Talking to your child about COVID-19
Not sure how to explain COVID-19 and social distancing? Explore these tips and ideas for sharing the facts and calming your child’s fears.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a helpful page for caregivers. Get tips on talking about COVID-19 from the CDC.
- Get 5 key tips on discussing COVID-19 with children. Learn more from the Fred Rogers Center.
- Noggin and Commonsense Media have a video to help parents during COVID-19. Watch Navigating the New Normal: Parents Edition.
- Get tips on how to handle the COVID-19 conversation. Read more from the Child Mind Institute.
To share with your children
- Check out this easy-to-understand, printable book you can read to your children about COVID-19 — available in multiple languages. Read #Covibook.
- Share this comic with your children to help them understand COVID-19. See the online comic from NPR.
Parents and caregivers tend to put their children’s needs before their own. But remember that a key part of caring for your children is caring for yourself. Get some tips on how to practice self-care during COVID-19.
Supporting your child’s development
Families have always supported their child’s learning at home, whether you know it or not. But with more children staying home instead of attending child care, preschools or play groups, many families are looking for new ideas to support their child’s development at home.
Keeping calm and consistent
Establishing a safe, nurturing environment is one of the most important ways you can support your child’s learning. That starts with taking care of yourself and with creating (or maintaining) routines.
- The National Center for Pyramid Model Interventions (NCPMI) has a helpful tip sheet on how to support your child and add consistency to their day during COVID-19. The tip sheet is also available in Spanish.
- Get clear guidance on how to support and encourage your child throughout the day. Find out how to help your child have a good day. You can also download the tip sheet in Spanish.
- Vanderbilt University has guidance on how to build a regular routine for your child.
Support learning at home
Remember that learning at home doesn’t have to look a certain way. Some children may be connecting with a teacher and have activities from school. “School time” might be a part of your routine. Or you might build learning opportunities into your daily routines. All young children learn through interactions, exploration, and play. Do what works best for you and your family!
And remember — “what works best” may not look the same every day. Some days it might not even feel very good. Be kind to yourself and your child and we’ll all get through this together.
Guidance for parents and caregivers
- The CTELDS Action Guides offer caregivers strategies to support their child’s learning. They’re available in English and Spanish. Read the CTELDS Action Guides.
- The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has resources to help children learn at home. Explore NAEYC’s page for families.
- Watch a video for families about distance learning for preschoolers from OEC and the CT State Department of Education.
Resources you can use with your children
- WIDA has ideas to spark conversations and support language development. They’re available in 4 languages. Download Learning Language Every Day: Activities for Families.
- Scholastic has a program of weekly activities. See Scholastic’s Learn at Home for PreK-K.
- Get a calendar of activities you can do daily — available in English and Spanish. Check out 30 Days of Good Things for Young Children.
- Sign up for PBS Kids Daily for activities and tips for playing and learning at home.