Many families continue to practice social distancing and early learning programs are teaching children about mainting safe distances. All of these changes may be confusing to children who are used to spending time in large groups or are now distanced from extended family members or neighbors. Separation from loved ones can be difficult, especially for younger children who may not understand COVID-19 precautions.

This Thriving Thursday, we are proving resources to watch, read and do to help children navigate the feelings they may be experinecing and develop some fun alternatives to maintain the connections that are vital to healthy development.

“I Am So Loved” is a free* printable story that an adult and child (age 3+) can do together. It reassures children that even though they aren’t able to visit each other, their friends and family still love them deeply. It also uses simple language to explain why people are staying apart, especially those who are at higher risk from COVID-19.

For younger children (age 1+) try this “Story Hand.” It is an adapted I Love You Ritual designed to help adults comfort and connect with children who are feeling scared or anxious about COVID-19. Begin with a gentle hand massage accompanied by a personalized social story that helps a child deal with stress or anxiety.

Finally, another free* resource is Coronavirus Is a Big Word: A Printable Story. From older siblings learning from home, to parks closing and normal routines  abruptly changed all coupled with this unkown virus, it can be scary. This activity helps children understand Coronavirus and social distancing.

*To access these resources, you will  need to set up a free account registration through Consious Discipline.