Peekabond. All the apps we’ve mentioned here could help your family to feel closer. Building a meaningful relationship always requires effort. I’ve found that many families really WANT to have a closer connection, but it’s hard to maintain in the daily hustle of life.

This is the challenge that we want to solve with Peekabond. Create a virtual place where you can be together as a family, without adding more work on your plate as a parent.

I invite you to try Peekabond, hope to see you there soon.

About Vincent

Vincent is a father and co-founder of Peekabond, living in the Netherlands. He loves designing beautiful products and wants to use his skills to make (at least) 20 million people smile. When he’s not working on Peekabond, you can find him doing outdoor activities or spending quality time with his family. You can find more about Vincent here

Join Us at Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try storytelling activities at Peekabond go here. 

5 Nature Selfie Tips Every Grandparent Should Master

Taking a Selfie in Nature to Share with Young Children

Hopefully, we all get the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature. Many of us, for the first time when we are small children. If we are lucky enough, there are trees to climb, puddles to jump in, sun and rain to feel on our skin, and rainbows to see in the sky. Watching children have their first experiences with nature can be a very special moment to take part in. That is why we want to share how to take a selfie in Nature and share that with your child at a distance. 

How Nature Benefits Young Children

Nature is diverse and beautiful, but also sometimes a bit gross or weird! Having access to nature and witnessing life and growth can be a very stimulating place for young people to be. Encouraging adventure and exploration, discovering new things, and seeing what life has to offer.

For many, nature is a place free from social judgments. Nature does not have an opinion on what you look like or how many friends you have or how smart you are at school. Nature is an even playing ground for all. Nature reminds us that there is so much more to life and the world is much much bigger than any of the problems we are experiencing. Even if your little one is too small to understand this concept, the sense of freedom that nature brings is there to be enjoyed.

5 Steps to Taking a Good Selfie in Nature

Ok so here we are, on a beautiful day out (or maybe it isn’t so beautiful because, hey, nature!) with our little ones and we want to capture some long-term memories. A selfie is a great, easy way to capture a quick photo and immortalize the moment.

If you feel like you need a recap on your selfie-taking skills, check out our article with all the instructions HERE.

  1. A Good Background

First things first – find a beautiful backdrop. Something to stand in front of for your picture. It doesn’t have to be the main feature of your adventure, just something you think would be nice as a background. Let your instincts guide you. Maybe you’re surrounded by wonderful scenery or maybe you spot something charming or funny that you’d like to remember. Don’t get too obsessed with it though, the more people you have in your selfie, the less you will be able to see the backdrop.

  1. Equipment Ready!

Once you’ve found a good spot, let everyone know you’d like to take a quick selfie. As they gather themselves for your photo, you can take the opportunity to open the camera app on your phone. Switch the view to the front-facing camera and decide if you want the flash on or off. Your smartphone will probably have settings automatically set up so there should be very little to prepare.

  1. Get your face and the view!

Once you’ve found a good spot, make sure your face is shown clearly, squeeze in really tight with the object you wish to show. Hold your phone out as far as you can with the front-facing camera on. Hold the phone at eye level to capture your face well (children love faces!). It helps if you are at the front of the photo so you can extend your arm as far as possible, giving you more space to get everyone in.

  1. Make some Adjustments

The good thing about a selfie is that everyone in the photo can see themselves. If the picture doesn’t look good at this stage – maybe it’s too dark or there is something obscuring the photo, now is the time to fix that. You can always send it as is and take the opportunity to have a conversation with your little one at a distance. Ask your little ones ‘Do you think that looks good?’  

  1. Take the Photo

Once you are ready, you can click the button to take the photo. Usually, it’s the big round one at the bottom of the screen. Make sure both your face and the object you are trying to show are in there with your best smile. Take a few! It’s nice to have some options. You can look at them there and then with your little ones or maybe save them for later. If you don’t like the photo, feel free to take another one.

Extra Tips

Here are some other ideas we love to make things even more fun:

 Include Nature

Wherever you are, maybe you can do something fun with your surroundings. Kids tend to pick all sorts of props when they are out in nature so it might be fun for you to do the same and to include these in the photo.

