Hey mommies and daddies, we are all in this together! We all have a lot of worries and stress in addition to being cooped up with young children. Here are a few tips to help you get through these challenging times.
Tips for talking to young children about Coronavirus:
Remember, even babies absorb your energy. If you are stressed and anxious, your child will be stressed and anxious as well.
Try to limit media exposure (for children and you) as this leads to heightened anxiety.
Reassure your child that they are safe and cared for.
Try to keep home life as normal as possible. Maintain structure and a routine for your child. This makes them feel more secure and keeps their life predictable. If your child is used to being in child care or pre-school, they are used to a lot of structure.
Answer only the questions that your children ask. It is not necessary to offer additional information. Give them information that is truthful and relevant to their age.
Reassure your child that you always have time for them and make time to give undivided attention to answer their questions and discuss their concerns. Try not to make your child feel like a burden while they are home from school or child care. Please see our tips for stress management for mom and dad and activities to do at home to keep children busy and engaged.
*Children need to know that they can depend on their loved ones for security and comfort. If you are acting like everything is ok, they will feel like everything is ok as well.
Stress management for mom and dad:
If you are not in a very highly-affected area, take your children outside to play in your back yard. Fresh air can do wonders for everyone
Make sure everyone is getting enough sleep
Don’t close yourself off from friends and family. Even if you are physically isolated, use FaceTime and text to stay connected
Avoid watching too much media
Practice some deep breathing
Practice yoga and meditation; check out our Yoga for relaxation
After you put your children to bed, instead of turning on the news, take a hot bath or read that novel you have been wanting to start
Yoga for Breathing and Meditation
Remember to Keep Cleaning Products out of Reach of Young Children
For More information, please visit Safe Kids Worldwide for great tips on keeping children safe.
The Deal with Children and Face masks
It is not recommended that children under the age of two wear a face covering, but all other children should wear something over their face if they have to leave the house. Please read the recommendations from the CDC on face coverings and how to make them (even if you don’t sew) here.
Please find more information, including face masks for children with special healthcare needs from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
click here to download this wearing a mask to school PDF from Autism Little LearnersHere is a great social story for helping young children understand why it is important to wear a mask. (from ucucedd.org)
Here is a great video on mask-wearing for young children from the CDC.
Click here for a printable booklet on wearing masks for young children. (From Autism Little Learners)
CDC Guidelines for staying safe while running essential errands.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published several articles to help new parents when it comes to COVID-19
Tips for Coping with a new baby during COVID-19
What Parents Need to Know- General Considerations
10 Tips for Parents to Keep Calm at Home
It is recommended that moms continue to breastfeed during the pandemic. Read more here.
Simple Ways to Entertain Babies and Boost Development at Home
Information for Families with Children with Special Health Care Needs
Some activities to do with your children while you are home-bound:
Butter Slime Recipe
STEM concepts: Science (physical science, life science and earth science), Math (number sense and operations, classification)
Materials: a variety of plastic animals, flashlight, paper, pencil
What to do: This is the easiest and most simple activity you can do with your child. Have them play with the animals while exploring and talking about their features. Then shine the flashlight on the animals and trace the shadow on the paper. You can also do this outside using the shadow from the sun. Discuss the size of the shadow based on the position of the flashlight or sun.
Language and Communication: Tell your child the name of the animals, what noises they make and what they eat. Talk about where they live and what weather they like. Talk about who takes care of the animals or if they live in the wild. Make references to things your child may know from the area they live. Talk about the sizes of the shadows compared to the sizes of the animals.
Expand the Activity: Compare the animals shapes and sizes or by what they eat and where they live. Create small environments with pictures or items around your home. Count the animals with your child to add another math concept to their play.