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Making virtual visitation work with toddlers and preschoolers

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Custody & Visitation |

Making virtual visitation work with toddlers and preschoolers can be challenging, but with some thoughtful planning and creativity, co-parents can ensure these sessions are engaging and beneficial for their young children. 

For starters, toddlers and preschoolers have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep virtual visits brief. If you’re a co-parent and you spend time communicating with your child electronically in this way when they’re with your ex, aim for 10-15 minute sessions and consider having interactions more frequently rather than long, drawn-out calls. This approach can help to maintain the child’s interest and make the experience enjoyable rather than overwhelming.

Use interactive activities

Engage your child with interactive activities that can hold their attention. Reading a story, singing songs or playing simple games like peek-a-boo can be very effective. Using props like puppets or toys can also make the sessions more fun and engaging. 

Utilize the features available in your video calling software to enhance the experience. For example, some platforms have virtual backgrounds, fun filters or drawing tools that can make a call more interactive and enjoyable for the child. Utilizing age-appropriate technology means that it is both user-friendly and isn’t so complex that it becomes a source of frustration.


Children thrive on routine, so try to schedule virtual visits at the same time each day or week. Having a consistent schedule helps the child anticipate and look forward to the calls. It also ensures that virtual visitation becomes a regular part of their routine, making it a stable and comforting activity.

To that end, work to ensure the child is in a comfortable and quiet environment during the virtual visit. Choose a familiar and distraction-free area where the child feels safe. This helps the child focus on the call and reduces the likelihood of them becoming restless or distracted.

With all of this said, virtual visitation with young children requires patience and flexibility. Sometimes, the child may not be in the mood to engage, and that’s okay. If a session isn’t going well, don’t force it. Instead, try to reschedule for a better time. Being flexible and understanding about the child’s mood and needs is key to making virtual visitation a positive experience.