  • You can have sticks for bunny ears or stand in front of a nice tree to give you all angel wings.
  • If it’s dry, maybe grab a handful of leaves and try to take a photo while they float back down to the ground.

Ok, these selfies might be a little hit or miss, you could end up with a great action shot or an absolute mess, but it’s the memories that count!

 A Special Setup

As you don’t see these special people very often and you want to create a special photo that you take every time you’re together. Stand in a circle with your feet together and take a photo of everyone’s shoes. If it’s dry, lie down on the grass with your heads together and take a photo of your faces by stretching your arms out above you. Any assembly you can think of works, the trick is to make sure you take it in exactly the same way, every time you see them. This is a wonderful way to collect memories and watch how much everyone grows over time. 

Alternatively, if you will not see your little one for a long time, take a picture of your shoes or your face in the grass and ask your little one to take one too and send it back!

 Use the Timer!

Did you know that most smartphone cameras have a timer function? There should be a button or icon on your phone screen that looks like an oven timer. When you click this, it should ask you how many seconds you would like to wait before the photo is taken automatically. This is a great trick when needing to set up with props or action shots. You can set the smartphone up on a tree or a rock somewhere and have everyone get into the photo. I once used a can of beans to prop my phone to get a shot of me in the pool!

Click the button you would normally click to take the photo and the timer feature will get started. You should see the countdown on your phone screen. This saves you the bother of clicking the button yourself and you and the little ones can have more time to do whatever it is you want to do for the photo!

To Conclude - The Selfie is Your Friend

You do not need to fear or dislike the selfie. It might be strange or weird at first but that’s okay. If It can take some time to get your head around but remember, it’s a tool. Taking selfies is a great tool for capturing moments and creating memories that you can look back on forever. Don’t worry if you’re a little stiff at first, you’ll soon get the hang of it. It’s all about creating memories that your little ones will have the privilege of looking back on when they are big and all grown up.

Alex Meade is a freelance writer, living in Portugal. Originally from England, she likes to spend her days in the water, improving her surfing skills or learning to wing foil. When she’s not writing or surfing, she teaches yoga near the local beach. You can reach Alex by going to here

About Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try storytelling activities at Peekabond go here. 

5 Selfie Tips for Grandparents

5 Selfie tips that will change your relationship with your grandchildren

Well, here we are, fully immersed in this ‘selfie’ era. Can you remember a time before selfies? It seems not so long after the smartphone was introduced, with its clever front-facing camera, the selfie was invented. Before this, our self-portraits had more of a ‘point and click’ approach to them. It’s funny to think of now. There was a time in which taking photos of yourself was considered strange, vain or conceited. While many of the younger generations have embraced the success of the selfie, there are a few among us still bewildered by the concept, and that’s ok. It can feel awkward at first, but we’re here to show you how to make it easy. 

How Selfies can Help you Bond with Your Child at a Distance

Within their first year, babies learn to gather information from faces to determine identity, personal characteristics, and emotions. These associations help to shape their relationships with the face in question. Subconsciously, their brain receives information from somebody’s face and thinks ‘that’s Grandad, that’s Grandad’s smile, that’s his nose, that’s the noise he makes when he laughs’. We also learn social cues at this age, building our social skills to understand how other people are feeling. 

Becoming familiar with your face helps build the bond between you and your little one. They’ll start to read your facial expressions and understand your emotions. Having a clear picture of you helps to build memories and associations. If you can’t be there in person, a photo of you is the next best thing to build lasting relationships.

How Do You Take a Selfie?

Ok, let’s be brave. You can do it!

  1. Open the camera app on your smartphone:  On most devices, you’ll see a little symbol, shaped like a camera with two arrows inside. This button switches your camera to face you, rather than facing away from you. Check out the image below, the button you’re looking for is circled but it might be in a different place on your phone. Now you should be able to see your lovely face on screen!

2. Angle your phone: Don’t worry, the front facing camera takes a bit of getting used to. To start with, you might not see the most flattering angle of your face! Its ok, you can readjust the phone position to find a better view. Hold the phone out at arm’s length directly in front of you. Keep your face in the middle of the screen with your eyes at eye level. Now you can try tilting your head to the side or tilting the phone to get a nice picture. It’s best to hold the phone quite far from your face unless you’re looking for a close-up!

