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The outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people and communication. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Remember, everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. 

Here are some things you can do to support yourself and your family:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage

  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate

  • Try to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and drink water.

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Here's a fun link to find different song lyrics to sing to besides "Happy Birthday": Avoid touching your face, maintain social distance. 

  • Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings fade. 

  • Provide reassurance to your children that they are loved and safe. 

  • Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking. 


If you are stocking up on supplies, consider picking up balloons, coloring books, and other small items to help keep kids occupied while school is out. Encourage your children to take breaks from electronics and screen time. Here's a list of games and activities to spend time together as a family:

  • Balloon Toss: Put questions on a balloon and play "keep off the floor." When the balloon hits the ground, ask a question. For example, "If you could have one superpower, what would it be?"

  • Mirror Mirror: Stand face to face with your child, about a food apart and have them attempt to copy all your movements. Reach up and stretch to the sky. Deep breathe. Run in place. Make it fun and silly! Don't forget to switch roles!

  • Free, printable coloring page with inspirational quotes can be found at You can choose topics to focus on and creatively engage your children. 

  • Make a "positive memories jar": Each member of the family takes turns sharing fond memories and one person writes each down on popsicle sticks or colorful paper. Keep adding to it! Other themed ideas include gratitude jars, hopes or goals, self-care, or family fun activities. 

  • Calming jars: Fill a mason jar or water bottle with hot water, glue, and glitter. Seal the lid with hot glue or heavy duty take so it stays secure. This bottle can be moved up and down and create a calming effect as the glitter moves through. 

  • Washing away worries: Using sidewalk chalk, have kids identify any worries they may have about the virus and draw representations of these with sidewalk chalk. Use a watering can of warm water, have them pour water over their drawings to show impermanence of negative emotions. 

  • Rocks and Stones: Kids can find a rock or stone in a nearby park or yard. Kids can think of word/words representing what they would like to focus on over the next week (homework, patience, kindness, smiling, etc.). Parents can have a set number of small stones that they and their children decorate together. Stones can represent acts of kindness, following the rules, good behavior, improved grades, decrease in behavioral issues, etc. Parents can give their child a stone when they recognize these positive behaviors. If child earns a set number of stones, a small reward is earned. 

  • Brave collection: Have kids identify times they have overcome fears, conquered challenges, and felt proud of themselves for bravery. Each identified experience can be drawn or labeled on card stock or notecards (approximately the size of business cards). They can be collected on a ring clip using a hole punch on the corner of each card. They can continue to add new experiences with bravery and can use this collection as motivation to address anxiety and worry.


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