In these uncertain times, the coronavirus pandemic is impacting daily life around the world. Although the pandemic is something everybody is learning how to cope with, it may be especially difficult for children. As stated on GOV UK, there are many factors involved in how your child will process the current events, such as the age of your child, their communication needs and level of understanding. Practicing kindness, mindfulness and gratitude are a few things that may improve wellbeing, as suggested in this BBC article. In the video above and the blogpost below, you will find some extra tips for supporting your children’s wellbeing during COVID-19.
1. Nurture Relationships and Communication
Staying at home for work and school will be a new experience for many families and may take time to adjust to. This can be an opportunity to nurture relationships with children, providing a safe and open space for communication. Wondering how to discuss Coronavirus with your children? Check out this fabulous social story. Little ones can work on communication skills with free printables such as Conversation Starter Prompts and Communication Fans. There are also excellent learning resources like these Conversation Dice that develop speaking and listening skills. Plus, the modern day enables many of us to interact with loved ones during lockdown through Skype, FaceTime and more.
2. Learn a New Skill
With access to many online learning resources and books, now could be the perfect time to learn a new skill. For example, children 9 years and above can learn how to bake and cook with Usborne Beginner’s Cookbook, filled with different types of recipes for aspiring chefs to create. What’s more, you can find child-friendly baking tools here! For mini musicians, My First Keyboard Book teaches children how to play with the keyboard attached to the book! You may also like to try excellent musical toys for kids such as this mini band set. Maybe your child wants to learn a new language? Try WordUnited’s write and wipe Flashcard Kits, illustrated with vivid illustrations and equipped with dry-wipe pens, stickers and more. Learning a language has never been easier!
3. Practice Kindness
Performing acts of kindness can help make a difficult time a little bit easier. Worldwide, stories of people selflessly helping those in need are surfacing and recognition of keyworkers is honoured with a weekly Clap for Carers. To help inspire kindness, WordUnited have developed lovely free resources for children. For example, nurture positive mental health and wellbeing with this Acts of Kindness board game. This fun activity encourages children to be kind, as children move their counters around the board landing on different kind behaviours. From helping to tidy away toys to using manners or writing a letter to a friend, children will learn valuable life skills with this charming game. Moreover, this sweet activity sheet about being kind to yourself helps children learn how when you choose to focus on kind thoughts, positivity to flourish and grow. Kids may also like to send their family and friends a Quentin Blake rainbow eCard, available for free here.
4. Mindfulness for Kids
Being mindful and learning to focus on the present can be a wonderful tool in supporting wellbeing. Mindful Kids cards are ideal for nurturing inner peace and strength for children. They are usefully designed to be used anytime of the day, with beautiful illustrations and simple instructions for children with a wide range of abilities! Plus, watch Mindful Moments Mondays for weekly mindfulness videos for kids. Activities such as colouring sheets can also be calming and mindful. Check out free colouring sheets on WordUnited’s Free Resources Hub and discover a range of brilliant activity books for kids here. You can read more about mindful activities to help kids feel calm on CBeebies.
5. Ensure Kids Get Enough Sleep
Ensuring children get enough sleep can positively impact their physical and mental wellbeing. As stated by Kids Health, sleep allows children to rest. To see how much sleep is recommended for children of different ages, take a look at this article from the NHS. Children can benefit from a nighttime routine that enables them to unwind before bedtime. The NHS also suggests reading books, removing screens from the bedroom, listening to relaxing music or practicing breathing exercises to help promote healthy sleep routines. Wind down at bedtime with WordUnited’s wide selection of books for kids.
6. Physical Activities for Kids
Keeping active helps children to develop strong, healthy muscles and motor skills. Indoor activities for kids such as Yoga Pretzels cards, treasure hunts and skittles can provide hours of enjoyment. Keep up to date with Yoga Pretzels videos for kids each Friday! Discover more indoor activities for kids in this blogpost.
If it is possible to get outdoors, whether it is in the garden, going out for a daily walk or bike ride, spending time outside in the fresh air can have a positive impact on wellbeing. Perhaps you are planning on doing a spot of gardening this weekend? Kids can help out with child-friendly gardening tools of their own, whilst learning about nature and exploring the world around them. Check out these cute garden hand tools designed for little ones with green fingers. Children may also enjoy larger gardening tools, such as this long handled leaf rake. Skipping ropes are also fantastic for combining fun with exercise if you have access to an outdoor space.
7. Talk About Feelings
Learning and talking about feelings may help children to process the different emotions they may be feeling. Adjusting to new routines and rules during the Coronavirus outbreak may bring up new feelings for many children. To help support this, there are some incredible books such as A Book of Feelings and How Do You Feel? that explain emotions in a child-friendly way. Online resources such as Emotions Board Game and Emotions & Feeling Activity Sheet are excellent free printables to help kids learn about different emotions. Additionally, learning resources such as Emoji Dice are fantastic for motivating little ones to talk about their feelings.
Moreover, create at-home ‘Emotion Face Masks’ demonstrated in the above video to support little ones on their journey to recognising feelings. These masks are excellent for children of all ages and abilities to make and use.
What you’ll need:
- Lollipop sticks
- Coloured Card
- Felt-Tip Pens
How to make:
Cut several pieces of coloured card into circles the size of your child’s face, then fold each one into a semi-circle. Draw different mouths onto each card, showing a variety of emotions from happy to sad. Affix a lollipop stick to the back of the semi-circle to create handle. Check out the video at the top of the blog for visual instructions.