So many young people – toddlers to teens – have missed out on so much. Now with camps closed and activities canceled, we wish that none of them would have to miss the simple pleasures of summer – ball games, swimming pools, craft classes, snow cones. And we worry anew about those who could be facing far-worse circumstances.
The National Association of School Psychologists has issued a great set of guidelines for parents and caregivers. Two pages, free to download and share.
Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.
This fact sheet from mental health professionals tells how to help children deal with stress during a disease outbreak. The advice is specific by age group, which is especially helpful.
“Helping Adolescents Work Through the Rising Tide of Anxiety” Fuller Youth Institute. Rhett Smith.
“Naming Losses and Gratitude with Young People in these Uncertain Days” Fuller Youth Institute. Brad M. Griffin.
“How to Get Your Kids to Stay Six Feet Away…From Everything”
“Social distancing is hard, especially for the very young,” says Alex Wilson with The New York Times. Here are ways to get children to wear masks and practice social distancing.
“The Very Best Day: The Way of Love for Children” storybook.
"The Way of Love" has become a mantra of Michael B. Curry's episcopate as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. The Very Best Day: The Way of Love for Children introduces the practices for a Jesus-centered life for children ages 3–10 and their families. Through a cadence of words and colorful images, children will see how to Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest in daily life as a follower of Jesus. Acquiring such wisdom at an early age will benefit children (and the adults who love them) to learn these practices for a lifetime. Find a charming preview on YouTube.
“A Simpler VBS During COVID Season”
“So many summer opportunities for families have been cancelled, says church educator Betsy Dishman. “With school finished, there could be a void that (a home-based) VBS will serve to fill. It will also help us stay connected with each other and encourage families to take the lead in faith formation at home.”
This article links to free and low-cost materials for creating at-home or online options for Vacation Bible School.
Follow these links for more ideas on how to fund and deliver a Vacation Bible School experience this year.
“The Best VBS Workbook Ever!”
This book and others from Church Publishing Group tell how to provide Episcopal based lessons and youth activities.
“Five Steps to Plan VBS Through COVID-19”
Concordia offers a free planning guide, with ideas for doing alternative Bible school on a budget.
“The Spirit of VBS in the Year of the Pandemic”
Why VBS can be a practical investment in a church’s future.