Making a book activity 1: Favourite pets

Animals are great companions.  It’s easy to talk to them and they seem to understand exactly how we’re feeling and know just what we need.

We’re going to start making our book with a picture of a pet and you’re going to help us choose which one.  Please tell us in comments below what animals you have as pets.  Or would like to have as a pet.  Tell us your pet’s name and what makes them special.  Show us a photo.

Let us know about your pets by Friday and that will decide the picture for the first month in the diary.  Our artist, Tanja will work over the weekend on a picture of the favourite pet which we’ll show you on Monday (before our next activity on Tuesday).

Here’s our winner!

Dogs are the winners in your vote for favourite pet!  Our artist Tanja worked over the weekend on the first picture for our book and here she is, a sausage dog.  But what shall we call her?  Give us your suggestions in comments and we’ll announce her name tomorrow.

We loved hearing about all your pets.  The animals that share your homes sound like they give you so much fun, friendship and love.  So many of them seem to understand how you’re feeling, especially when you’re poorly or sad.

Tomorrow we’ll tell you this week’s activity in making our book together – what magical creatures do we want to include?

Make a book with us!

Let’s have fun at home as you help us to choose themes, decide designs and commission the artwork as well as submitting your own for the new Mother-Daughter Date Diary.

Continue reading

The virus from a child’s point of view

“It’s exciting, we won’t have to go to school!”
“My mum’s really worried, it’s all she ever talks about.”
“Dads work just closed, has he lost his job?”
“Will anyone come to my birthday party?”
“There’s no food in the shops, what are we going to eat?”
“I heard someone say even the hospitals are going to close, are we going to die?”

“It’s kind of fun and also scary at the same time. None of the adults seem to know what’s happening, even the doctors, and the government keeps changing its mind.”

There’s a feeling of emergency in the air. Our children are excited, anxious, confused and over-informed. Maybe we are too. And that’s okay, as long as we take our fear to other adults and don’t immerse our children in a sea of anxious conversations. Even if your children are too young for social media and your radio and television are switched off, they’ll still be picking up on however you’re feeling (they’re programmed to for their survival). And if your children are older, they might be riding the adrenaline high of obsessively checking their feeds and might not be able to discern what is true and what is sensational panic. Besides children don’t have the filters we do, they tend to believe everything and often don’t know how to rein in their frightening thoughts.

It’s a good time to teach our children:

How to calm ourselves
How to assess what information to trust
How to take really good care of our health, when we’re well and when we feel poorly

What great life lessons for you to pass on

How do you calm yourself?

We need to do this for ourselves first, so we don’t leak fear, and can then pass onto our children tools to calm themselves. You know how to do this, we just sometimes forget in times of stress.

Let’s share what we know. Please add your suggestions in the comments below…
eg audio books, warm bath, talking about worries, listening to music, baking, breathing out slowly, doodling, connecting with friends…

How do you assess what information to trust?

Talk to your children about how we decide if something we hear or read is true.

How do we take really good care of our health?

Now here’s the point of all those biology lessons! Discuss what boosts our immune system: sleep, exercise, fresh air, good food, plenty of water, fun, friends, family… what else?
And explain that a high temperature is a sign of your body working well, heating up to destroy the virus. Feeling tired is your body’s call to rest so you can give all your energy to healing. Help your children not to feel scared of the symptoms but to understand that it’s the body doing its job of getting better.

Watch Kim’s video: What to say to our children about the coronavirus – three tips for parents.