Parenting Resources

This page offers resources for parents on a variety of topics relating to children and the COVID-19 health emergency. For more recommended podcasts, educational websites, virtual experiences and at-home activities, please see our Virtual and At-Home Activities page. 

Talking with Children About the Coronavirus

Tips for Parents

Audio Series: Managing Anxiety (For Caregivers)

In this special audio series, Dr. Julie L. Ryan, associate professor of Clinical Psychology and director of the Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience Concentration, and Dr. Nadja Reilly, clinical psychologist and associate director of the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development offer tips for caregivers on managing their own anxiety, and their child's anxiety, during this stressful time. Clips are presented  in short segments of around 2-3 minutes each, and can be listened to as a series or by topic.  Find the playlist and listen here

Groups and Support

Infants and New Parents
The Richard I. and Joan L. Freedman Center for Child and Family Development connects children and families with appropriate information, providers and resources to serve their mental health and wellness needs. The Center's next New Babies/New Moms group will be offered virtually. Learn more and register here

Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts 
Parents Helping Parents of Massachusetts offers online support groups (daily via Zoom), a parental stress helpline, materials, resources and more. Visit their website, https://www.parentshelpingparents.org/

Additional Groups 
William James College's Center of Excellence for Children, Families and the Law and Brenner Center for Psychological Assessment and Consultation are also presenting a series of groups on the following topics. For dates, times and login details please visit our Public Events Calendar page. 

  • Parenting and Co-Parenting through COVID
  • Supporting your Elementary Learner from Home
  • Disconnecting from the news and reducing anxiety
  • Virtual Playdates
  • Relaxation and Stress Management in Uncertain Times
  • School-Age Children Virtual Lunch-Bunch During COVID-19 (Weekly)
  • Executive Functioning Challenges while Working from Home
  • Coping & Mindfulness Group

Resources Curated by School Psychologists

School Psychologist Recommendations for Parents Supporting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs

The following resources were drawn from a guide compiled by the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association (MSPA) and members of the MSPA board, including WJC faculty members Barbara Miller, Jason Kaplan, and Gayle Macklem. 

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) is also sharing a number of resources via their website. 

General Recommendations for Parents
  • Stay calm and practice/model coping strategies for your children.  Children look to the adults in their lives to determine if they should be afraid and how to manage emotions.
  • Review Behavioral Strategies for Home Based Learning
    • Use visuals to decrease anxiety and add structure the day: Include daily responsibilities each family member will have (dishes, making beds, putting laundry away, etc. as well as outdoor time and academic learning. Make a contract. Identify concerns, state expectations and discuss the role that each family member has to help make the living conditions better.
  • Keep calm and structure on:
Coronavirus and Kids - Educational Resources
Social and Emotional Support Tools

Meditation for Kids

Other Tips

  • Try "Gratitude Journaling" - fun for kids and parents to do together, every day write down 3 things that you are grateful for (big or small), kids can draw pictures or write or both, keep a journal to look back on later!
  • Keep kids moving with www.Gonoodle.com  
Academic and Supplemental Websites
Language and Communications Learning
Curriculum Resources
Enrichment Activities and Virtual Field Trips

National Parks and Other "Travel"

Museums

  • Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre
  • Walk through the Boston Children’s Museum thanks to Google Maps! This virtual tour allows kids to explore 3 floors of fun.

Zoos and Aquariums 

Art and Enrichment 

  • Enrichment Activities - a comprehensive list of over 250+ activities that can be done online and offline, table indicates the developmental level of each activity, plus the level of parent involvement needed
  • Art with Mo Willems - Mo Willems invites YOU into his studio every day for his LUNCH DOODLE. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together. New episodes at 1PM every weekday. 
  • Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips, a few of the field trip topics include:
Disability Specific Resources

Autism Specific Resources

Apps

  • Sight Words
  • Sequences for Autism
  • See, Touch, Learn
  • Words on Wheels
  • Verbal Me
  • Autism iHelp
  • Autism/DDT Shapes
  • Autism DDT Letters
  • Speech with Milo

Academics

  • Autism Helper - FREE 3 weeks of work packets
  • Facebook page: AutismLevelUP - has activities to meet all needs: academic, sensory, regulation, etc.

Behavioral Support

  • Corona Specific Supports- handwashing, emotional control, etc. from the University of North Carolina
  • Use visuals. The use of visuals helps decrease anxiety and helps structure the day: Include daily responsibilities each family member will have (dishes, making beds, putting laundry away, etc. as well as outdoor time and academic learning. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism  ffers Visuals for students with Autism (and other needs) through these difficult times.

