The Covid – 19 pandemic has caused a huge amount of confusion, panic and fear amongst the entire population. One group in particular just be feeling utterly confused and uneasy – children. There are a number of ways we can help children cope during lockdown.
I am the mother of an 18-year-old and a 6-year-old, both are girls. My eldest daughter has experienced disappointment, anger and sorrow as her A-Level exams were cancelled. She faces uncertainty regarding her plans to start University in September.
My 6 year old has other concerns. She asks so many questions about the virus. Where did it come from? Why can’t I see my friends and family? Why are people breaking the lock down rules? When will I be able to go to Grandma’s? How long will my school be closed? My husband is in the shielded group. This has led to increased worry in my children, especially for the youngest.
I have been very kindly gifted a recently published book entitled “What’s Going On? (Asked Belinda Fitz-John)” which discusses some of the issues my daughter has quizzed me over in the past few weeks. The book is authored by three mums who have 9 children between them. Their children, like millions of others, have been asking some of these tough to answer questions.
The book is in electronic form so it’s really easy to access! To purchase and download the book from Amazon, click here.
What’s Going On? (Asked Belinda Fitz-John)
I sat down with Aurelia and explored the story What’s Going On? (Asked Belinda Fitz-John). The story features a young girl, Belinda who asks a series of questions to her mother. All of Belinda’s questions are actually those that Aurelia has asked me over the past few weeks.
By reading through the story, Aurelia could see that other children had the same concerns as her. Initially, Aurelia was extremely worried about catching the virus, just as Belinda in the story.
Aurelia has struggled to leave the house for exercise. She is terrified of catching the virus. She is fearful of seeing people in masks and also of wearing one herself. In the story, Belinda discusses some of the concerns she has upon seeing people in face masks.
The story is short, written in simple to understand language and ideal for young children. The illustrations are very colourful and keep the young reader engaged. The point of the story is to explore some of the concerns young children might have as we experience a dramatic change in our society. The story certainly does that.
Many children must feel incredibly lonely as we face this current crisis; they have been removed from their friends, teachers and wider family members. Perhaps they would be discussing some of these concerns with those who they are no longer in contact with. However, this book offers some discussion around these issues, concerns they might not have found the language to fully express.
Aurelia really enjoyed the story. Not only its message and the illustrations but as a book she could read herself. Importantly, it’s a useful tool as us parents seek to help our children to cope during lockdown.
Ways to Keep Children’s Minds Active During Lockdown
Aurelia absolutely loves mindfulness colouring. They use this method of relaxation at school. All you need is a picture and some colouring pencils, crayons or felt tip pens.
Mrs Macivity offers some amazing colouring resources, including mindfulness colouring. They also have some amazing rainbow pictures to colour in and place in the window. Aurelia created this one which has a beautiful message.
Not only is colouring therapeutic, but you can also use this activity to encourage children to create some colourful and positive images to place around the home.
Make a Lego Movie
Aurelia’s favourite place to visit is Legoland. She is really missing her regular visits.
As part of her homework, Aurelia was asked to tell the Easter story in whatever way she chose. We decided to make a “Lego movie”. This was honestly one of the best things we have done since lockdown began.
Firstly we planned out each scene. We decided on four scenes – Jesus attested in the Garden of Gethsemena, the crucifixion, Jesus in the tomb and the Resurrection. Aurelia made a back drop (colouring in sheets of paper) for each of these scenes.
For the set, we used a cereal box. We then stuck the scenes onto the cereal box. For the figures, we used a variety of Lego pieces. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a Jesus figure, so we had to improvise!
To create the film, we took a series of photos. This was a little tricky, we set the camera on a tripod and tried not to knock the camera or the set (although we did a bunch of times). Aurelia carefully moved the figures bit by bit and I snapped a picture each time she moved them.
We then uploaded the photos onto the computer and used the video maker app on my laptop to create the film. We could even add music.
This whole activity took a while afternoon, however we had lots of giggles and Aurelia really engaged with this activity. And we have something to show for all our hard work!
Play Card Games
Whenever I would complain of boredom as a child, I would be handed a deck of playing cards. Knowing some simple card games meant I could never be bored!
I’ve taught Aurelia how to play a variety of games over the past few years. Her favourite is “Go Fish”. This weekend, I taught her how to play “Solitaire”. Eager to learn more, I’m going to introduce her to “Clock Face”. These will hopefully be games and skills she continues to enjoy for years to come.
Aurelia loves to play dominoes with her Great Grandfather. He bought her a set for Christmas and we’ve made good use of them in the last few weeks. Such a simple game yet totally engaging!
Dominoes really keeps the mind active!
I can highly recommend the book “What’s Going On? (Asked Belinda Fitz-John)” as a tool in which you can help your own children to cope during lockdown. We have also used some other methods, as listed above. What methods have you used to help children your cope during lockdown? Please share in the comments below.
* This is a collaborative post, however, as always, all opinions are my own.
For similar posts, see my parenting category.