Resources to Support Child Wellbeing During COVID-19

24-Apr-2020

The COVID-19 virus is having a huge impact on every one of us, impinging dramatically on all aspects of our lives.

Our youngest children will be struggling to make sense of the way this extraordinary life event has changed their daily lives and they may be feeling a sense of loss of family and friends through the social distancing measures. They may also have experienced bereavement of a close family member.

We believe it is important to support children through this experience sensitively, giving them authentic information, attentive time and emotional congruence to help them understand what is happening and to manage their response to it with a sense of their agency as they navigate these challenging days.

We have identified a shortlist of COVID-19 storybooks and resources which we think are rather good and might support young children's wellbeing at this time. All could be usefully used in a nursery setting or sent to parents who are home educating. The WHO resource is aimed at older children (6+) but could be helpful where siblings are present at home. 

1. Two Free Digital Books on COVID-19 with Axel Scheffler and Lydia Monks
Coronavirus book for children - Axel Scheffler and Dr Dog explains Coronavirs - Lydia Monks 


The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has teamed up with well-known illustrators and publishers to launch an extensive range of free digital COVID-19 educational resources for children.

Through illustrated books and new and existing cartoon characters, this campaign and its innovative educational materials aim to engage young people in public health at this vital time, as well as provide reassurance and support for their wellbeing.

Working with illustrators Axel Scheffler, who illustrated The Gruffalo, and Lydia Monks, LSHTM experts have developed two e-books for pre-school and primary school-age children about the novel coronavirus, and the measures taken to control it.

Professor Graham Medley acted as a consultant on the book with Axel Scheffler, working with publishers Nosy Crow, who also took advice from two headteachers and a child psychologist. They aim to answer key questions in simple language appropriate for 2-9-year-olds, from what the virus is and what happens if you catch it, to why some places are closed and what’s going to happen next. Nosy Crow wanted to make sure the book was accessible to every child and family, so it is completely free to read on-screen or print out.

2. COVIBOOK: Supporting and Reassuring Children Around the World

COVIBOOK - Manuela Molina

Manuela Molina, children’s author has created this short book to support and reassure children under the age of 7 regarding COVID-19.

This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. It is important to point out that this resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy.

Her recommendation is to print this material so children can draw on it. Remember that emotions are processed through repetitive play and stories read multiple times. Share COVIBOOK and help ease children’s anxiety all over the world.

3. World Health Organisation (WHO) Story Book

My Hero is You book - WHO

With the help of a fantasy creature, Ario, “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19! ” explains how children can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new and rapidly changing reality. 

The book – aimed primarily at children aged 6-11 years old – is a project of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings, a unique collaboration of United Nations agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings.

4. EYFS Home

EYFS Home website
Developed by Gender Collect in collaboration with one of CREC's MA students, Ruth Swailes, and a group of Early Years colleagues, the
EYFS Home website is aimed at young children and families home educating. It offers a simple, organised programme of daily activities, resources, advice and support and a community for those looking after children 3-5-year-olds and their siblings.  



For all of us, the loss of daily contact with those we love is hard, and we feel we should help young children to cope with what is happening now, but also to look ahead to a better time when we can all connect once again and reflect on this shared experience and what we have learned from it all.

Things will change and we are hoping that together, we and our children can play our part in rebuilding something better for the future.

We wish you all strength as you navigate these perilous times, each in your own context but joined by our shared concern to keep our children safe and well. 

Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram


 

 

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