3. Take the photo: Make a big smile and click the same button you would do if you were taking a normal photo. It’s usually a big round button at the bottom of the screen. On some phones, you can even use the volume button on the side to take a photo more easily. 

4. Retake the photo: If you’re not happy with your first attempt, take another. You don’t have to love the photo but it’s important to feel accurately represented. The more photos you take, the more comfortable you’ll feel with the concept. Most selfie-takers will tell you that sometimes it can take 50 attempts before settling on the right photo! So don’t worry if you take a lot of pictures. You can easily delete them from your camera roll after by selecting the button that looks like a trash bin. 

5. Send the photo: It’s got to go somewhere right! Make sure you send it to your loved one. If you take the photo using the camera app on your phone, it should save to your camera roll. Then you can click on the app you are using to communicate with your loved ones. This can be any social media app, maybe Facebook messenger or WhatsApp. Select the person you would like to send the photo to – you probably already have a conversation on the go with them. Every app is slightly different but generally, there should be an icon that looks like a picture/landscape. This indicates your stored pictures. Selecting this option should show you your camera roll where you have saved your selfie. Select this picture and hit send.

Some Do’s and Don’ts!

 
Lighting

The best way to take a good, quick selfie is to find some good lighting. Lighting makes so much difference to a photo. Stand somewhere there is natural light, shining from the side – not directly above your head. 

Flash vs No Flash

Usually,  the flash function on your camera will wash out your face and make your eyes go red like a demon. Not always though. Click the little lightning bolt option on your phone screen to experiment having the flash on or off. 

No Photoshop

In this crazy world of selfies we now live in, there are apps you can use to edit your appearance. Take it from us, you don’t need to do that. Your beautiful face does not need editing and your little ones will love you, just as you are. Teach them confidence and self-care by proudly presenting your realistic photo. 

The Benefits of Sharing your Selfie with your Loved One

Studies show that babies and young children LOVE faces. It’s one of the first things they start to connect with when they are born. Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself, making silly faces to babies to get them to laugh. This isn’t just entertainment, this is a learning exercise for the little one. Faces are integral to the first few stages of their development. As they grow, their language skills develop. Focus is drawn towards the mouth as they begin learning words and relating these words to meaning. 

To Conclude

It might be scary at first, it might feel weird or just too difficult, but we promise, you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll be sending selfies without a second thought and your little one will be delighted. 

About Alex Meade

Alex Meade is a freelance writer, living in Portugal. Originally from England, she likes to spend her days in the water, improving her surfing skills or learning to wing foil. When she’s not writing or surfing, she teaches yoga near the local beach. You can find more about alex here

About Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try storytelling activities at Peekabond go here. 

User Research Study: How One Global Family Built Lasting Bonds in 2 Weeks

How a grandma became top of mind for her grandchild

Would you believe me if I said that real, lasting connections can be made over a distance in just 2-weeks? Well, listen closely to the story of Hannie, Nora and baby Sanne.

Hannie, Nora and Sanne participated in a 2-week study with Peekabond last month. For this project, we asked them to simply use Peekabond at their own pace for this time period. Our user researcher spoke with each of them at the beginning and end of the 2 weeks. They also filled out surveys about their remote bonding experience along the way. This experiment not only taught us SO much about our app, but also helped facilitate strong, lasting connections for their family.

Our goal with this research study was to understand how using Peekabond would affect a family’s remote connection. We set up the experiment to measure if the frequency of connection, the strength of connection and the enjoyment of the connection changed over two weeks. We hoped that using Peekabond would increase all three of these measurements. We also were interested in discovering what was difficult for these users, so we could improve.

This is the start of something new

Hannie is a grandmother who lives in The Netherlands. She misses her daughter, Nora, and 2 year-old granddaughter, Sanne, dearly. Nora and Sanne live over 16,000 km away in Australia. They don’t get to see each other very often, and the big time difference makes it hard for them to stay in touch.

