Supporting Children during Covid 19 school closures
The NSPCC has created Covid 19 – Parents Page, an online Hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Content includes: information on keeping children safe from abuse; tips and advice to help parents working from home; and ways to talk to a child who is anxious or worried about coronavirus. Please share with your networks, family and friends.
The Under 12s Childline website (www.childline.org.uk/kids) has a new page to help primary age children make sense of the Covid-19 situation, with information and advice as well as tips for managing our feelings. There are also some lovely games and activities to help children manage their worries.
Since lockdown started, I have been looking for mindfulness resources that are suitable for children. There are lots of ideas around on the internet, but none really gave the level of guidance that I think is required to ensure the that children take it seriously. The resources that I am sharing here are from Purple Mash and I think they give a good level of guidance. Each lesson does look quite long, but that’s only because they are giving helpful tips and sometimes a script – you don’t need to follow this if you are confident.
This is a set of six sessions, you could try one a week. I don’t think it matters what order you do them in or if you miss out any that you or your child don’t like the sound of. Favourite sessions can, of course, be repeated.
My two boys and I have been lucky enough to take part in some mindfulness sessions with a trained practitioner and it has taught us some extremely valuable skills that we will be able to use again and again throughout our lives. The sorts of techniques we learnt with our practitioner are similar (some are the same) to the ones in these sessions.
I really believe that we have an opportunity here to teach our children a very important life skill. To have a way to be able to focus and quiet the mind – or go some way towards that – is such a valuable tool to aid our mental wellbeing.
NB - Many of the sessions mention a chime sound, I found one of these on You Tube as I don’t have a chime bar/ triangle at home.
If a session mentions resources, they are the last pages of the PDF, so scroll down and you will find them.
I hope these resources are useful for you and your families.
Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.
The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:
• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?
We want to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, we have suggested, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful: https://www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/.
Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command.
Since 2006, Thinkuknow has been keeping children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation.