Resource list for supporting children
The following resources have been collated from a wide range of sources to provide information for anyone to use as they feel would be helpful. They include information relevant to children across the early years and school age range including those with special educational needs and disabilities.
NB They are not recommendations, purely possibilities.
Information on coronavirus for children
The BBC Newsround site has a comprehensive section on coronavirus with text and video guidance focusing on tips if a child is worried, how to wash your hands, and what self-isolation means.
Covibook - Supporting children and families around the world - Available in 18 different languages.
ELSA - Story books for children about the virus.
Carol Gray has produced a social story about coronavirus and pandemics. The social story uses large print pictures and provides contextual information about pandemics and viruses in general.
Information for parents
Childmind - Talking to kids about the corona virus.
BPS - Talking to kids about the corona virus.
Incredible Years - Articles for parents.
Place2Be - Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.
Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing.
- Mindful and relaxation
- Managing anxiety about the virus as adults
Special Education Needs and Disability
Coronavirus - National Autistic Society - Resources and tips for autistic people and families.
The Autism Educator: What is the coronavirus? - a story with helpful information about social distancing like not being able to go to a favourite place.
Mencap - Easy Read guide to Coronavirus.
CarersUK - Guidance for carers
Amaze - information pack for parents
Public Health England have produced an easy read version of their Advice on the coronavirus for places of education
ocdUK - Information for those struggling with OCD
Young Minds - General information for young people about managing their mental health.
Sensory Integration - Information for those with sensory difficulties who struggle with handwashing.
Story massage have put together a free resource booklet of 36 stories, email Emailmary@storymassage.co.uk to be sent a copy.
Pete Wells has some raucous free sensory stories available on his website - and the podcast is well worth a listen too!
The Sensory Dispensary have activities available to download from TES SEN website
Soundabout are offering live online inclusive music sessions
Music apps and interactive resources (even some online lessons)
Have fun at home!
Seusville - lot of activities, crafts and games based on the world of Dr Seuss.
Thinking games - this website has links to a whole host of games designed to improve logical thinking skills.
Highlights Kids - a popular US magazine for children, this site has lots of ideas for craft activities, recipes and an 'explore' section covering science questions and experiments.
Art for Kids Hub - this Youtube channel shows you how to draw a variety of things from animals to cartoon characters and even cars.
The Imagination Tree - Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.
Paw Print Badges - Free challenge packs and other downloads. Indoor and outdoor.
- Early years
Learning at home
Twinkl - free home learning booklets from EYFS through to GCSE.
Oxford Owl free e-books for ages 3-11, and range of how-to videos for maths. They also have a parents' page which explains how spelling and grammar is taught in schools. If you ever wondered what a 'fronted adverbial' was, here's your chance to find out!
Discovery Education English, Maths & Science activities for KS1 & KS2 and also a section on coding
Scholastic - this US company have put together 20 days of cross-curricular projects to work through at home. The correct grade will need to be selected to match the UK year group:
- PreK and Kindergarten = Reception and Year 1
- Grades 1 & 2 = Year 2 and 3
- Grades 3-5 = Years 4, 5 and 6
- Grades 6+ = Year 7 onwards
Toy Theater Educational online games.
Chatterpack - a list of home Ed resources
Teachit Primary - resources and games to print for English, Maths, Science and Foundation subjects. Sign up for an account is required to download the free resources.
Teachit also have a range of resources for secondary school students. The website address is teachit + topic name e.g. English would be www.teachitenglish.co.uk, Languages.
British Council - Resources for English language learning.
Phonics Play - phonics games which follow the Letters & Sounds phonics programme. Pick the phase the child is currently on using the menu at the side. Phonics Play is currently free for all users during the school closure period.
- Username: march20
- Password: home
CoolMath4Kids -- interactive games covering the four operations (+ - x Ã·) and fractions.
Pet Bingo for apple - an app for practising the four operations, children get to earn pets and care for them.