Before Peekabond, they connected via WhatsApp video call once a week during Sanne’s bathtime. They also occasionally sent messages, photos and videos on WhatsApp to each other.

Hannie finds it difficult to connect with Sanne on the video call. Sanne likes it when her grandma does something silly on the camera, but this is not very comfy for Hannie to do. Hannie hopes that Peekabond’s activity cards will make it easier to be silly on camera for Sanne.

Nora, as most moms, is very busy, and keeping her daughter connected with her family far away can be challenging. The time difference makes it extra difficult. She hopes that Peekabond can help ease the stress of finding time in their busy lives to connect.

We’re halfway there

After just one week of using Peekabond, Hannie and Nora both reported a small increase in the enjoyment of their remote connecting experience.

Hannie was beginning to feel more comfortable with making videos that Sanne would enjoy. She got creative with the activity cards and also made videos on her own.

Sanne started recognizing the videos and already had her few favorites. One with her grandma and grandpa practicing their names in the car was a hit! She also liked one her grandma sent of a frog (“kikker” in Dutch) and would ask to watch this one on repeat by saying “kikker, kikker”.

For Hannie, knowing that her granddaughter was enjoying the videos meant a lot to her. It felt like they were able to have shared experiences together, even while being worlds away.

Both Hannie and Sanne also reported the strength of the connection to be stronger after just one week. These shared memories made all the difference.

The finish line

At the end of the experiment, they felt positive feelings towards their remote connection and how Peekabond helped them get there. Even baby Nora started asking to call grandma and grandpa more often because she wanted to see their faces through the screen! This was very important for her mother because it meant that Nora wanted to take steps all on her own to stay close with her grandparents far away.

Both the mother and the grandmother reported an increase in the strength of their connection before and after the study. For Sanne, the strength of the connection increased by 20%. And for Hannie, the connection she felt with her granddaughter was 10% stronger after the two weeks. The enjoyment of their connection moments also improved throughout the experiment. For Sanne, she experienced a 30% increase in her enjoyment of connecting remotely. Hannie enjoyed the connection moments 10% more than before the study.

Overall, the study motivated them to try out new remote connection techniques beyond their typical once-a-week video call. This brought them excitement and new-found appreciation for each other.

Of course, though, getting used to a new app is not easy. Hannie still wants to spend more time exploring Peekabond to get more familiar with it. Being kind with yourself as you learn is part of the process!

From the whole Peekabond team, we want to thank Hannie, Nora and Sanne for exploring how Peekabond could work in their lives. ❤️

Next steps

We have since expanded this study to be one month long, for us to gain deeper insights throughout the process. More families are currently enrolled in the study, and we are always searching for more!

Want to get involved?

If your family would like to participate in a 2-week or 1-month study with Peekabond, please reach out to our user researcher Katy (katy@peekabond.com) to get started!

Join Us at Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations. To try storytelling activities at Peekabond go here. 

About Katy

Katy is an Amsterdam-based user researcher originally from the West Coast of the US. She is passionate about creating ethical and sustainable technology and believes in the power of user research to get there. She holds a Bachelor’s in Graphic Communication and a Master’s in Digital Design. You can usually find her taking long walks in the park, cooking big batches of soup, petting all the dogs on the street or making random crafts with friends.

Reconnecting with your Child at a Distance: 5 Activities to Help You Bond Today

Reconnecting with Your Child at a Distance by Anieke Lamers

Many of us focus our new resolution efforts on the turn of the new year. Vowing to drop certain bad habits and pick up newer, healthier ones. Spring however, provides the perfect opportunity for change – a transient time of life, rebirth and revival. As we move into longer, lighter days, it’s common to have more energy and clarity of mind. It’s the perfect time to start something fresh, pick up a new healthy habit or make changes to an existing one. 

Remote Bonding with Young Children

Children need a solid foundation. Our task as grown-ups is to provide a safe space for children to develop. The world is getting more complex every day and we need to ensure that young children grow up to be resilient – adequately tackling the challenges of the world.

Researchers at Princeton argue that many parents need more support to provide proper parenting. They need social support from family, even from a distance. 

