Virtual Activities for Families

Talking with Children About COVID 19

The links below include articles for caregivers and books for young children that are geared towards helping families create space for discussing the often complex feelings surrounding COVID 19.

Info sheet from Columbia University on addressing COVID 19 with children from infancy to adolescence: Link to Columbia University Info Sheet

Actionable advice from the Child Mind Institute for addressing children’s COVID 19 questions: Link to Child Mind Institute

Advice for parents from PBS on talking to young children about COVID 19 – includes links to PBS media that address topics like hand washing, germs, and illness: Link to PBS

A video from Defending the Early Years of Dr. Susan Linn having a conversation with “Audrey Duck” – a puppet who is feeling frustrated about social distancing.  Families with children ages 3 and up may benefit from watching this together as it acknowledges and validates children’s complicated feelings about social distancing: Link to Audrey Duck Video

Two Ebooks from Red Hook Playgroup good for ages 2 and up.  The first asks and answers questions about why is school closed: Link to Why is School Closed Ebook.  The second outlines different feelings children might be having while social distancing: Link to How are You Feeling ebook.

Trinka and Sam Fighting the Big Virus, an ebook along with a family guide for reading it with children.  Link to Trinka and Sam ebook

We Wear Masks ebook.  A social story for children of all ages about different types of masks.  Reading this story together can help children make sense of why we currently wear masks when we leave the house.  Link to We Wear Masks ebook.

My School is Closed Today. A social story that can help children make sense of why school is closed and the feelings that they may have about their teachers and friend.  Link to My School is Closed Today.

Row Lays Low. An ebook about how a fish named Row’s life has changed since school closed and social distancing began.  Much like the social stories above, this picture book can help children make sense of recent life changes.  Link to Row Lays Low ebook. 

At Home Activities

The links below include specific ideas and general activity guides for children of different age groups that can be used at home.

Zero to Three has a collection of at-home resources specifically for children ages 0-3 years old.  Link to Zero to Three Website.  They also provide a general activity guide for creating at home learning experiences for children aged 0-3. Link to Zero to Three at Home Activity Guide.

Reggio Children offers Reggio-inspired activities, games, and advice for parents of young children who are social distancing. Link to Reggio Children

Tinkergarten has collections of nature-oriented at home activities based on age group.  Link to activities for 0-2 yearsLink to activities for 3-5 years.  Link to activities for 6-8 years.

Tinkerlab offers a collection of hands-on art activities for children 4 months and older.  Link to Tinkerlab activities page.

PJ Library has a collection of book and arts activities for babies, toddlers, and preschool aged children.  Link to PJ Library.

NYC Department of Education has created a document covering at home activity ideas for children from infancy through 6 years old. Link to NYC DOE document

Fairy Dust Teaching provides Reggio-inspired activity ideas for children ages 2 and up. Link to Fairy Dust Teaching.

Union Square Play provides free video-based activities for children ages 2 and up.  They also provide resources for caregivers.  Requires families to sign up via email.  Link to Union Square Play.

NYC Ballet offers Saturday morning “Ballet Breaks” appropriate for children ages 3-8 years old.  Link to NYCB Ballet Breaks.

New York and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens offer nature oriented activities and lessons for children ages 2 and up.  Link to NY Botanic Garden.   Link to Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Manhattan Children’s Museum offers daily themed activities for children ages 2 and up.  Link to Manhattan Children’s Museum.

Media: Ebooks, Video, Podcasts and Audiobooks

The links below include different children’s media.  Many of these links involve children engaging with computers or other technology.  The Mayo Clinic offers advice for caregivers regarding screentime use for young children: Link to Mayo Clinic Screentime Guidelines.    KidsHealth offers additional guidance for caregivers: Link to KidsHealth Screentime Guidelines.

Ebooks

  • New York Public Library provides information about how to access ebook collections: Link to NYPL online resources
  • Bank Street offers a list of books that may be helpful for young children exploring different aspects of life changes from during social distancing: Link to Bank Street book list
  • Epic Books offers a free 30 day trial for access to thousands of ebooks: Link to Epic Books

Video

Podcasts and Audiobooks

Caregiving Support

As we navigate the realities of social distancing, children may reflect the changes they are experiencing through different behaviors. Janet Lansbury, a RIE practitioner, offers practical advice for families with children of all ages.  Link to Janet Lansbury’s Website.

Self Care

We know that caring for ourselves is a key part of creating healthy relationships.  The links below connect to resources covering self-compassion and emotional regulation for caregivers and children.

Mindful.org offers an article by resilience expert Linda Graham on practicing self-compassion. Link to mindful.org article

PBS offers an article on managing expectations while parenting during COVID 19. Link to PBS article.

PBS offers an additional article on caregivers destressing with children. Link to PBS article. 

Virus Anxiety provides a self-care toolkit for managing anxiety related to COVID 19. Link to toolkit.

Peace Out has a collection of mindfulness-oriented audio stories that guide children through breathing exercises for managing stress.  Link to Peace Out.