COVID-19 is an uncertain and worrying time for all of us, and children and young people will also be feeling this, especially with the recent announcement that schools will be closing from Friday.
There are lots of resources available to support families in having conversations around COVID-19 to help manage worries and anxieties, well-being activities for children, parents, and families, as well as fun and interactive activities to take part in from home!
Support for Parents
Parentline Scotland is open 7 days a week to offer free advice and support to parents in Scotland. You can call 08000 28 22 33 Monday to Friday 9am-9pm, and Saturday-Sunday 9am -12 Noon. They also have a range of resources on their website including mental health and well-being resources for children and young people.
The Scottish Government’s Parent Club have lots of information on Coronavirus, as well as activities to do with young children. You can find all of the resources on their website.
Advice for supporting Learning at Home
Dr. Janet Goodall, professor in education and parent’s engagement with children’s learning, has produced a list of her tips for supporting learning at home.
Parenting Across Scotland (PAS)
PAS have put together a range of webpages to support families during Coronavirus. Their website has a range of pages providing information about official health advice, work and benefits, staying at home, your local area, and looking after yourself and your family.
Safer Internet Centre
The UK Safer Internet Centre has lots of tips and advice for parents to ensure that children are safe online.
The Spark – How to talk about Coronavirus
The Spark Blog have put together advice on how to talk to children about coronavirus and to reassure and validate their feelings during these challenging times.
World Health Organisation – Helping children cope with COVID-19
The World Health Organisation have a factsheet of advice for parent to support children during COVID -19.
British Psychological Society – Talking to children about Coronavirus
This information sheet provides information, tips, and ideas about how to talk to children about COVID-19.
Well-Being and Mental Health Support for Children and Young People
YoungScot Information for Young People
YoungScot have created a range of resources for young people to provide information on COVID-19 and advice for maintaining well-being.
They also have a range of resources for young people for staying safe online on their ‘DigiAye’ page.
Stem4, a charity supporting young people’s mental health, have produced a factsheet to support teenagers to manage anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak.
#COVIBOOK for Children
This resource put together by Mind Heart provides a child friendly way to discuss the virus with children to support and reassure them, and is available in a range of languages!
Place2Be, a charity aiming to improve children’s mental health, have put together information about how to speak to children about COVID-19 and resources to support parents to maintain their own well-being. The webpage provides a range of advice and useful links.
They also have a webpage with a range of links to support children who may be especially vulnerable during the current uncertainty, such as children with Additional Support Needs, Looked After, or deemed as a Child in Need.
Advice for helping children, young people, and their families manage anxiety about COVID -19
The NHS, COSLA, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Youth Link, and Young Scot have co-produced guidance on how to support children and young people with managing anxiety. The document includes advice directly for children and young people, advice to those supporting children and young people, advice to families who may also be experiencing other anxieties, as well as advice to support adults in caring roles. You can find the resource online here. The resource also links to a wide range of other helpful websites!
The website resource from East Renfrewshire Council has a range of information for parents, carers, children, and young people around managing well-being and mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as resources and support for children and young people with Additional Support Needs.
NHS Lanarkshire Catalogue of Resources
This catalogue of resources compiled by NHS Lanarkshire has a wide range of links to support children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak. You can find it here.
Teen Mental Health – Parents Guide
Blog post by MyTutor about teen mental health, with useful tips and advice for parents to help their teens overcome body image issues, academic anxiety, peer pressure, and cyberbullying, and links to other important mental health resources. You can find it here.
Mindfulness and Well-Being Activities
Centre of Excellence Mindfulness Course
The Centre of Excellence are offering their Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Audio Course online for free with the code FREEYOURMIND.
Headspace – Meditation for Kids
Headspace have a range of meditation activities for children on their website which can be tried for free as part of a trial.
Calm – Free Meditation Resources
Calm have made some of their meditation resources available for free online during the Coronavirus outbreak, including a Calm Kids section.
Action for Happiness Coping Calendar
Action for Happiness have put together a calendar of 30 actions to help us keep calm and look after ourselves and each other.
The imoves website offers a variety of activities to boost children and young people’s mental and physical well-being during home learning. Videos include pilates, meditation, and fit challenges.
Joe Wicks ‘The Body Coach’ Virtual P.E
Joe Wicks ‘The Body Coach’ has a playlist on youtube with a range of workouts for kids to do at home. Starting on Monday 23rd March, The Body Coach will be doing live P.E sessions at 9am on his Youtube channel.
Disney Dance Routines
‘This Girl Can’ – a website dedicated to encourage women and girls to be active – have produced a range of free ‘Disney Dance-Along’ videos which can be done at home to help keep kids active.
Action for Health Kids
The Action for Healthy Kids website provides a range of free online resources for physical activity and games whilst at home.
The Daily Mile are setting weekly challenges to encourage children to stay active and still take part in the Daily Mile from home when possible. For more information and updates on their weekly challenges visit their website.
Reading and Audiobook Activities
Rebel Girls has a range of free resources and podcasts on their website, and have also introduced a 40% discount on their physical books with the code REBELGIRLSATHOME
The free BookBug App has a range of songs and rhymes for children in the early years. Information on the app and links to download are available here.
