COVID-19 resources for parents and children
Families across the country are facing new challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic affects our daily work and home routines. Children, just like adults, play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Use these resources to help your child understand what's going on and how they can help.
On this page
- Activities for children
- You and your family's mental health
- Returning to school
- Staying connected
- Information for parents
Activities for children
Use these activities to teach your child about what they can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Hand washing heroes (video)
- Colour and learn (colouring pages)
- Coughing and sneezing hygiene for kids (video)
- Kids, here's what you need to know about COVID-19
We also have COVID-19 resources for youth and students.
Other educational topics
Use these resources to teach your child about other topics:
You and your family's mental health
It's normal for you or your children to feel overwhelmed, stressed, confused, scared or angry during this time.
COVID-19 can be difficult for children to understand, especially if they know someone who's sick. Pay close attention to how your child is feeling.
Mental health for your child
You can support your child's mental health by:
- encouraging positive behaviours, as children are more likely to listen if they're given positive instructions and are praised for their efforts
- listening to their concerns, then:
- being honest, open and supportive
- acknowledging and validating their thoughts and feelings
- correcting misinformation clearly in a reassuring and age-appropriate way
- asking how they're feeling and letting them know you're there for them
- limiting how often they watch or hear the news, if appropriate
- encouraging them to:
- think of the positive things that happen each day
- do things they enjoy, start a hobby or learn a new skill
- talk to a trusted adult and ask for help if emotions become overwhelming
- explaining health and safety measures and how they're keeping us safe
- spending quality one-on-one time with each child and taking part in their preferred activities
- one-on-one time makes children feel loved and secure, and shows them that they're important
- playing and engaging with your children helps them learn, express their feelings and build self-confidence
- if you're not in quarantine or isolation, get fresh air while keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from other people
- working together to create a consistent but flexible daily routine
- asking your children for input allows them to make decisions and builds their confidence
- setting up a schedule that includes structured activities, physical activity, as well as free time helps children feel more secure
The following resources can be shared with your child:
- Kids Help Phone is available 24 hours a day for young Canadians (aged 5 to 29)
- this service provides confidential and anonymous care from professional counsellors
- call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868
- Canada Youth Network
- COVID-19: Youth mental health resource hub is a collaboration of Jack.org, Kids Help Phone and School Mental Health Ontario
Mental health for parents
Self-care is important. Parents and caregivers take better care of their children when they take care of themselves, too.
Take steps to calm down before you react. Children may respond to stress and anxiety by acting out. They need you the most when they're misbehaving.
- Before you respond, take 3 deep breaths or count to 10. Staying calm helps you stay in charge of the situation.
- If you need to, and if you can safely leave your child, take a step back from the situation to calm down, and reassure your child that you'll be back.
- Respond in a calm and thoughtful way and redirect your child's attention to a good behaviour.
Recompose yourself to help you relax and feel grounded. Practice a 1-minute mindfulness activity. Pay attention to:
- your thoughts
- how you feel emotionally and if your feelings are happy or not
- how your body feels and if anything hurts or is tense
Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed. Find support and relieve stress by talking to someone about your feelings and concerns. Check out Wellness Together Canada for additional resources and services for mental health or substance use.
Returning to school
It may be challenging for children to adapt to a structured school routine after months of physical distancing at home. Parents can prepare kids for a return to the classroom by:
- reviewing how and when to wash hands, using age-appropriate language
- demonstrating physical distancing and giving kids a distancing reference like hockey sticks or bicycles
- practising putting on, wearing, and safely removing non-medical masks
Gathering limits and restrictions vary across the country. Follow your local public health authority's advice about in-person visits and specific requirements for your community.
It's always safest to keep physically distancing. You and your child can stay connected with family, friends and neighbours through:
- phone calls
- video chats
- social media platforms
Information for parents
Find resources with advice for parents.
Parenting during COVID-19
- UNICEF: 6 tips for parenting during COVID-19
- UNICEF: Tips for supporting your child though the COVID-19 pandemic
- Parenting resources to support children during the COVID-19 pandemic
- School Mental Health Ontario: Mental health activities for children
- Resources to keep children safe online
- How to care for someone with COVID-19 at home
- Pregnancy, childbirth and caring for newborns during COVID-19
For Indigenous peoples
Hope for Wellness Helpline offers mental health counselling and crisis intervention for Indigenous peoples across Canada.
Provincial, territorial and community-based resources
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: