Apr 14 2020
In times of turmoil, communities across the world and close-to-home come together to take care of each other. For those families taking care of kids, some extra care and resources may be necessary. We’ve compiled a list of local and online resources and activities for families in Springfield, to help keep our local youth safe, secure, and creatively stimulated while staying at home.
Springfield Public Schools, while closed for the duration of the stay-home order, are offering free breakfast and lunch for kids Monday through Friday. A full list of locations and more information is available at the SPS website. Several locally owned businesses are offering free meals for kids as well. Be sure to check with your favorite local restaurant for their options.
The Springfield Discovery Center is offering childcare for healthcare workers and their families. They’re also fundraising to offer free childcare through the STEM Education for All fund. To sign up or donate, visit the Discovery Center’s website.
Explaining the concept of an epidemic and why we need to quarantine can be difficult for parents and guardians of young children. If you need guidance on how to address your child’s concerns, the Child Mind Institute suggests talking openly and honestly, avoid reinforcing frightening fantasies, and reassure them by maintaining a routine and focusing on what your family can do to stay safe. Visit their site for more advice, or check out advice from the NY Times or NPR.
Of course, while quarantining, kids are still learning and growing. If your children need additional guidance with mathematics, Khan Academy offers online classes. For those struggling with reading, Progressive Phonics offers free progressively sequenced books online or to print out. Modulo offers even more modular home-based learning and is free of charge for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak.
During this time of uncertainty, it could benefit kids to learn about stillness and focus. Headspace for kids teaches children centering and breathing exercises that will benefit them in times of turmoil and in the long-term. If they need a more physical outlet, Cosmic Kids Yoga offers a free YouTube catalogue and additional content on their app, and Chase Dance Company offers a sizeable library of prerecorded beginner ballet, contemporary dance, and acrobatics classes for kids on YouTube as well.
While social distancing, families aren’t confined to their homes constantly. While staying home to limit social interaction is encouraged, kids and adults alike benefit from fresh air and sunshine. At this time, rather than visiting a park or playground where close contact can be tough to avoid, families can check out our local trails and go for walks or even bike rides. Visit springfieldmo.org/trails for a full list of options in the area.
We appreciate everyone in our community doing their best to stop the spread by staying home. When the quarantine and stay-at-home orders are lifted, we look forward to serving Springfield families and visitors as your connection to the world once again.