Just like adults, children around the world are trying to process their emotions and manage anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, which has drastically altered their lifestyles within a few short weeks. To help them understand and cope with those changes—and to help their parents explain the situation to them—child development expert Denise Daniels, RN, MS, partnered with Yale and Scholastic on a 16-page downloadable workbook called First Aid for Feelings: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The workbook, which is available in English and Spanish, features “The Moodsters,” a group of five brightly colored cartoonish sleuths (named Lolly, Snorf, Coz, Razzy, and Quigly) that Daniels created with Yale psychologists to help kids investigate the mysteries of their feelings.
In First Aid for Feelings, the gang walks children through exercises like making a list of questions they have about the new coronavirus, circling the ways they’re taking care of their family and themselves (things like “stand six giant steps away from your friends and neighbors” and “call or video chat with your friends whenever you are lonely”), and filling in a chart of things that will change during this time and things that will stay the same.
There is also a number of suggestions for coping with certain feelings that kids are encouraged to try. If kids are feeling afraid, for example, they can “listen to calming music,” “get the facts,” or "curl up and read [their] favorite book.” Ideas for expressing feelings in general range from doing something nice for someone else to making a “feelings collage” by cutting out pictures from old magazines that show people demonstrating different emotions.
The workbook, geared toward children between the ages of 4 and 10, is a product of the Yale Child Study Center-Scholastic Collaborative for Child and Family Resilience, which develops story-based resources to help children, families, and communities adapt to stressful circumstances and overcome adversity.
You can download PDFs for the English and Spanish versions of the workbook via Scholastic's "Learn at Home" digital hub here.