Snappy Maths - maths worksheets for quick mental arithmetic sessions, like doubles & halves, number bonds and times tables.
Science Museum Group - Videos, activities and facts on lots of different science topics for all key stages.
Science for Kids - A New Zealand based site with lots of science experiments and games for kids
Switch Zoo - the idea started from creating new animals by switching parts, includes lots of information about habitats, biomes, feeding animals and animal sounds.
Crest Awards - Science awards that can be completed at home.
Topics (History, Geography, Art)
National Geographic Kids - covering animals, science, history & geography, a website full of fascinating facts.
3D Geography - ree paper templates for making models, plus lots of geography information and resources.
Tynker marketed as 'coding for kids', this website is currently offering free access to its premium content
Code.org - founders of the 'Hour of code' tutorials, this website offers computer science courses for students from reception through to A-level.
iDEA Awards - Digital award scheme that can be completed online.
Duolingo - a free platform for learning languages. You can learn from a computer, or download the app.
Activities for Home
Setting Up a Den in the house or a Camp in the garden
This activity can be useful to create a safe place for children and a place they know they can have some quiet time, such as, reading a book, playing with little people, teddies or puppets. You can ask them to contribute to set it up with you, make decorations, put up lights and a sign. Children will find this fun and different. It can create an imaginative world for the child.
Setting Up a Learning Place in the house and Do Learning Together
It is important that children feel they have an allocated space in the house where they can concentrate and focus on learning. It does not have to be a big space and can even be a shared space. It is more about how we use this space and what we do when we are learning. Setting up some ground rules for this will also be helpful. With a schedule, allocate time to learning in short and fruitful bursts, it is more about the quality and the positive experience of learning rather the quantity and speed at which we do these learning tasks. When you are noticing that learning is no longer fruitful, have a short break, a snack, a glass of water, some movement breaks. Family learning can be rich as we can all learn together and share understanding, problem-solving and information.
Cooking is great as it also includes literacy and numeracy tasks, such as, reading recipes or counting and measuring ingredients. Involving children in cooking can be fun and full of joy as they are involved in producing a tangible product at the end. You can also ask the children to finish off the cookies, cake, etc. by decorating them, lots of time can be spent on this.
Puzzle, Lego, Visual-Spatial Activitiesr
These activities tend to be calming as the brain focuses on putting things together rather than verbal or emotion demanding tasks. Offering these activities in the house will be of benefit to everyone as it will help all involved to be grounded and calm.
Setting Up a Fun Project
It is important to vary activities, like a carousel. Start with one and move on to the next. When activities are designed to promote different areas of development, children will find this more engaging than if it is tapping into the same type of skills so it is important to also have something creative, a fun project you will enjoy doing together. A fun project could be: making a scrapbook of different drawings, paintings, making characters out of modelling clay, picking up leaves from the garden and finding the name of the tree online, taking photographs of wildlife in the garden such as birds, animals, painting rocks with emojis on them, drawing a cartoon strip or writing a collection of short stories, inventing characters and drawing these, so many things that can be done. Some children may like the challenge of a research project.
Starting a Collection, Playing Board Games
Stamps, stones, leaves, labels and lots of other things can start collections. Board games, such as snakes and ladders, can be made using templates on the web.
Sending Messages, Letters and Postcards to Family and Friends
Keep in touch with your social networks via different communication modes either video call or messaging.
Learning a New Skill Together and/or Teaching a New Skill
There are lots of youtube videos nowadays that can teach skills step by step. Learn to say words in a different language, learn how to do sewing, knitting, crochet, slime, scrapbooking, photography, design a webpage together or design cards online.
Implementing Routines for Self-care and Mindfulness
It's ok for all involved to feel this is not a normal situation. It is important to keep communicating, being transparent, responding to questions, presenting the facts as well as not bombarding with facts. Children are curious and like to find out about the world so it is a good opportunity to open their thinking by sharing information, exploring maps, countries. It is also important we are aware of feelings and able to recognise sensations, feelings and actions. Implement some self-care activities together such as doing a calming activity together, reading a book, relaxing, watching a film.