Dyslexia Specific Resources

Apps

  • Lively Letters
  • Nessy Apps
  • OGStar Reading
  • Cursive Writing Wizard
  • Simplex Spelling Apps
  • Hearbuilder Apps
  • Teach Monster
  • Word Wizard
  • Bd Bakeoff
  • Handwriting Without Tears-Wet- Dry- Try
  • Snap Words
  • What's Changed?
  • Speechify
  • Zoo-Phonics
  • Preschool University
  • Name that Syllable/Rule/Cutting Pattern
  • SoundLiteracy
  • What is Dyslexia
  • Dyslexia Quest
  • Happy Math Multiplication Rhymes
  • Read 2 Me
  • Phonics with Phonograms
  • Dyseggxia
  • DD’s Dictionary: A Dylexic Dictionary

Audio Books

  • Learning Ally
  • Epic
  • Overdrive
  • Bookshare
  • RAZ Kids
  • Readworks
  • NLS for blind & print disabled

Games

  • Spot it
  • Boggle, Scrabble
  • My first bananagrams
  • Apples to apples
  • Washington Reads Card Games
  • Hangman

Podcasts

  • But Why
  • What if World
  • Tumble
  • Brains On!
  • Stories Podcast
  • Six Minutes

Websites

Hearing Impaired Resources

Visually Impaired Specific Resources

Apps

  • ViA
  • Dragon Dictation
  • Light Detector
  • Color ID
  • TapTapSee
  • Be My Eyes - Helping Blind See
  • Talking Calculator
  • SayText
  • AccessNote
  • Visual Brailler

Writing Difficulties

Apps

  • The Writing Machine
  • iWrite Words
  • Letter School
  • Aloha Writed
  • ABC Pocket Phonics
  • Word Magic
No Internet, No Problem-Screen Free Enrichment
  • Interview a family member.
  • Measure the area and perimeter of each room in your home.
  • Graph the types of birds that frequent your yard or windows.
  • Be completely silent for 60 minutes, then write about the experience.
  • Write and mail a [real] letter to your teacher or principal or classroom penpal. Address the envelope yourself.
  • Build a "fable fort" out of blankets and chairs. Camp in it all day while you create stories to tell your family over dinner.
  • Learn morse code and use it to communicate with your siblings through walls and floors.
  • Alphabetize the spices in your kitchen.
  • Stay up late and stargaze.
  • Call a grandparent or older relative. Ask them to teach you the words to a song from their childhood days.
  • Using household materials, build a working rain gauge, barometer, and wind vane.
  • Determine and chart the times that different liquids require to turn solid in the freezer.
  • Design and build puppets that perform a show about multiplication.
  • Construct a family tree.
  • Learn ten new big words. Write them in marker on your bathroom mirror.
  • Draw a map of your home.
  • Sit silently for 15 minutes while you write down every sound you hear. When you are done, classify the sounds (high/low pitch, high/low volume, manmade v. naturally occurring, etc.).
  • Create a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts two people in your family, your neighborhood, or your church, mosque, or temple.
  • Learn, practice, and perform a magic trick.
  • Learn, practice, and tell three new jokes.
  • Use household materials to make and play stringed, percussion, and wind instruments.
  • Learn to shine a pair of shoes.
  • Collect leaves from ten different (non-harmful) plants. Sort them by size, color, and texture.
  • Put your favorite book, toy, and keepsake on a small table in sunlight. Draw or paint a full color still life.
  • Find, pick, and dissect a flower.
  • If you have stairs, walk up and count them. Walk down and count by twos. Walk up and count by threes. Continue through tens.
  • Determine the volumes of ten containers, then display them in order on your porch.
  • Write a poem on your sidewalk using chalk.
  • Classify twenty everyday objects by shape, size, color, height, mass, and material.
  • Measure the length of your bed using five different nonstandard units.
  • Call a person who speaks a language you do not. Ask them to teach you five common words or phrases.
  • Create and use a secret code.
  • Using one type of paper (constant), build three different paper airplanes (independent variable) and test to see how far they fly (dependent variable).
  • Set a clock three hours and seven minutes ahead. Whenever someone needs to know the time, help them figure it out by subtracting.
  • Write down every adjective you say for one full day.
  • Learn three new jokes. Tell them to an aunt or uncle.
  • Design a map of every state ever visited by people in your family.
  • Write or tell a story titled "What if humans had to leave the Earth and no one remembered to turn off the last robot?"
  • Find ten rocks smaller than a dime.
  • Using paper, tape, and string, design, build, and test a device that warns you when someone opens the kitchen cabinet.
  • Imagine, create, and fly a full size flag that tells the world about you.
  • Make puppets and have the kid/s put on a puppet show (puppets could be made from toilet paper rolls)
  • Make paper airlines and see who can fly the furthest!
WJC Resource Hub