Coronavirus Resources for Kids, Parents and Educators
Updated: Apr 7
Caring for You and Your Family's Stress
Since stress weakens the immune system, I want to share some resources for stress relief. You can help your children by modeling for your family how to use healthy coping skills and self-care strategies when faced with a crisis. CHOC Children's has some great guided imagery available. Check out this list of apps I put together that are good for anxiety and stress relief. SAMHSA also offers this resource with tips for Coping With Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks. NAMI has also put out a comprehensive Resource and Information Guide which includes helplines, support groups and other mental health supports to help you cope.
Shine has teamed up with Mental Health America to offer this great well-being toolkit that includes articles, meditations, access to mental health experts, anxiety screenings, and more through Virus Anxiety.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) also published an article, Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty, with great tips outlining how to "separate what is in your control from what is not, do what helps you feel a sense of safety, get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds, challenge yourself to stay in the present and stay connected and reach out if you need more support."
Anxiety Canada also has My Anxiety Plan (MAP) available for children/adolescents and adults for free online. This is a 10 hour course based on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which is considered an evidence-based treatment for anxiety.
I will be carving out time daily to practice Yoga with Adriene with this Yoga for Uncertain Times playlist that includes 34 free practice videos.
I've also put together this resource on helping kids cope in uncertain times.
Mindful Counselor Molly has also shared this amazing resource with 21 mindfulness exercises for home on google slides that you can download for free here!
If you are looking to create a routine and structure during the week for your child, as a way to reduce stress during school closures, be sure to check out the schedule I created for my own children with tips on How to Plan Your Kid's Schedules During School Closures.
I've also created a free visual schedule that you can print and use at home. A visual schedule is a picture plan that shows the different parts of your child’s day. It is very helpful for children so they can keep a routine and know what to expect, which can also help reduce anxiety.
Resources for Kids
NPR has published this awesome comic for kids about the coronavirus by Malaka Gharib. There is also a free pocket-sized folding printable zine version as well. Directions for folding are available here. A Chinese language version is also available.
Brainpop has a great video with facts and some lessons on the Coronavirus. Sharing facts is helpful to reduce some of the anxiety so children don't have misinformation.
Author, Julia Cook, has written a book that was illustrated by children called The Yucky Bug which you can view here. She also has some handouts and poster companions which are available through Teachers Pay Teachers for free.
But Why: A Podcast for Kids, which is released by Vermont Public Radio, has an episode about 30 minutes long on Coronavirus for Kids and the Science of Soap where they speak with infectious disease doctor Krutika Kuppalli, who studies global pandemics and chemistry professor Palli Thordarson about hand washing.
St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital has put together this amazing FREE printable coloring book for kid's to learn about the coronavirus.
I have put together this FREE printable resource of over 120 fun, simple and creative activities for your kids to do while they are home.
Wash Your Lyrics is a very cool and simple website where you can type in the name of a song and it will give you an infographic with the lyrics paired to a hand-washing technique, which was adapted from WHO's guidelines on hand hygiene. Here's a quick one I did on Old Town Road.
Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM) has published a comprehensive resource for Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times that details 7 support strategies including how to "support understanding, offer opportunities for expression, prioritize coping and calming skills, maintain routines, build new routines, foster connections (from a distance) and be aware of changing behaviors."
The Illinois Autism Partnership has created a social story about school cancellations and another social story about Social Distancing, which can be a confusing topic to understand for children who have special needs.
Teaching Differently is offering a printable social story about Coronavirus.
The Autism Educator has a free Corona Virus Social Story you can download.
Mrs D's Corner also has a visual adapted book about the coronavirus that also comes with two differentiated levels of comprehension tests.
Sesame Street has launched a Caring for Each Other initiative which they will be adding content to. This will be great for younger kids and right now you can get a virtual hug from elmo.
Matt Bailey is a school counselor who created this video using a puppet to discuss coronavirus with kids. I appreciate his creativity and playfulness! This would be a great video to share with lower-elementary aged children.
Music City School Counselor also has this great social story. You can also get a printable version at her website.
Resources for Parents, Counselors and Educators
The National Association of School Psychologists released a resource for parents, which includes a printable document with helpful guidelines outlining how to remain calm and reassuring, make yourself available, avoid excessive blaming, monitor television viewing and social media, maintain a normal routine to the extent possible, be honest and accurate, know the symptoms of COVID-19, communicate with your school and take time to talk with age appropriate explanations.
PBS has published an article, How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus, that includes some tips as well as some PBS KIDS videos, games and activities all about hand washing and staying healthy.
Jacqueline Sperling published an article on The Harvard Health Blog, entitled How to talk to children about the coronavirus, which outlines tips for parents about how to provide just enough information about the coronavirus, how to answer children’s questions about the coronavirus, model calmness, limit news exposure and how to keep an eye out for reassurance seeking.
The New York Times has an article about Talking to Teen/Tweens about Coronavirus.
HEMOT® (Helmet for EMOTions Emotional Preparedness in Case of Disaster) has a pamphlet available in several languages including: English, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Portuguese, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.
Open Circle has an article outlining some tips including suggestions to not be afraid to say you don’t know and to practice calm breathing and mindful pauses.
Scholastic Classroom Magazine has different resources about talking to students about the coronavirus for grades PreK-3, Grades 4-5 and Grades 6-12 and videos and resources about washing hands, studying the immune systems, sneezing etc.
The Guidance Alliance has created a A Free Printable Handout for Parents and Teachers on Coping with Covid-19 that includes a discussion on normalizing anxiety, using coping skills and online educational tools.
The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence Team also offered an article that outlines some tips for Managing Anxiety Around Covid-19 including reminders to: start with yourself, be aware of your own emotions and accept how you feel, focus on the facts, control the amount of information you take in, don’t be afraid to say no, respect others’ decisions but know what’s right for you, be your best self when dealing with stigma and fears and support others who are dealing with anxiety and uncertainty.
Music City School Counselor is one of my go-to resources for social-emotional learning. She has some very helpful resources, including a printable version of this tip sheet with ideas for how we can support children during the coronavirus crisis. You can get a free copy of the social story video shown above and a printable version of this tip sheet at this website.
I will continue to update this page as I find more resources for children, parents, counselors and educators. If you found this information useful, please share with someone who you think may also find it useful.