Resources To Help Explain COVID-19 To Children
Resources To Help Explain COVID-19 To Children
Looking for something to help your child make sense of COVID-19? Check these resources - from videos for kids about the science behind coronavirus to online stories that can be important conversation starters in your household.
COVID-19 in 2022 - helping kids who are so over the RONA
A booklet to help kids who are so over the RONA (PDF, 733KB) is by Mel Churton, registered psychologist in Aotearoa New Zealand.
COVID mRNA vaccine explained with cookies
Watch Dr Michelle Dickinson explain mRNA vaccines - one of the technologies being used to help prevent infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. But what is an mRNA vaccine and how does it work?
COVID-19 and genome sequencing - an animation for tamariki
Heard talk about genome sequencing and COVID-19 and want to know more? Check out this short animation for tamariki from Māui Studios with support from the University of Otago and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research. It features Koro, a Māori scientist and his granddaughter, Ruia, who is intrigued by science and technology but tired of kōrero about COVID-19.
Back to school with Omicron 2022
Back to school with Omicron 2022 (PDF, 1MB) is a booklet by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist and Alison Leversha, a Starship paediatrician.
Return from DELTA 2021 (up to year 8)
Return from DELTA 2021 (PDF, 2.12MB) is a booklet by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist, supporting children returning to school in New Zealand after DELTA in late 2021.
Return from DELTA 2021 (year 9+ version)
Return from DELTA 2021 for year 9+ (PDF, 5.77MB) is a booklet by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist, supporting older children returning to school in New Zealand after DELTA in late 2021.
Kids of Aotearoa - E ngā tamariki o Aotearoa
Kids of Aotearoa. This is written especially for you. Find out what is happening in the COVID-19 outbreak from Julie, a researcher, and Jin, a doctor who cares for children. They wrote this together with children in late 2021, before immunisatoin for 5 to 11 year olds started.
E ngā tamariki o Aotearoa. E ngā tamariki o Aotearoa, mā koutou tēnei. Ākona mai, kia mōhio ai he aha te aha e pā ana ki te kōwheori. Kei te whiwhi ngā tamariki i te kano ārai mate? Nā Julie (he kairangahau) rātou ko Jin (he rata tamariki), ko ētehi atu tamariki tēnei i tuhi.
The diary of bear: Book 1
The diary of bear: Book 1 (PDF, 4MB) was originally written for the author's family and friends from the time New Zealand went into lockdown in March 2020. Each day, a new episode appeared on the author's Facebook page. The story gained wider attention as it is not just a story about a toy bear. It contains many aspects of life under lockdown that readers can identify with. It can also provide parents and teachers with an opportunity to discuss Bear’s adventures with children and relate them to their own experiences. In Book 1, Bear goes into lockdown, we meet Bear and follow his first week in lockdown as he begins to make sense of how his world and the world of his humans has changed. Carol Mutch is the author and photographer.
The diary of bear: Book 2
The diary of bear: Book 2 (PDF, 2.16MB) - Bear settles in to New Zealand's first lockdown in 2020. Bear finds that lockdown isn't always easy but you can change your attitude and try to make the best of it. Having Easter weekend to look forward to provides a bright spot in Bear's lockdown. Carol Mutch is the author and photographer.
When the world went back
When the world went back (PDF, 803KB) is an online resource to help children understand things getting back to normal and everyone returning to school under Level 2. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.
Back to school after COVID
Back to school after COVID is a social story to use to help prepare a class for the return to school after weeks of home learning.
When some kids went back to school
When some kids went back to school (PDF, 488KB) is an online resource to help children understand how some children return to school under Alert Level 3. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.
I hoki atu ētahi tamariki ki te kura (PDF, 838KB) (Te Reo Māori)
A simple book to help people navigate unexpected times
A simple book to help people navigate unexpected times (PDF, 299KB) is a resource for those concerned about changes in alert levels in NZ. It's aim is to help reduce anxiety. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.
My hero is you
My hero is you - how kids can fight COVID-19 is a story developed for and by children around the world. It offers a way for children and parents to together think about the questions the pandemic raises. Designed to be read by a parent, caregiver or teacher alongside a child or a small group of children, the story was shaped by more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world who took the time to share how they are coping with the impact of COVID-19. The story has been translated into a range of languages.
Nanogirl's coronavirus resources for children and parents
Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl) has a range of videos on coronavirus.
The Wiggles on staying home and physical distancing
The importance of staying home and physical distancing (The Wiggles use the term 'social distancing') doesn't have to be a scary conversation. You can sing and dance along at home and become a handwashing hero!
Super Felix is saving the day, one hand wash at a time! Created by Phoebe Morris, an author/illustrator, Super Felix is an online children's storybook to help kids make sense of COVID-19 and talk about it with their parents. Follow Felix as he overcomes his fear of the virus, and learns what superpowers he has to help save the day.
Because of COVID ...
Because of COVID ... is an online book by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. It addresses kids' frustrations about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.
The stay home superheroes
'Stay at home superheroes' was written by Sophie Marsh (see Sophie's Stories on Facebook). You can see the video version or a print version (PDF, 74KB). Sophie says: "Often children struggle to find the words to describe their feelings and experiences, and talking directly about a problem can feel scary or embarrassing for them. A 'therapeutic story' provides a way to talk about the problem indirectly."
When the world stayed home
Te wā i rāhuitia te ao i te kāinga
Te wā i rāhuitia te ao i te kāinga (PDF, 1.15MB) - He rauemi tauawhi nei i ngā tamariki e ekengia i te mate kurahauao (COVID-19). By Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. Translation provided by Dr James Graham (senior research adviser: Te Rū Rangahau, University of Canterbury).
COVIBOOK (PDF, 1.47MB) is a short book (in a range of languages) to support and reassure children, under the age of 7, regarding COVID-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. This resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy. The recommendation is to print this material so children can draw on it. The author says: "Remember that emotions are processed through repetitive play and stories read multiple times". The author invites people to share COVIBOOK and help ease kids' anxiety all over the world.
My lockdown diary
So you're stuck at home on lockdown from COVID-19? Well, let’s make the most of it with some isolation appreciation and your own lockdown diary.
The story of the oyster and the butterfly: The coronavirus and me
This is a social story by Anna Gomez, a psychotherapist who works with children and teens. The story can support whānau/families explain to their tamariki/mokopuna that experiencing a range of feelings and emotions during this time is quite usual. The story will help tamariki understand and better manage their feelings and emotions. The story shares a range of strategies. Watch a video version of the story.
Gruffalo stayed in the cave
Gruffalo stayed in the cave is a series of images created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. They are the creators of the beloved children's storybook monster and they have reimagined some of their best-known characters in the light of the coronavirus crisis. The series of images show how Zog, Stick Man and others are coping with social distancing, home schooling and isolation.
The longest day
The longest day (PDF, 252KB) is a story with plenty of space for kids to add their pictures. Kids can draw, colour or collage, use clip art or stick people. The story is by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. The aim is for kids to use their imaginations to illustrate the story. They can use their own experiences of play and home life etc. It can be a good shared activity for families - great to get everyone talking and sharing. You can choose certain parts of the story to do and then when it is put back together you can have a nice example of family/whānau working together.
The hedgehog in our bubble
'The hedgehog in our bubble' (PDF, 1.82MB) is an online story about staying home in our bubbles in New Zealand. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. It includes activities for children at the end of the story.
Dave the dog is worried about coronavirus - a nurse Dotty book
Dave the dog (PDF, 7.68MB) is an online book for children, written and illustrated by Mollie Watts. It is based on the author's experiences as a registered children's nurse.
This page last reviewed 15 December 2021.
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