How to Talk to Children about COVID19

1. Be calm and reassuring

Children react to what you say and how you say it. They will notice if you sound calm or if you sound worried, both when talking to them and talking with others.

2. Make time to listen and to talk

Let them know you have time to listen to their questions and fears.

3. Don’t make assumptions about people who have COVID19

Help children understand that when people get sick it’s not because they did something bad, or because they are a part of a particular race or ethnic group.

4. Pay attention to what children see or hear on television, radio, or online

Limit the amount of screen time focused on COVID-19. Too much information can cause stress.

5. Provide information that is honest and accurate

Give children information that is true and appropriate for their age. Explain to them that some things they hear may not be true.

6. Assure children that grownups are working hard to keep them safe

Make sure children know that adults are working hard to keep people from getting sick and help sick people get better. Children can help by following healthy habits.

What does this look like in action? Click here to read how one parent talked about this tough subject with their children.

These tips were adapted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a government agency responsible for keeping people in the USA safe and healthy.

Proud Moments

Well-done spelling tests, math quizzes, and book reports adorn the refrigerators of proud family members and caretakers all over Flint. The kids in your care have many non-school achievements, and you can show pride in those as well!

Prep It

You just need a few materials to proudly celebrate children’s achievements:

  • Paper- the back of envelopes, junk mail, anything you can write on
  • Writing utensil- marker, pen, crayon

Play It

Sit down together and talk about things children have achieved lately that you’re proud of.

For example, “I’m really proud of you for being resilient and learning how to ride a bike even though it took a lot of practice,” or “I’m really proud of you for being responsible and choosing to do your homework before you play video games.”

Write these down on the paper, throw a big A+ or smiley face on them, and hang them up on the fridge!

Invite the kids to tell you what they’re proud of in themselves too. You might learn a lot about who they are when you’re not around.

Wouldn’t you love to hear, “I’m really proud of myself because I was nice to the bully in class, even though they’re not nice to me”? The PEP team sure would!

Enjoy these special moments together!

Jams and Plans for Washing Hands

DIY Soaps

Click the buttons for the recipes!

Make hand washing less of a chore for kids using this Jelly Soap Recipe! This recipe makes jelly soaps with a jello-like consistency. You only really need two ingredients, liquid soap and gelatin, but can add food coloring, scented oils, glitter, and small toys!

Try this Homemade Soap Play Dough recipe which is very easy and fun to make. The only ingredients needed are flour, liquid dish soap, and cream of tartar (optional, but will make the dough softer and last longer). This recipe makes a big bulk in which kids can take a piece from it, and use to wash their hands consistently throughout the day!

Spice up your liquid hand soaps or sanitizers by adding small toys into the containers. This is a super easy and fun way to encourage kids to wash their hands throughout the day. The more they wash their hands using the soap, the closer they are from obtaining the toys!


Hand Washing Hot Potato

Make hand washing a fun group activity by playing this hand washing hot potato game! Get everyone together to play before eating or after returning from outside.

Washing Dolly’s Hands

Playing pretend is a great way for young children to practice adult behaviors like washing their hands. Encourage your children to teach their plastic dolls and action figures how to wash their hands too!


Click the buttons to download!

Print or use this chart as a reference to make your very own hand washing reward chart. Every time your child washes their hands, you can mark it on the chart using stickers or a marker which will indicate points. Set a goal for how many points your child has to obtain each week in order to receive a prize!

Hang up this poster near the sink! For more posters, check out the Genesee County Health Department’s poster list. If you would like one or more of these but don’t have a printer, we can print and mail them to you.

Please call or text us with your address, the poster(s) that you want, and how many copies you would like (up to 5 copies for each poster).


Click the buttons to learn the songs and sing along!

Video (Ages 2-4) 

For fans of Baby Shark, sing this song for 20 seconds while you wash the germs away!

Lyrics to Learn (Ages 2-7) 

Use the tune of classic nursery rhymes with new words to get your hands squeaky clean. Choose your favorites from this page!

Video (Ages 8+) 

Use the melody of some favorite Top 40’s songs to time your 20 seconds. Which one is your favorite?

Watch, listen, and look: How germs spread and how to stop them

Follow these links with the children in your care to explore questions we all have about contagious illnesses like the Coronavirus and how to stay healthy.


Ages 2-4 (1 minute 30 seconds)

When Daniel Tiger is sick, he imagines that he is a germ-fighting superhero that can make all the germs go away!

Ages 4-6 (2 minutes 20 seconds)

Sid and his friends sing a song about how germs spread. Can you make up your own song about the journey of germs? Send us your lyrics or a video of your song to share with other Flint providers!

Ages 5-8 (1 minute)

Learn about Odd Squad’s Healthy Habits with The Big O. In this one-minute Agent Training Video, The Big O shares how Odd Squad agents stay away from germs.

Ages 5-8 (1 minute)

In this one-minute Agent Training Video, The Big O shares a few top tips for social distancing, like talking with friends on the phone or on video, keeping your distance from anyone you see in person and avoiding handshakes, hugs or high-fives. Stay strong and healthy, because the Odd Squad needs you!

Ages 9+ (5 minutes 46 seconds)

Watch this Mythbusters experiment that ponders the questions: How to germs spread? What are the consequences of not washing your hands after you blow your nose? How quickly can a sick person spread germs to people around them?

Ages 9+ (2 minutes 18 seconds)

The Mythbusters are at it again- this time asking: How far do the germs in sneezes go?


Ages 8+ (35 minutes)

Listen along to this half-hour long story that explores the questions: What exactly is the coronavirus? How does it spread? How can I protect myself? Children will learn about the virus and how to stay safe. Plus, they will listen to a conversation between two chatty viruses to learn how these germs spread (and how our bodies fight back).

Ages 8+ (31 minutes)

Listen to this half-hour long story to learn about the virus and why soap is so important in stopping it!


Ages 4+ with adult help reading; Ages 8+ with little or no help reading

This short comic strip is a great visual way to spark conversation about many questions children may have about the virus.

Songs that Teach Hand Washing