Don't forget to move and for the full family to move. You can set up some an obstacle course in the garden for example. This can be done using household items like a skipping rope, bottles, a ball. Like do 10 jumps, 10 skips, 10 hoops in the basketball hoop, knock 3 bottles down, etc. You can set up a challenge and time them going through the course. Walking the dog and playing with an animal can also be part of the routine.
Educational psychology advice for parents
Resources and advice for supporting parents/carers
Well-being tips for families
Talk to your children and answer their questions. Ask about what they have heard about the virus and the situation so that you can correct possible misconceptions and reassure them.
Avoid being too immersed in media coverage. Be mindful of the amount of things you are reading and watching, including social media - as this may add to worry and anxiety. Consider a few updates every day from trusted sources.
Remember that people react differently to significant events. Some people, both adults and children, may feel worried, some excited, some nothing much at all. Be reassured that different reactions are normal and ok.
If your child seems worried, it may be good to distract them with something that takes their mind off their worries. You might also want to set aside 10-15 minutes each day for them to talk about any worries, and to reassure them
Remember to keep things positive and give children hope. For example, tell children that now many people are working to make this better and that even though it is serious, everyone is doing their best to help people.
Try to keep familiar routines. Well-known routines in everyday life provide security and stability. As adults we like to know what is going to happen, and children like this too. A consistent routine lets everyone be secure about the plans for the day. Involve children in creating this routine so they feel part of it rather than having the plan imposed upon them.
Don't worry if the routine isn't perfect - remember this is not a normal situation. If the plan is causing friction or stress, then be more 'free-flow' and be guided by the activities that children want to do. Spending time together, building relationships, enjoying shared activities and reassuring children are all important.
Do nice things together and keep active. Make a plan and suggest some regular family times where you can play games, do some exercise together, or do other things that you know most of you like. Try to find a good balance between time together, and screen time.
Keep in good contact with family and friends (via Facetime, Skype WhatsApp etc., following NHS guidance on 'social contact').This will help children connect with others and know that others are thinking about them. It will also reassure them that others are well.
As a parent you may be concerned yourself. Take care of yourself and make sure you have breaks, time to relax, and ask for help from others if you need
Help explaining isolation of those over 70 to children
Grandpa & The Cosy Weeks
"Soon it will be time for The Cosy Weeks," said Grandpa,
"What's that?" said Small Rabbit
"It's when us older rabbits spend a few weeks in the house doing cosy things."
"Well, I shall do cosy watching telly and cosy eating dinner and I might do some cosy gardening in my window box," said Grandpa."Can I come?" said Little Rabbit.
"Not this time," said Grandpa, "These Cosy Weeks are just for us older folk to help us not get ill."
"What will you eat in the Cosy Weeks?" said Little Rabbit.
"I will eat all the yummy things in my cupboards and I might bake a special cosy cake."
"But what happens if you run out of food?" said Little Rabbit.
"You can deliver food to my doorstep," said Grandpa.
"You can deliver food to my doorstep," said Grandpa.
"Can I come in for tea?"
"Not this time," said Grandpa. "But we can have a video tea."
"A video tea?"
"Yes, I will cook up my tea in my house and you can cook up your tea in your house. And at five o'clock we will ring each other and we can talk whilst we eat our tea. It will be a special cosy-over-the-phone-tea."
"What if your tea looks nicer than my tea," said Little Rabbit, "and I want to eat your tea?"
"Hmmm," thought Grandpa Rabbitâ€¦ "How about I cook your favourite cosy tea and you can cook the same cosy tea, from the same recipe. Then we can eat the same cosy-over-the-phone-tea."
"It will be just like we are in the same place, eating the same food, at the same time," said Little Rabbit. "I like the sound of that. Happy Cosy Weeks Grandpa.
- Setting Up a Den in the house or a Camp in the garden
- Have fun at home!