Ours and our children’s normal worlds have been turned upside down by this coronavirus pandemic. With the closure of the school, their normal routine and experiences have suddenly stopped. This in itself can make children feel very anxious and unsettled, on top of this they will be worrying about the pandemic and maybe picking up any anxiety from the adults around them.

I am suggesting a few ideas to try and help at this difficult time.

It is important to talk to your children about the pandemic in a way that they can understand and answer truthfully the questions that they ask. Not talking about something can sometimes make children worry more. Remember that you don’t need to have all the answers to their questions and there are lots of resources out there for you to read together. Check out our recommendations on the Place2be website.

Establishing a routine at home helps children feel more secure and gives structure to their day. They will have their schoolwork, but they will also benefit from other activities that allow them to get close to you, to feel safe and reassured. This will hopefully create opportunities to feel more relaxed and calmer.

Often children find it hard to express their feelings in words, they may find it easier to express themselves through creative art and play.

Here are just a few ideas of simple things you may be able to do at home together:

Arts and crafts:

  • Make postcards to send to family and friends to help them feel connected.
  • Do some simple colouring which can be calming and relaxing. Colouring sheets can be downloaded online.
  • Make your own playdoh (recipes on YouTube).
  • Recycle old magazines and make vision boards and collages.

Exercise:

  • Practice yoga, ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ is a useful channel on YouTube
  • Joe Wicks – provides free PE lessons on YouTube each morning at 9.00am.
  • Learn dances from apps like Tik Tok.

Play together:

  • Lego building, board games.
  • Cook together.
  • Chill Together

Get calm:

  • Go Noodle‘ is a useful movement and mindfulness app.
  • Reading together helps you feel close and connected.
  • To calm the mind read ‘Puppy Mind’ together on YouTube.

Watch TV together:

  • Help to choose programmes together and make sure that they are not being exposed to too much news. National Geographic has a special site for children.

There is also a lot more information on the Place2be website at Place2Be.org.uk/coronavirus. This includes more wellbeing activities for families and links to other websites with ideas for children.

Look after yourselves, stay safe and best wishes.

Henrietta

Henrietta.deasy@place2be.org.uk.