This page offers resources for parents on a variety of topics relating to children and the pandemic. For more recommended podcasts, educational websites, virtual experiences and at-home activities, please see our Virtual and At-Home Activities page.
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.
Talking with Children About the Coronavirus
- How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus, Harvard Medical School
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource, National Association of School Psychologists
- Coronavirus Public Health Emergency: Psychological Tips for Children and Adolescents’ Emotions, Department of Human Sciences, University of Verona
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus, NPR
- Social and Emotional Learning Supports for Children and Young Adults Around Covid-19, SEL4TX
- Coronavirus, Online Learning, Social Isolation, and Cyberbullying: How To Support Our Students, Cyberbullying Research Center
- COVIBOOK, a short book by Manuela Molina written about COVID-19 to support and reassure children under the age of 7. Available for download in multiple languages.
- Tips in Spanish, for parents talking to children. A podcast presentation prepared by Dr. Margarita Tarragona.
Talking with Children About Race and Racism
- Guide for Parents of Asian/Asian American Adolescents, a guide for parents created by faculty and students in the William James College Asian Mental Health Concentration. Available in multiple languages.
- Talking With Children About Race: 10 Tips For White Parents, William James College special audio series
- "14 Antiracist Books for Kids and Teens Recommended by BIPOC Teachers and Librarians," (New York Times, November 2020)
Tips for Parents
- "Try these 8 tips to reduce parenting stress during the coronavirus pandemic," Leslie E. Roos and Jessica Flannery via TheConversation.com.
The Cleveland Clinic: Tips for parents on how to better manage stress.
- People in recovery or struggling with problems as a result of substance use disorder, their families and loved ones, can find ways to access support and help online. Please see the resources listed under the Subtance Use Disorders page of this Hub.
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.
- 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
- The Indiana Resource Center for Autism offers some excellent visuals for students with Autism (and other needs) through these difficult times.
- 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:
- BrainPop Coronavirus Video
- Cincinnati Children’s How Germs Spread Video - Great visual description for kids with autism
- Handwashing Posters - 20 free Handwashing posters
- Helping children understand:
- School Closures: Illinois Autism Partnership Coronavirus Social Story
- Social Distancing:
- Illinois Autism Partnership Coronavirus Social Story
- "Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story About Social Distancing," by Kim St. Lawrence (YouTube)
- Creating a Calm Down Space For a classroom but can be used at home (Free)- all ages, create a space to support children accessing coping skills independently or with your support at home
- Free Mindfulness Class for Kids - Live onTues, Wed, Thurs at 1PM EST.
- Feelings Bingo (Free) - grades 3-6, check out and build your child’s emotional vocabulary with this fun game
- “Thinking and Feeling Words” to Build Your Child's Communication Skills
- Coping Skills card game (Free) all ages
- Self Regulation Break Cards (Free) - all ages
- 100 Free Coping Skills - all ages
- 101 Positive Self-Affirmations (Free) all ages
- Perspective Taking Lesson (Free) - grades 5-8
Meditation for Kids
- HeadSpace - Meditation for Kids
- Green Child Magazine - Free guided scripts for kids
- Meditation Apps:
- DreamyKid Meditation App Just for Kids
- Headspace: Meditation and Sleep
- SOS Method: Meditation
- 5 Minute Escapes: Guided meditation and relaxation
- Stop, Breathe and Think
- Mindfulness for children
- Thrive Global
- Smiling Mind
- Sleep Meditations for Kids
- Bedtime Explorers
- Peace Out
- Short and Curly- Teaches children ages 7-12 about ethics and philosophy through hilarious predicaments
- Youtube Videos:
- Friendly Wishes | Guided Meditation for Kids | Peace Out
- Meditation for Kids - The Butterfly - Kids' Meditation
- Guided Meditation for Children | The Gratitude Tree | Kids Meditation for Happiness
- Guided Meditation for Children | Your Magical Island | Kids Relaxation
- Guided Meditation for Children | Your Secret Treehouse | Relaxation for Kids
- Guided Meditation for Kids | The Friendly Whale | Relaxation for Children
- 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
- 123HomeSchool For Me 101 FUN Things To Do During Coronavirus Lockdown
- ABCya -Practice math and reading skills with games
- Amazing Educational Resources - Alphabetical list of hundreds of websites with free subscriptions during school closures
- Amplify Reading- Amplify Reading is a digital, adaptive, student-driven K–5 supplemental literacy program that provides research-based instruction and practice for all students in decoding, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and close reading through age-appropriate narrative adventures.
- Art Museum Coloring Books - 113 Art Museum Coloring Books available to download
- Cassie Stephens - Daily video art lessons for art lovers!
- CNN 5 Things You Need to Know Today - great for older students!
- Fairfax County Public Schools Continuity of Learning Plan - Grades PK-12, all subjects
- Go Noodle Brain Breaks - website with movement breaks of all kinds!