World Book Day Website
World Book Day may have passed, but their website still has a variety of free book themed resources including crafts, cooking, and colouring.
Parent Network Scotland Book Bug Reading Session
Parent Network Scotland are posting videos on their Facebook page for interactive reading and rhymes.
Free Audio Stories – David Walliams
David Walliams is releasing free audio stories for children on ‘The World of David Walliams’ website.
Audible are offering free audiobooks for kids whilst the schools are closed. Follow this link to start listening.
Scottish Book Trust
The Scottish Book Trust have released a page of Home Activities, for children of all ages up to 18.
Harry Potter at Home
J.K Rowling has launched ‘Harry Potter at Home’, an online hub of Harry Potter resources and information for children and young people.
Tin Circus Electronic Book
‘Tin Circus’ an interactive children’s book, is available for free to download to an iPad or iPhone.
Coronavirus Book or Children – Illustrated by Axel Sheffler
A free information book available online to explain the coronavirus to children, illustrated by the Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.
Other Activity Ideas
The SFA and ChildrenFirst have announced an eScottish Cup for over 16s with access to Football Manager Touch 2020. You can sign up here.
Activity Village Resources
Activity Village have compiled a variety of free activity packs for a range of ages due to the school closures. You can find all of the free activity packs on their website.
Scouts – The Great Indoors
The Scouts have put together a range of indoor activities for children and young people. You can find the full list here.
Edinburgh Zoo Webcams
Edinburgh Zoo has live webcams of their Pandas, Penguins, Tigers, and Koalas that can be watched online. Great for any animal lovers!
Big Life Journal
The Big Life journal website has free resources on they website to help children develop a growth mindset. They are also offering 50% off of their resources with the code STUCKHOME.
The Kids Should See This
The website has a range of free videos for children including science, activities, and information about the coronavirus.
The CBeebies website has a range of activities and games, as well as listening activities for children such as poems for a morning routine.
Lots of us are missing being able to travel, and if you know a child or young person or likes trains, the Scotrail website has lots of activities to keep them busy.
All Kids Network
The All Kids website has a range of activities, worksheets, and colouring for children.
Blair Drummond Safari Park Livestream
Blair Drummond Safari Park’s Facebook page will be live streaming daily updates about the animals and how the team look after them. A great resource for animal lovers or a break from school work.
Wash Your Lyrics
The website generates a hand washing poster with lyrics from your chosen song.
Choonbaboon’s website has a range of song lyrics for kids as a fun activity at home. All of the backing tracks are also available for free on youtube and Spotify.
Technology Free Games
‘It is on’ have compiled a list of games you can play at home, no technology required!
Mary’s Meals is a global movement of people from all walks of life, united by their belief that no child in this world of plenty should endure a day without a meal. They’re delighted to share an activity pack for children based on excerpts from the founder, Magnus MacFarlane- Barrow’s best-selling book ‘The Shed That Fed A Million Children’. Through these stories, children can travel from the Highlands of Scotland to the heart of Africa, where they will meet some of the people who inspired their work to feed hungry children in schools.For younger children they have another activity pack, which turns household mugs into Mary’s Meals mugs!
Additional Support Needs
Salvesen Mindroom Transitions Advice
The Salvesen Mindroom have created a resource to help explain to children about transitions and why schools are closing. They have also created a template that can be edited by parents to best suit the needs of their child. You can find the resources here.
Talking Mats have produced resources to support children with additional support needs during the coronavirus outbreak with visuals to explain the guidance issued by the World Health organisation.
Autism School Closure Kit
The Illinois Autism Partnership’s School Closure Kits is available online, providing schedules and resources.
Visual Resources for children with Additional Support Needs
This free collection of visual resources offers lots of information for children with additional support needs around the coronavirus outbreak.
CALL Scotland Symbol Resources
CALL Scotland have collated a range of symbol resources about the coronavirus for children with Additional Support Needs.
They also have useful ‘Wheels of Apps’ on their website for a range of needs. You can find their latest App for Learners with Complex Needs here.
Asthma UK Advice for Coronavirus
Asthma UK’s website has a dedicated page that is regularly updated for information for those with Asthma during the coronavirus outbreak.
Scottish Autism Support for Parents and Carers during COVID-19
Scottish Autism have collated a resource with a range of information an idea for parents and carers of children with autism during the COVID-19 outbreak, including ideas to support children and young people to understand hand washing and school closures.
Hand Washing tips for People with Sensory Difficulties
Sensory Integration have put together a fact sheet to support those with sensory difficulties with hand washing.
Mencap Social Story
Mencap’s Social Story about Coronavirus can support children with Additional Support Needs to understand the virus and NHS Guidance.
The Autism Educator Social Story
The Autism Educator website has a Social Story to support children with Additional Support Needs understand Coronavirus and the changes to daily life.
Reach have a dedicated section of their website for supporting young people with additional support for learning during coronavirus, including information about managing anxieties, learning from home, and their rights.
Pupil Inclusion Scotland (PIN)
Their website has lots of information for support with health and well-being and resources for inclusion.