YWCA Parent Resources – Resources for Parents with children staying home due to COVID-19

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YWCA Parent Resources – Resources for Parents with children staying home due to COVID-19

Categories: News

YWCA Parent Resource

Children's Alley Staff standing outside

Hello all Children’s Alley families!

We thought it would be best to stay connected during this hectic time. Many of us are facing difficulties and uncertainty, and all with kids at home for longer periods than normal with the closure of schools and child care centers. We are here to help with inspiration, activity ideas and parenting tips, and hope this weekly email can provide a brief time to come together and uplift our neighbors, friends, and community!

We’ll look forward to connecting with you with health and wellness inspirations, recipes, and activities to get your family and yourself moving. Let’s stay present and stay positive!


Parent Resource, March 30, 2020 – YWCA Virtual Activity (Singing songs with Karla Canales), Personal Check-In, Daily Routine, Staying Active Ideas, Nap Time Song, Art and Sensory Time, Make Playdough at Home, Stories and Songs, Fruit and Vegetable of the Week, Recipe of the Week (Vegan Tofu Stir Fry), Additional Resources, and Contact Us

Parent Resource, April 6, 2020 – YWCA Virtual Activity (Cook’s Corner with Carter and Tori), Coping with COVID-19 for Families, Domestic Violence Resources, Activities and Games, Nap Time, Art Time, Music and Songs, Fruit and Vegetable of the Week, Recipe of the Week (Roasted Lemon Parmesan Garlic Asparagus), Additional Resources, and We want to hear from YOU

Parent Resource, April 20, 2020 – Cook’s Corner with Carter and Tori – Sweet Spinach Muffins, Nurturing You Child’s Mental Health During Social Distancing, Make “Me Time” Part of the Schedule, Infant Activity, Toddler Activity, Preschool Activity and Introducing the YWCA Pre-K Virtual Classroom, Veggie of the Week, Recipe of the Week – Sweet Spinach Muffins, Remember our Preschool Garden from Last Year, and Additional Resources

Phased Reopening of Children’s Alley beginning May 11 with Infant Development Center

Parent Resource, May 4, 2020 – Cook’s Corner with Carter andTori – Power Gold Smoothie, Mental Health Corner, Infant Activity, Toddler Activity, Pre-School Activity and Pre-K Virtual Classroom, Fruit & Veggie of the Week, Recipe of the Week – Whole Wheat Pancakes, Education Materials from Growing Gardens, and Domestic Violence Resources

Parent Resource, May 18, 2020 – YWCA Virtual Activity (Ms. Griffin reads The Gruffalo), Mental Health Corner, Tip of the Week, Infant Activity, Toddler Activity, Pre-School Activity and Pre-K Virtual Classroom, Fruit & Veggie of the Week, Recipe of the Week – Confetti Stuffed Bell Peppers, Education Materials from Growing Gardens, and Domestic Violence Resources

YWCA Virtual Activities

YWCA Boulder County is dedicated to supporting parents and families. As we all deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, the YWCA will begin providing virtual activities and learning opportunities from our Children’s Alley teachers.

Visit our YWCA Boulder County Youtube Channel for all the great videos from our Children’s Alley teachers!

Introducing the YWCA Pre-K Virtual Classroom

YWCA Pre-K Virtual Classroom: A website designed with the intention of keeping our families and children involved in our classroom curriculum and with our teachers!
On the website, we will be posting videos, resources, activity ideas, as well as sharing lessons, ideas, tips, and general conversations that we hope will help you navigate this time at home with your child. We are so excited to connect with you all in this new way.
Please explore the website and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for this new experience, as we are learning along the way, too! There are opportunities for you to post your own content in the forum. If you would like to get in contact with us, you can reach a specific teacher by their emails listed, or send a general message to this email address or the website’s contact page.
Continue to check in for additional content, like story-times, cooking and nutrition classes, and more. We will add more weekly!

Domestic Violence Resources

For some in our community, staying home is also not safe.

