Please welcome Dr. Erin King-Mullins of Corona-Mamas.com blog today. She’s a surgeon from Atlanta, Georgia, as well as a new mom. Her blog addresses two pandemics: COVID-19 & Racism. I’m thrilled to have her today with helpful books for kids during COVID.
Parents, are you wondering how coronavirus is spread and how to avoid catching it? Your children are too. Are you more anxious, afraid, or at times feel helpless in the current environment? Your children are too. This may even be your child’s first experience with bereavement. Children pick up on a lot more than often we as adults realize, and they are sharing some of the same worries we have.
Many of the things they have come to know and experience to this point in their life has completely changed. They aren’t going to school or playdates. When was the last time they saw grandma or grandpa and got a big hug? When things do return back to some semblance of normalcy that transition back may not be quite so easy for them. Based on the conversations around them and things they pick up from the news, they may be afraid to go back out in public, be near friends and family, or return to school.
For the young child, ages 3 to 12 years of age, it may be difficult to answer their questions. It may be even harder for them to express themselves and understand their own feelings. Today we highlight some books that can be great resources to help your children understand emotional, mental, and physical health.
Helpful Books for Kids during COVID
Bereavement/Death Picture Book
Let’s first tackle the subject of death. This can be a particularly difficult subject for young children. The book I Miss You: A First Look at Death by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas. This book explores the feelings of grief after losing a loved one and explains death as a normal process of life. Helping to normalize the thoughts and feelings after losing a loved one is crucial to allowing appropriate growth and development. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
In continuing the conversation around mental and emotional well-being we recommend the following books:
Picture Book on Expressing Emotions
My Body Sends a Signal: Helping Kids Recognize Emotions and Express Feelings by mother of 3 and founder/manager of an educational play center Natalia Maguire. This book can serve as a great foundation for building confidence and allowing children to appropriately interact with others. It follows a little boy and his experiences with feeling excited, scared, angry, and more. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Anxiety Picture Book
For slightly older children try What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety. Recommended by the American Psychological Association, this interactive book teaches young readers how to identify and manage anxiety in a way the young reader can understand. Using metaphors children can easily relate to, Dawn Huebner, Ph.D. puts forth an atmosphere of easy learning. As a part of the ‘Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Social Emotional Learning Collection” this book also comes with additional free activities and resources on this page. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
Anatomy Picture Book
Switching gears let’s prepare ourselves to talk to young children about their bodies. A good starter to the discussion on helping your child get acquainted is Me and My Amazing Body. This book is an introduction to the basic parts of the body. Joan Sweeney lays the groundwork for when future discussions about illness arise by describing some basic parts and functions. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Picture Book about Germs
As coronavirus is top of mind these days it might be good to discuss how germs are spread to teach young children why we practice good hand hygiene etc. Germs Are Not For Sharing helps teach young kids what to do when they cough or sneeze. Elizabeth Verdick has written several children’s books and is famed for her Best Behavior Series of which this book is a part of. [board book, ages 1 and up]
What Are Germs? is an interactive flap book teaching children what germs are, how they are spread, and how to treat them when they make you sick. Presented in a question and answer format author Katie Daynes creates a wonderful educational experience that can prove quite beneficial during the current public health crisis. [board book, ages 1 and up]
Erin King-Mullins is a colorectal surgeon in Atlanta, GA. After delivering her first child in February 2020 and experiencing the isolation of shelter-in-place due to COVID, she found herself looking online for resources. The creation of Corona Mamas (@coronamama1) on Twitter was an outlet to share resources regarding maternal mental health and general wellness especially when human contact was so limited.
She quickly realized all moms were now Corona Mamas. Moms were having to work from home, become homeschool teachers, and more! Then came the turmoil and social unrest surrounding the killing of George Floyd and it was laid bare the injustices of the world. How to raise her newborn in the era of 2 pandemics Covid-19 and Racism was front of mind, and she couldn’t find a source that was just right.
This site was born out of her desire to create the type of site she was looking for — a little bit of everything. She looks forward to growing and building an innovative site where all moms can find at least a little something for them.
p.s. Related posts:
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.