- Great Minds - Every day on this site, we’ll offer newly recorded lessons—free to anyone—from Eureka Math (for Grades K–12), our English language arts curriculum Wit and Wisdom® (K–8), and PhD Science™ (3–5). Customized by grade and module, these coherent and complete video lessons, delivered by our experienced teachers, will be viewable on any device.
- Highlights Kids - Stories, activities, science experiments
- History for Kids - articles, worksheets, quizzes
- Into the Book - Reading Strategy games for kids
- Lalilo - Phonics program for kids
- Science Mom and Math Dad Each show will feature a science lesson, math activities, interactive games, and stories. Streaming LIVE on Facebook and youtube: Monday-Friday 11am-1pm, replays will be available if you miss it live
- NatGeo Kids - Animals and geography for kids!
- www.phonicsplaycomics.co.uk PhonicsPlay comics are decodable comics featuring familiar characters from PhonicsPlay along with some new friends. They are short, simple, silly comics that can be viewed on screen or printed out. Allowing free access using Username: March20 Password: home
- Raddish Kids Free Cooking Kit and Online Lessons (shipping charge)
- Scholastic News - Learn At Home - News, Articles, and Interactive Quizzes (PK-12)
- Science Bob - Easy science experiments with videos and direction cards
- Seussville - Dr. Seuss themed literacy games
- Sped Adulting - Adulting made easy - life skills lessons and activities adapted for students with disabilities
- StorylineOnline - Free children’s books read aloud with audio/video enhancement
- Squiggle Park - Reading activities and games for ages 3-8
- Switcheroo Zoo - Watch, listen, and play games with animals
- Virtual Field Trips for Kids - over 30 virtual field trips!
- Virtual Museum Tours - 12 museums around the world
- “UseThinking and Feeling Words to Build Your Child's Communication Skills" The Hanen Centre, UK
- The Importance of Teaching Sequencing to Young Children, by Becky L. Spivey, M.Ed.
- Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5, American Speech and Hearing Association
- "Free Language Stuff
- For Parents of Pre-Schoolers – The Stuttering Foundation
- Boardmaker Activities to Go - Free Special Education Curriculum Download (PK-12, adapted) - perfect to reinforce academic skills during academic time each day
- EdHelper Daily Workbook Downloads - Free leveled downloads DAILY for grades PK-6
- Khan Academy - Free online lessons
- Khan Academy Kids - Learning for ages 2-7
- Math Help for Kids - Posted by EdHelper
- Out of This World Literacy Workbooks - Free Gr. 1-2 Workbook (3 weeks)
- Out of This World Literacy Workbooks - Free Gr. 3-4 Workbook (3 weeks)
- Speech Therapy Homework - play based activities
National Parks and Other "Travel"
- 5 Field Trips to Canada, Activities Included
- National Parks Google Earth is offering free virtual tours of 31 parks!
- Yellowstone National Park, Featuring Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs, and so much more.
- Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
- U.S. Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, AL, see the Saturn 5 Rocket
- Visit the Great Wall of China via this Virtual Tour
- This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs
- Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre
Zoos and Aquariums
- Visit the New England Aquarium, activities included
- Atlanta Aquarium
- Cincinnati Zoo Home Safari -"Home Safaris"
- The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games.
- Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta
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:
Autism Specific Resources
- Sight Words
- Sequences for Autism
- See, Touch, Learn
- Words on Wheels
- Verbal Me
- Autism iHelp
- Autism/DDT Shapes
- Autism DDT Letters
- Speech with Milo
- Autism Helper - FREE 3 weeks of work packets
- Facebook page: AutismLevelUP - has activities to meet all needs: academic, sensory, regulation, etc.
- 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
- 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?
- Preschool University
- Name that Syllable/Rule/Cutting Pattern
- What is Dyslexia
- Dyslexia Quest
- Happy Math Multiplication Rhymes
- Read 2 Me
- Phonics with Phonograms
- DD’s Dictionary: A Dylexic Dictionary
- Learning Ally
- RAZ Kids
- NLS for blind and print disabled
- Spot it
- Boggle, Scrabble
- My first bananagrams
- Apples to apples
- Washington Reads Card Games
- But Why
- What if World
- Brains On!
- Stories Podcast
- Six Minutes
- Computer supports for dyslexia, text to speech, speech to text, remove distracting elements from the webpage, dyslexia reader that alters fonts to increase readability, etc.
Hearing Impaired Resources
- Kids Books - Picture Books Read in ASL (DPan.TV)
Visually Impaired Specific Resources
- Dragon Dictation
- Light Detector
- Color ID
- Be My Eyes - Helping Blind See
- Talking Calculator
- Visual Brailler
- The Writing Machine
- iWrite Words
- Letter School
- Aloha Writed
- ABC Pocket Phonics
- Word Magic
- 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!