COVID Connections – Children are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic

In times of stress, children look to parents and caregivers to see how they respond–whether calmly and confidently, or with panic and worry, children mirror adults around them.

COVID Connections brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition

It is important to stay positive, exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and take breaks from technology, remembering that our children watch our behaviors more often than we think.

Whether they voice it or not, children are affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Their schools are closing, spring vacations are postponed, and extracurriculars are canceled. Children sense changes happening around them and see the panic on the news.

Tammy Thacker, a Prevention Specialist, and mother, has taught children in grades four and five for nearly fifteen years.

“This is where parental instinct comes in,” says Thacker. “I think most children send off some type of alert without realizing it. It could be moodiness, stomach aches, or sudden withdrawal from friends and family. We know our children and notice when something is off,” she adds.

Watch for sudden changes in your child’s behavior. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends looking for the following:

  • Excessive worry/sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability
  • Poor academic performance
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Avoiding activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Using alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

If these signs occur, or even if they don’t, an open conversation about your child’s feelings will help you build positive connections.

“That’s when you want to start having open communication with them,” advises Thacker. “You don’t want to avoid those signs, but use them as an opportunity to get them talking. It’s even a great time to come up with some other positive activities–a game, making something, playing music, dancing. Put the feelings out in the open, talk, then find ways to brighten your child’s world.”

So, parents, take care of yourselves and ask your children how they are feeling. Then, take a break from the news, focus on your family, and use the attached activities to have some fun during your time at home. Those memories will last a lifetime.


Eye Spy


  • Choose a color of an object in sight and say, “I spy with my little eye, something (color).”
  • Players take turns guessing objects of the chosen color.
  • When someone guesses correctly, it is his/her turn.



Chocolate Peanut Butter Cereal Bars


4 cups chocolate Cheerios
½ cup honey

½ cup peanut butter


  1. Line a 9×13” baking dish or pan with parchment paper
  2. In a small bowl, combine honey and peanut butter
  3. Microwave honey and peanut butter in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth.
  4. Combine honey and peanut butter with Cheerios.
  5. Spread into dish and freeze for 30-60 minutes
  6. Slice and enjoy!

*To find recipes using ingredients you have at home, visit



DIY Kids’ Paint


1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup salt



  • Mix flour and salt.
  • Add at least ½ cup of water and mix until smooth.
  • Divide mixture into three sandwich bags.
  •  Add food coloring to each bag.
  •  Knead each bag until paint is blended
  • Cut a corner of each bag and squeeze onto paper




  1. Use chalk to draw the squares of a hopscotch course (for indoors, use tape).
  2. Toss one or more rocks (or small objects) onto the course, marking those as “lava.”
  3. Hope on one foot across the course, avoiding the “lava” squares.
  4. Try different numbers of “lava” squares and the lengths of your courses.

CONVERSATION STARTER: “Tell me your perfect day, from the time you would wake up to the time you would go to sleep.”

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