Supporting your family through self isolation

Written by Kat Fuller, Kidscape Parent Support Adviser

The Kidscape team will do all we can to provide advice and support for children and families during these uncertain times. 

Kat our Parent Support Adviser has put together some initial ideas for supporting your family during prolonged periods of isolation.  

First of all don’t feel like you have to be a super parent/teacher/hero!  Playing and enjoying activities together as a family will all have a positive impact on your child and their development.  If you wish to do some more formal learning with your child try to schedule it into small chunks spread throughout the day.

Create a simple, predictable rhythm for your family and write it down for everyone to see.  For example, breakfast, reading, art/crafts, free play, lunch, time outside, numbers, free play, TV time, dinner, bath, bed.  This will help keep you on track and can help to reduce anxiety in adults and children. 

Concentrate on your own self-care.  Negotiate with other adults in the household so that you all can take time for self-care strategies that make you feel calmer. This could be a workout,  yoga, meditation, reading, Face-timing a friend or group of friends, having a bath or whatever else self-care looks like for you. Remember to make time to connect with others, eat well and take exercise.  Your children are going to pick up on your mood and your level of anxiety. Try to take breaks away from your phone and ensure that you are not bombarded by a constant news feed.  

This may be a difficult time for sibling relationships.  If possible try to work out how you can spend one on one time with each child, even if it is just popping into the garden for 10 minutes or baking a cake together whilst the other child is occupied with something else.

  • Make a collaborative list with your children and any other household members of activities you would like to do during this period of time.
  • Read books together, or listen to audiobooks, or a children’s radio station (like CBeebies radio) or podcasts (try Barefoot Books, Story Quest, Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls).
  • Write and illustrate stories.
  • Bake or cook together.  Learn some new recipes.
  • Do some simple science experiments.
  • Enjoy a craft together or learn a new craft or skill by following a YouTube tutorial.  Mark Kistler has drawing challenges for children.  Stock up on craft supplies and activities books, or look for some free printables (see below).
  • Skype friends and family.  Give older children and teenagers time to contact their friends.
  • Write and post letters to grandparents or other family members.
  • Make time for physical activity.  Create an obstacle course inside or outside or follow some online dance tutorials.  Cosmic Kids Yoga have children’s yoga videos that you can follow at home.
  • Learn a new language.  Duolingo can be used for free.
  • Play card or board games.
  • Watch documentaries or snuggle on the sofa and watch a film.
  • Spend time outdoors if you can.  If you have a garden or balcony, spend time planting flowers or vegetables, or getting some bird feeders and looking after the wildlife.  In some areas you may still be able to safely walk in wide open places, keeping a safe distance (though following any government advice).
  • Maria Teen Coach has written a blog with ideas for entertaining and educating older children and teenagers during self isolation.

Online resources

A Facebook Group Temporary Home Education Families has been set up to support those who find themselves with their children at home for a period of time.

Twinkl is an online educational publishing house, producing teaching and educational materials.  Use the code UKTWINKLHELPS.

Topmarks has free online educational games.

Nurture store has put together a 20 day+ programme of simple, fun screen-free activities for children.  

Julie Brave Writer is making her Daily Writing Tips (100 prompts) available for free until the end of April.  

Jamey Fisher Perkins is offering a free month of her ‘Growing Together Towards Justice’ guide.  This free month is full of activities to support young children to understand feelings. 

Big Life Journal has 50% of their growth mindset printables using the code STUCKHOME.  

The Muddy Puddle Teacher is offering all of their online resources free at the current time.

BBC Learning  This site is old and no longer updated and yet there's so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision.

National Geographic Kids has activities and quizzes.

Red Ted Art and The Imagination Tree have art and craft activity ideas for young children, as do many instagram accounts such as @muddly_puddly, @dayswithgrey


If your child or teen is feeling anxious about the current situation, Childline, YoungMinds and The Mix have online information and support via phone and text channels.

Please note that the above links are merely recommendations.  Kidscape does not have any connection with the individuals or organisations and does not accept responsibility for the content of external sites.

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