Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...

Parenting through COVID-19

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have been introduced to new terms such as social distancing, self-isolation and social lockdown, which have changed the way we go about our everyday lives.

We have all had to look at new ways of working and new ways of playing and have had to adapt to more time in our own homes. A positive outcome from the pandemic has been a return of community spirit, community cohesion and resilience, with the Thursday night round of applause for keyworkers being a demonstration of this.

St Helens Children’s Centres have tried to keep engaged with our families through social media and post daily updates on our Facebook page, and we will continue to offer support though different formats such as telephone and video calls.

Hungry Little Minds
This website has activities that are suitable for children from newborn up to five years of age. You will find some short videos and simple, fun activities that you can enjoy with your children. The activities are broken down into age brackets but remember you know your own child, so you can pick and choose the activities as you like and adjust them as you need. This website is perfect if you are running out of ideas or even if you are looking for something new to do during lockdown.

Printable rainbow
This activity will need a printer. The website has a printable rainbow for any children who want to complete a rainbow for their window or for friends or family. These can be completed using pens, paints, collage any way really that the children want to.

10 creative activities
This website is more for the creative people among us. It has simple activities that you can do within the home. It will need some preparation time for some of them, however if you have older children then it may benefit them to get involved. This is a good source for some new activities that are simple to do.

Make Time 2 Play
This website provides ideas and inspiration to get your children playing. The Make Time 2 Play Facebook page, app and website are updated regularly with activities for kids that encourage imaginative and exploratory play.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
RoSPA is an online site which provides accident and prevention information and some handy tips for keeping your child safe within the home.

Kitchen safety guide
Children have a strong exploratory impulse, especially when they are in the kitchen. This website has some useful safety information about keeping children safe in the kitchen, covering the basic ages and stages of development. 

Children's mental health
The NSPCC's site offers advice and support for children who may be struggling with their mental health. This website has a page dedicated to support around discussing coronavirus with children.

Home Start
Home Start is a volunteer-run community network which supports families through their trying time. They also offer advice on talking to children about coronavirus.

The St Helens CAMHS Partnership is adapting as coronavirus impacts our everyday lives.

Our partners are working hard to ensure children, young people and families get the support they need during this time.

You can find more information at www.sthelensgateway.info/organisations/camhs

Parents who may need to work and juggle childcare will feel like they must fill their children’s gap for learning.

While no-one expects them to replicate school, there is plenty of online help to stave off boredom. There are lots of arts and craft activities and lots of these help with language, vocabulary and mathematics.

Here are some useful websites for home learning ideas:

BrainPop: Offers animated movies on topics in maths, science and English.

Tynker: Offers coding lesson for kids

Reading for different ages 

Tips for reading with your children 

Leap Frog learning resources for children 0-5 years 

Phonics and reading tips for parents 

English and maths for all levels 

Home learning resources 

Storytelling and yoga

Visit places like museums and zoos online. They offer great activities for children to learn about all sorts of interesting things, like history, wildlife and artists.

Children can learn so much through play. You might not feel like playing much at the moment but playing can be a great escape and can really help to take your mind off things.

You may want to plan a short play activity for each day; this can really make a difference to your child’s mood and behaviour. Playing together can really help prevent problem behaviour, which may stem from boredom, while also maintaining and strengthening family relationships.

Making time to play together also creates even more ideas for playing and can create opportunities to talk about your child’s interests, or any other worries they might have. Finding a good time in the day to play is important; you might plan to play something after breakfast for younger children to get them in a contented mood for the day, or later in the evening for older children, or as a whole family.

There are lots of games to play outside too, while you go on your daily walk, such as ‘I Spy’, or you could look for rainbows together that children are making and displaying in their windows (and you can even make your own rainbows). You may want to encourage your children to use apps like Zoom or Skype so they can stay in touch with their friends and family.

In normal circumstances, it’s hard to argue that there is something wonderful about those rare days at home, where you can get up late, stay in your pyjamas and sit around the house without any major commitments to worry about.

In the current climate, however, finding some sense of routine while at home could be more important than ever.

There is a wealth of online support available for families and we hope you have been able to access some of this for yourselves.

Headspace app: Mindfulness for your everyday life.

Kooth is an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for children and young people aged 14-25 years, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use.

SANEline: If you’re experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).

YoungMinds provides support and advice to parents and carers worried about the emotional wellbeing or behaviour of a young person in their care with confidential expert advice.

Parents Helpline: Call 0808 802 5544.

OCD Action is a place for support and information to anybody affected by OCD. They have a helpline: 0845 390 6232 (Mon-Fri, 9:30am – 5pm) or you can visit their website for more information. 

Mental health while isolating