This is a stressful time for all of us. The uncertainty created by the COVID-19 public health emergency combined with social isolation, reduced access to employment and food, and in some cases lack of child care, is difficult for many families and individuals to endure. Please reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors by phone or video during this time, and help ensure they feel supported.

We also recognize that for some families and individuals, the difficulties are too much to handle. The Boulder County Abuse and Neglect Hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day, at 303-441-1309.

Boulder County responds to concerns around potential abuse and neglect by working with families and individuals to understand their challenges and -in many cases- connecting them with supports they may need. The safety of children and at-risk adults is a top priority. Anyone witnessing a child or at-risk adult in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office also has some domestic violence resources.

Here are some tips from SPAN: Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence:

If a friend or a neighbor is in trouble, what can you do?

• Help them plan where they (and the children), could go in an emergency or if they decide to leave.
• Agree on a code word or signal they can use to let you know they need help.
• Help them prepare an excuse so they can leave quickly if they feel threatened.
• Find out about how the police can protect them, and if calling the police is an option.
• Help them prepare an “escape bag” and hide it in a safe place. If they leave, they will need money, keys, clothes, bank cards, driver’s licence, social security documents, property deeds, medication, birth certificates, passport and any other important documents.
• Think if it is safe to help interrupt an episode of violence, create a code so you can knock on the door.
• If they decide to stay they may need to think about other ways to protect themselves and the children from further violence.

***Be careful. Don’t place yourself in a position where the person who is being abusive could harm or manipulate you. Don’t try to intervene directly if you witness a person being assaulted – call the police instead.***

24-Hour Crisis Line: 303-444-2424

Additional Resources

There are so many great resources out there. Here are a couple to check out:

Food Assistance
Emergency Food: Are you or your families in need of food assistance? Here are a few resources to help:
  • Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and Saint Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) are offering free meals for all children between the ages of 0 and 18. For a list of locations, visit https://www.cde.state.co.us/nutrition/nutriemergencyfeeding or text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877.
  • Fruit & Veg Boulder is available to individuals and families who live in the City of Boulder and earn too much to get SNAP benefits, but could use help covering the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. Get more info and apply online – www.boco.org/Fruit&Veg.
  • SNAP, WIC, and Fruit & Veg participants are able to order a box of food, valued at $20 from the Boulder County Farmers Market (see attached flyer).
Additional emergency food resources, can be found on the Boulder County government COVID-19 webpage.
Parenting Resources

Family & Activity Resources from The Adoption Exchange – So many great ideas for activities and learning resources.

Meditation and mindfulness tips for coping with the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus Sanity Guide (FREE) from Ten Percent Happier

Teaching our kids (and ourselves) mindfulness to get us through the coronavirus anxiety

7 meditation and mindfulness apps with free tools for coronavirus anxiety

Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus

Coping with COVID-19: Series for Families 

Kidlutions: Solution for Kids” is a great blog with parenting tips on a variety of subjects. They have a great new series on Coping with COVID-19 and will be publishing additional episodes in the coming weeks.

They will share links to their latest’s posts as they become available. So far, they have these articles:

Anxiety: Helping Kids Deal with Anxiety in Uncertain Times

Routine: Why Keeping a Routine is Important, Especially Now

Boredom: Dealing with Boredom While Confined to Home

Five (incredibly helpful) Quarantine Survival Tips for Parents from Parenting Matters

Supporting Families during COVID-19: Articles on discipline and behavior, managing anxiety, dealing with loss, daily parenting tips, and coping with the virus:

Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

Learning computer science when schools are closed from Code.org

Lower Your Expectations, And Other Parenting Advice For The Era Of COVID-19 from CPR News

What To Do With Kids At Home On Coronavirus Break For Who Knows How Long (Without Losing It) from CPR News

Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

How to entertain kids during the extended break from Denverite

Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak from the World Health Organization

Virtual Field Trips from Discovery Education

NOVA Labs from PBS

Scholastic Learn at Home from Scholastic

Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids, Led by Favorite Artists & Illustrators from Open Culture

How to Calm Your Child’s Coronavirus Anxiety from Children’s Hospital Colorado

Free Remote Learning Opportunities & Information from America Succeeds

Personal Check-In

How are YOU?

