During lockdown we have all experienced restrictions on our rights to freedom of association and ability to get together with friends (described as freedom of assembly in UNCRC Article 15). Children have also told Children’s Parliament that one of the most difficult parts of school being closed has been not being able to see friends or take part in clubs and social activities. Being mostly indoors in the early parts of lockdown was particularly difficult for many children. UNCRC Article 31 acknowledges the importance of the child’s right to leisure, to play and recreational activities and to take part in cultural life and the arts, all of which can begin to be re-established as we emerge from lockdown and children get back to school.
While many children are excited to return to school to be reunited with friends and social activities, many are also experiencing levels of anxiety and worry about peer relationships. For some there are worries about bullying. For more on what children told Children’s Parliament during lockdown see Children’s Experiences of Lockdown.
These activities help you to support children to reconnect with peers, to reflect on how to be a good friend and help everyone to be included.