During these unexpected times here are some tips and strategies that might be useful when spending lots of time with babies and young children. The most important message of all is to enjoy your time with them and play.
Oh and wash their hands and yours too!!!
The HPSC have published a new Decision Pathways document that provides some new information on when children from 3 months to 13 years can attend their school and ELC/SAC setting. The document includes the following change to previous advice:
Please see scenario E in the HPSCs Decision Pathways document for further information.
Other advice remains unchanged.
More detail is available in the Decision Pathways document here:
The Department is currently developing a Tip Sheet based on the HPSC advice which will be available soon.
Let’s Play Ireland is a whole of Government campaign led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to promote the importance of play and to provide play resources for families during this time. The aim of the initiative is to highlight the importance of play for children, particularly in the challenging time and to provide information and resources for families to support their children’s play. The campaign will run throughout May and June in conjunction with the overall Government campaign on Wellbeing. Every Wednesday new resources will feature on the website across a range of themes including; Early Years, Playful Families, Storytelling; Playful Learning, Active Play, Creative Play and Play to Support Well Being.
This week new resources on playful families and playful parenting feature on the website; https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/lets-play-families/.
Playing is central to children’s physical, mental, social and emotional health and wellbeing. Children learn through play while developing resilience, flexibility and understanding of their world. Play in families enriches childhood. All children and young people have a right to play.
Play has never been more important, but during this time please follow the HSE advice on physical distancing and wash your hands. For more information go to hse.ie/coronavirus.
While there are lots of ideas around for different age groups, here are some ideas that the whole family can enjoy together:
Follow this link for a list of 10 things to do today
And follow this link for lots more!
The workbook is designed to be completed by younger children as a creative record of COVID-19, so encourages them to write, draw, paint, video and collect items that will be a record of this special time in their lives. The original character ‘Suds the Bubble’ guides them throughout this process. Children have experienced significant changes and lost some control in their lives. One of the things they can control is washing their hands to limit the spread of the virus, so Mr Suds reminds them to do that while they are working on their own creative record of Covid-19 time.
The format is such that it is hoped it is very accessible to children and engages them in the process. It was written in such a way so that it can be used by a wide variety of services that support children and families. It is great to learn that this fits with your universal approach to this type of support.
‘Life in the Times of Covid 19: a guide for parents of children with disabilities (UNESCO)
Guidelines for supporting children with disabilities’ play
Wicklow Local Sports Partnership have developed a “Get Active At Home” booklet that is targeted at those cocooning at home and can be completed in the comfort of your own home. Below is a link to their Facebook Page for more info or I can email you on a copy of the booklet, if you would like one let me know.
Young people, including infants and toddlers are keen observers of people and environments, noticing and reacting in response to stress in their parents, caregivers, peers and their community at large. They may ask direct questions about what is happening now or what will happen in the future and may behave differently in reaction to strong feelings like fear, worry, sadness and anger in response to the current pandemic. Children can also worry about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, how they will get their basic needs met, and the uncertainties with respect to the future beyond times of crisis like these.
Dublin City South CYPSC commissioned a series of conversational-style presentation videos by psychotherapists Janet Healy & Joanna Fortune as a road-map to support stress and tension using practical play based activities that parents can add to their parental toolkit. They speak directly to parents about the challenges they are currently facing as the country, providing support, comfort and reassurance at a particularly stressful time for families. Each short film will incorporate ‘a call for playful action’, where opportunities for play will become the means through which each identified thematic challenge of the crisis, will be addressed through a series of Parent-led Play Interventions in the family home, using ordinary household and store-cupboard materials such as cotton wool, newspapers, toilet roll, flour and rice.
An introduction video and the 6 thematic series videos can be found via links from the DCS CYPSC webpage, https://www.cypsc.ie/contact-us/playful-parenting-in-a-pandemic-videos-.3166.html
Supporting the playful parenting videos are a suite of creative ‘ How to make’ videos,
The National Parents Council (NPC) have developed a plan to support parents on a daily basis using online supports.
The platforms that NPC are using:
Facebook – National Parents Council Primary,
Instagram – @nationalparentscouncil,
There is also a new ‘Learning at home’ online programme for early years parents available on the website. See link below for details.
Looking after you and your family during Covid 19 isolation
Well-being and self-care
Advice and tips on looking after your mental well-being and cope with your new daily routine
A guide for parents with teens during Covid -19 to help them through the challenges they are facing during Covid-19 restrictions.
We are pleased to announce that our Jigsaw Support Line is up and running on freefone 1800 JIGSAW (544 729). This new initiative, developed as part of our Covid – 19 response, aims to provide free, relevant and accessible mental health support, education, advice and guidance to young people aged 12 to 25 years old, and/or their parents/concerned others who are resident in the Republic of Ireland.
Alongside the Support Line, we are also offering an inbound SMS and email service, both operated by a designated group of Jigsaw Clinicians. Both additional offerings aim to give all potential users various options to get in touch and initiate a request for a return call from a Jigsaw Clinician.
Jigsaw Online (www.jigsawonline.ie)
Online courses for parents:
Teacher Webinars: We are planning a series of live webinars – ‘Jigsaw Connect for Teachers’ over the next four Thursdays (4pm – 5pm each Thursday), in collaboration with ESCI – Education Support Centres, Ireland. The live webinars, available to teachers who have signed up to our online eLearning Platform, will be hosted by Jigsaw Clinicians and include teachers on the panels for each. The dates & themes are as follows:
Barnardos have a new Heart Mind Body section on their website. It’s so important that we take care of ourselves during this time and so Barnardos has put together this new online, mindful resource.
The Heart, Body and Mind section of the website will be regularly updated with new activities including videos and mindfulness exercises by Barnardos staff who believe wholeheartedly in this message of connection.
There are lots of fun activities to keep your children engaged, and activities that the family can do together.
They also have a section for the wellbeing of parents. This section aims to provide you with tips on how to check in and be kind to yourself.