Parenting can be stressful and these are even more stressful times. It can seem impossible to find time, but try be intentional about making time to check-in with yourself and dedicate time to self-care.

Do what you can to get enough sleep, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get outside, exercise, have fun and be kind to yourself. And acknowledge that these are tough times and we are all doing the best we can. It is okay not to be perfect!

What I Cannot Control and What I Can Control

Here are some simple self-care ideas to help jump start some R&R for yourself.

Make “Me Time” Part of the Schedule

You can’t be emotionally generous to anyone else when you’re running on empty. To stay centered, you need time when you’re not engaging. And so do your kids. Make enforced quiet times part of the daily schedule. Kids can read or play quietly in separate rooms. Don’t fritter that time away online. And don’t use it to clean up. (Make that a fun task to do as a family!) Instead, find something that replenishes you: listen to a guided meditation, do some yoga, write in a journal.
Adapted from the Aha! Parenting blog.

Mental Health Corner

Nurturing Your Child’s Mental Health During Social Distancing
In this time of stress and disrupted routine, it is normal for people of all ages to experience signs of distress. Our little ones are no exception. Although they may be experiencing the same feelings of anxiety, fear, and confusion as us and other adults in our lives, the behaviors they exhibit to express this stress will likely look different.
For children, this may include increased clinginess, changes in diet and appetite, fits of tearfulness or “temper tantrums”, trouble sleeping, and for kids in especially high stress environments, they may also revert to behaviors you thought they had “outgrown” such as bed-wetting.
We understand that these behaviors can contribute to even more strain on your household than you are already enduring, and we are here to support you.
Here are a few simple ways you can nurture the mental health of the young children in your care, which will hopefully also give you more time to take care of you.
  • Teach them how they can keep themselves safe, and the things you are doing to keep your family safe. When they understand why people are wearing gloves, masks, and why we are all washing our hands every five minutes, it makes these changes less foreign, and easier to accept.
  • Have scheduled family time. This can help those caregivers who are still working/going to school with balancing these things and time with the kids. It lets them know they are still a priority, and will get their one-on-one time even if it’s not right this moment.
  • View their behavior as a window to their needs and feelings. Try to remember they are experiencing this time of adversity right along with us, and it’s probably even harder for them to comprehend.
  • Make active play and outside time a priority.
  • Share your feelings with them, and validate theirs.
  • Model healthy behavior. Do this with nutritious meal choices, staying active, and keeping your hands clean and yourself safe.
  • Be truthful with them about what’s going on, try to stay calm and focus on positivity around you.
  • Be consistent! Having at least a loose daily schedule is just as important for young children as it is for school age kids. Make a schedule together and do your best to stick with it, knowing what to expect and what is going to come next will help them feel relaxed and safe in their home.
  • Practice relaxation exercises together! Breathing techniques, meditation, even just self-guided quiet time – they may surprise you with how much they enjoy these activities!
  • Set and respect boundaries, both for you and for them.
  • Try to remain present!
Here is another great resource:
Holly Golden is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Mental Health Counselor. In this series she provides tips and activities for parents and teachers as they guide students through the changes and big emotions related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Routine

You probably already have a daily routine of some kind with your family. Now is the time to really be diligent about sticking to that routine to create structure in your daily lives. Children need predictability and routine, especially during tough times.

Especially if you are also juggling working from home during this time, a daily schedule that everyone is familiar with and helps to follow will be grounding to children of all ages.

We want to hear from YOU!

If you have questions or concerns and/or would like to request specific topics or recommend ideas, please contact Tori Anderson at Tori@ywcaboulder.org.

We are here to help!

You can also submit questions or feedback anonymously through the signup form (do not enter your name or email in order to make it anonymous).

Thank YOU for your support!

As a nonprofit, our work would not be possible without the support of passionate individuals and businesses like you, who support our programs and services.

If you can, please consider making a donation in whatever amount you are able. Your donation is tax-deductible and eligible for the Colorado Childcare Contribution Tax Credit. Together, we will weather these difficult times and continue our work to provide affordable, high-quality child care for our community.