We've all navigated the challenges of living and learning through a pandemic. During the ups and downs of this time, feelings of stress, uncertainty, and anxiety have been high for adults. Like you, children have felt it. This storybook is meant to support them in moving through their big feelings, whether they're related to the pandemic or other stressful events.
It can be so much easier to start a conversation when kids begin it themselves…without words. Share these open-ended drawing activities and ask kids to tell you about what they've drawn. There are five “canvases” to choose from.
When children feel a sense of safety, their brains begin to calm. Then they can start exploring strategies and solutions that can bring them a little relief or “shelter from the storm” of sadness, anxiety, anger, fear, or confusion.
Cut out the strips on this page. Then enjoy spending time
together writing or drawing a memory on each one. Now link
these strips by looping them to one another, using tape
or glue to create a chain of memories. Hang up your memory
chain or keep the memory strips in a box, adding new
memories and occasionally reading through them together.
Watch the video together and talk about why Grover's style of playing upsets Abby. How do the friends solve the problem? Ask children: “Do you have any friends who like things quieter, or slower, or different in some other way?” Brainstorm ways to make that friend feel more comfortable.
Kids often find comfort in doing the same things each day in the same way and having structure. Following simple routines can be especially calming. Choose one everyday routine for which kids need a little extra support.
Trauma can destroy a child's confidence and self-esteem, but there are ways to begin strengthening it. Big and small goals encourage little ones to look to the future, rather than staying focused on the past. Having confidence in one's ability to learn and grow is a powerful force in healing and allows kids to build a sense of hope for the future. In this workshop, parents and kids can look forward—and move forward—with hope.
Kids learn important life strategies while having fun with familiar Sesame Street characters. Kids will identify with each of the five problems, and they'll not only learn to calm down with deliberate deep breathing, they'll also be introduced to three possible strategies for working through each problem.
Sometimes family members make the best ambassadors for helping others understand autism. Think about some ways, big or small, that you might be able to grow understanding in your community—and celebrate the uniqueness of every child.