Resources To Help Explain COVID-19 To Children

Resources To Help Explain COVID-19 To Children

Looking for something to help your child make sense of  COVID-19? Check these resources - from videos for kids about the science behind coronavirus to online stories that can be important conversation starters in your household. The resources cover the range of Alert Levels in New Zealand. 

Coronavirus explained (for kids)

New Zealand scientist Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl) explains how we can tell our kids about what we currently know about coronavirus (COVID-19).


When the world went back

When the world went back (PDF, 803KB) is an online resource to help children understand things getting back to normal and everyone returning to school under Level 2. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.

Cover of online book 'When the world went back'

Back to school after COVID

Back to school after COVID is a social story to use to help prepare a class for the return to school after weeks of home learning.

Cover of 'Back to school after COVID'

When some kids went back to school

When some kids went back to school (PDF, 488KB) is an online resource to help children understand how some children return to school under Alert Level 3. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.

Cover of book 'When some kids went back to school'

I hoki atu ētahi tamariki ki te kura (PDF, 838KB) (Te Reo Māori)

Magaaho ne liliu atu ai falu fanau he aoga (PDF, 832KB) (Niuean)

Ina ua toe fo'i isi tamaiti i le a'oga (PDF, 1002KB) (Samoan)

Kafai ni tamaiti e toe olo kit e akoga (PDF, 818KB) (Tokelau)

ʻI he taimi ʻe foki ai ʻa e fānau e niʻihi ki he akoˊ (PDF, 997KB) (Tongan)

I te fokiiga nisi tamaliki ki te akoga (PDF, 999KB) (Tuvalu)

A simple book to help people navigate unexpected times

A simple book to help people navigate unexpected times (PDF, 299KB) is a resource for those concerned about changes in alert levels in NZ. It's aim is to help reduce anxiety. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist.

Thumbnail image of book cover - A simple book to help people navigate unexpected times

My hero is you

My hero is you - how kids can fight COVID-19 is a story developed for and by children around the world. It offers a way for children and parents to together think about the questions the pandemic raises. Designed to be read by a parent, caregiver or teacher alongside a child or a small group of children, the story was shaped by more than 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers from around the world who took the time to share how they are coping with the impact of COVID-19. The story has been translated into a range of languages.

Cover of book 'My hero is you'

Nanogirl's coronavirus resources for children and parents

Dr Michelle Dickinson (Nanogirl) has a range of videos on coronavirus.

Coronavirus explained - for kids!

The science behind how soap destroys coronavirus

How to teach your children how hand washing helps prevents the spread of coronavirus

The Wiggles on staying home and physical distancing

The importance of staying home and physical distancing (The Wiggles use the term 'social distancing') doesn't have to be a scary conversation. You can sing and dance along at home and become a handwashing hero!

Super Felix

Super Felix is saving the day, one hand wash at a time! Created by Phoebe Morris, an author/illustrator, Super Felix is an online children's storybook to help kids make sense of COVID-19 and talk about it with their parents. Follow Felix as he overcomes his fear of the virus, and learns what superpowers he has to help save the day.

Image of digital book cover 'Super Felix'

Because of COVID ...

Because of COVID ... is an online book by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. It addresses kids' frustrations about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives.

Image of book cover 'Because of COVID ...'

The stay home superheroes

'Stay at home superheroes' was written by Sophie Marsh (see Sophie's Stories on Facebook). You can see the video version or a print version (PDF, 74KB). Sophie says: "Often children struggle to find the words to describe their feelings and experiences, and talking directly about a problem can feel scary or embarrassing for them. A 'therapeutic story' provides a way to talk about the problem indirectly."

Screenshot of 'The stay home superheroes' video

When the world stayed home

'When the world stayed home' (PDF, 866KB) is an online resource to support children through COVID-19. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. There is also a bilingual version (PDF, 809KB).

Cover of 'When the world stayed home' online bookCover of book 'When the world stayed home - bilingual version'

Te wā i rāhuitia te ao i te kāinga

Te wā i rāhuitia te ao i te kāinga (PDF, 1.15MB) - He rauemi tauawhi nei i ngā tamariki e ekengia i te mate kurahauao (COVID-19). By Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. Translation provided by Dr James Graham (senior research adviser: Te Rū Rangahau, University of Canterbury).

Cover of book 'When the world stayed home - Te reo Māori version'


COVIBOOK (PDF, 1.47MB) is a short book (in a range of languages) to support and reassure children, under the age of 7, regarding COVID-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. This resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy. The recommendation is to print this material so children can draw on it. The author says: "Remember that emotions are processed through repetitive play and stories read multiple times". The author invites people to share COVIBOOK and help ease kids' anxiety all over the world.

Thumbnail image of COVIBOOK cover

COVIBOOK is also available as a video.

My lockdown diary

So you're stuck at home on lockdown from COVID-19? Well, let’s make the most of it with some isolation appreciation and your own lockdown diary.

Image of the cover of 'The lockdown diary'

The story of the oyster and the butterfly: The coronavirus and me

This is a social story by Anna Gomez, a psychotherapist who works with children and teens. The story can support whānau/families explain to their tamariki/mokopuna that experiencing a range of feelings and emotions during this time is quite usual. The story will help tamariki understand and better manage their feelings and emotions. The story shares a range of strategies. Watch a video version of the story. 

Gruffalo stayed in the cave

Gruffalo stayed in the cave is a series of images created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. They are the creators of the beloved children's storybook monster and they have reimagined some of their best-known characters in the light of the coronavirus crisis. The series of images show how Zog, Stick Man and others are coping with social distancing, home schooling and isolation.

Cover of 'Gruffalo stayed in the cave'

The longest day

The longest day (PDF, 252KB) is a story with plenty of space for kids to add their pictures. Kids can draw, colour or collage, use clip art or stick people. The story is by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. The aim is for kids to use their imaginations to illustrate the story. They can use their own experiences of play and home life etc. It can be a good shared activity for families - great to get everyone talking and sharing. You can choose certain parts of the story to do and then when it is put back together you can have a nice example of family/whānau working together.

The hedgehog in our bubble

'The hedgehog in our bubble' (PDF, 1.82MB) is an online story about staying home in our bubbles in New Zealand. It's by Mel Churton, a New Zealand psychologist. It includes activities for children at the end of the story.

Image of cover of 'The hedgehog in our bubble'

Dave the dog is worried about coronavirus - a nurse Dotty book

Dave the dog (PDF, 7.68MB) is an online book for children, written and illustrated by Mollie Watts. It is based on the author's experiences as a registered children's nurse.

Thumbnail image of 'Dave the dog' book cover

This page last reviewed 03 September 2020.

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