Thank you for looking after everyone by staying at home. By following advice to stay at
home during the COVID 19 outbreak you’re helping to reduce your family’s risk and you’re
also helping to protect the NHS and save lives.
The following are ten tips to encourage your young child’s development during this time:
Stay Home. Stay Positive.
1. These will help you and your child feel more secure. Routines will
help structure your day from start to finish. You will need to plan
ahead for the next day and week but keep it simple and doable
– getting up time, meals, bathtime, exercise and going to bed.
Simple, regular routines
Talk about and explain to your child what you are going to do throughout the day.
Help them take turns in conversation. Tune into what they already know and build
on their daily routine. Be a running “commentator”, keep your language simple.
Draw pictures, show pictures or use objects to show what you are going to do if
your child needs more help to understand. If you have them, use photos of friends
and/or family to talk about people that are important to you in different households.
2. Talk about what you are going to do
Have fun, we learn best when we are enjoying what we do. If you or your child
are not enjoying something, stop, change your plan. Try to make sure you do
something fun for you and your child every day, more than once if you can.
3. Enjoy your time together
Use the TV and/or other devices, but choose when you are going to watch and what you
are going to do. CBeebies and S4C’s Cyw have some fun programmes. Use your phone/other
devices to record what you have done – kicked a ball, learnt a new song or a new word.
Turn off the TV when you are not watching it so there is not a constant stream of information.
4. Selectively use devices
You don’t need to buy extra things. Walk in your garden or near home, point to flowers, birds
and trees, buildings and everyday objects; name them. Play walking, running, finding games.
Do a treasure hunt for everyday objects in your home/garden. Teach your child a new song
or nursery rhyme. Play catch, or rolling a ball backwards and forwards. Use mirrors in the
bathroom to encourage copying and taking turns – making silly faces. Children like to repeat
familiar activities. You are your child’s first and lasting teacher – you can help them learn
and grow so much. They can also teach you – look at how they learn best.
5. Use what you have at and near your home
Anne Marie McKigney, Consultant Child Psychologist, Aneurin Bevan
University Health Board,
Dr Heather Payne, Consultant Paediatrician, Senior Medical Officer for
Maternal & Child Health, Welsh Government.
6.Cleaning, cooking, fixing. If they can’t help, they can watch you and you
can tell them what you are doing. If you have older children, they may
be able to help by talking with and/or entertaining younger siblings.
Let your child join in and help as much
as they can with household tasks
7. A cocoon. Create the same for yourself – put your phone in the drawer and check
at set intervals only (not too often). Acknowledge your worries, ask for help/advice
if you need it and let your child ask for help. Practise relaxing and deep breathing.
Create a safe, quiet place for your child to be quiet
8. If your child understands a little about COVID 19, please tell them the facts very
simply. Show them how to wash their hands and get them to practise washing
their hands. Find a song they like to sing whilst washing their hands or use a
timer for 20 seconds. You can also teach them other hygiene and self-help skills
such as dressing, undressing, cleaning teeth and using the toilet if you’re both
ready. Make it as much fun as possible.
Let your child talk and ask about COVID 19
9. This could be on a daily basis or a few times a week. Choose a regular time and way
of communicating (FaceTime/Skype/WhatsApp). If you are using the telephone, if
you can, point to pictures of the person speaking at the other end. Decide how long
these sessions will be. Start by saying “Hello” and finish by saying “Goodbye”. Tell or
show your family one thing your child has done well or learned. Decide what you will
share/do, sing a song or do a dance. If you need a longer chat for yourself ring later
when your child is asleep, if you are not too tired!
Keep in touch with your family and friends
10. At the end of each day, think of one particularly positive thing
that you and your child have achieved and enjoyed that day.
Tell them, talk about it and record it in some way, celebrate it.
Top ten Tips
Finally, plan for when we come out of lockdown and what you and your child might like to do then!
For more information and advice on parenting, visit:
Keep in touch with your Health Visitor. They are here to help you and your family.
Watch Yvonne explaining how they can help: https://bit.ly/2z04XUG