Keeping in touch with the young children in your family can have a very positive impact on their wellbeing. How young children go on to feel about themselves has a lot to do with their interactions and relationships with the adults present in their lives. This circle of people might include grandparents, close friends, or even paid help. By reaching out and creating positive bonds, you are contributing to a personal awareness that may stay with the child for a long time.

Guilt

Maybe it’s been a little while since you got in touch. It’s ok, we’ve all been there! Life is busy, dates pass by and all of a sudden you feel quite distant from your already distant little one. Try not to let this get you down. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Guilt in particular is a tricky business. As well as being entirely useless for everyone involved, it threatens our self-esteem. Hurting our self-esteem does not create a good environment to reach out to others from. Often, if we are not feeling good about ourselves, we don’t value our contribution to somebody else’s life. 

So, let’s drop the guilt and start small. Choosing just one connection to begin with, or if there is just one connection, start with a small point of contact. A small message on a quiet afternoon for example. Approach this task lightly and give yourself plenty of room to feel comfortable. 

Or maybe you’ve run out of inspiration and need some new ideas to connect. Below we’ve listed 5 of our favorite activities to help you connect today.

5 Activities to Help you Connect Today

The Magic Spoon Trick: 

Suitable for kids 3 years and older. 

Magic tricks are great for kids and the magic spoon trick is a classic. Performing this trick with your little one allows you to share something together. It even offers a teaching opportunity which can help build trust and appreciation. 

All you need is a tablespoon and a video connection to your little one. 

Grab a tablespoon and tell your young child that you can do a magic trick. Show the spoon, say a magic word, and hang the spoon on the tip of your nose. Challenge your young child to do the same and see how they get on. 

Showing Gratitude 

Suitable for kids 3 years and older.

Practicing gratitude activates several parts of the brain that are associated with reward and motivation. Sharing a moment of gratitude with your little one can help them feel good and associate that feeling off love and kindness with you. 

All you need is yourself and a video or audio connection to your child at a distance. 

Think of 3-4 things you are grateful for today and express them to your little one. After, you can ask them what they are grateful for. 

Emotions 

Suitable for kids between 2-4 years.

At two years of age, children experience complex emotions but have not mastered how to express them healthily. By pointing out what words they can use to express themselves, young children learn new vocabulary and build their self-confidence. This is a teaching opportunity which can help to bond and build trust with your little one. As children develop a vocabulary and more independence, they will experiment with expressing emotion in new ways.

Prepare your acting skills! All you need is yourself and video connection to your child. 

Teach your little one about emotions. Cover your face with your hands and then uncover your face to show an emotion. Ask your little one what emotion you are showing. Repeat by covering your face and revealing a different emotion. Try showing happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. 

Draw Your Family 

Suitable for kids between 3-6 years.

Children develop creativity and enhance their fine motor skills through drawing. Drawing family members also supports their social, emotional connection and bonding. 

Grab a pen (or crayons) and a piece of paper. Use these in a video connection to your child. 

Make a drawing of your family and show it to your little one in a video. It’s not about creating art, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Be sure to point out the family members in the drawing. You can even ask your little one to make a family picture for you as well.

sid-balachandran-_9a-3NO5KJE-unsplash
Animals

Suitable for kids between 2-3 years.

Imitating animal sounds helps young children develop cognitively. At 2 years old, a child might be able to name some animals, and kids this age love playing simple make-believe games.

Connecting with your little one in this playful way helps encourage happiness and long lasting memories. 

All you need is yourself and a video connection to your child at a distance. Pretend to be an animal! Ask your little one to guess what animal you are by making the sound of the animal.You can ask them to do the same, following your demonstration.

About Anieke

Anieke is the Founder and CEO of Peekabond. Anieke is an ex-VC having worked on impact investments and consumer tech deals for the past 8 years of her career. Anieke founded Peekabond from a personal passion because she is an aunt of a 2 year old niece in Australia. She immediately began searching for alternative ways to bond remotely with her little niece. But she couldn’t find a real solution, so she made it her mission to create the best digital platform possible. To build beautiful bonds across generations, continents, and cultures. To connect with Anieke click here 

About Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations.  To try Peekabond go here.