Explaining the Pandemic to Children


Children ask a lot of questions. We encourage them to be inquisitive. We try our best to answer their questions, or depending on their age, steer them to the right place to find answers. Sometimes their questions are challenging. Explaining why they can’t play with their friends, or go to school or why we need to wear masks can be tricky. How can you answer those kinds of questions about the pandemic and the steps we need to take to stay healthy without frightening children?

If you are a parent, caregiver or just find yourself in the position of answering questions about the coronavirus pandemic it’s understandable that you might feel unsure about what to share, how much to say, and ways to navigate COVID-19. You’re not alone. 

As the COVID-19 health crisis continues to unfold, many people are wondering how to talk to children about the impacts of the virus in a way that will be reassuring and not make them more worried than they already may be. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to talk with children about such public health emergencies. However, here are some suggestions you may find helpful.

How To Start the Conversation with Children About COVID-19

A good place to start is learning about COVID-19 from reputable sources, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health officials. Get the facts about how to protect your family from infection. Then you’ll be prepared to talk to your kids and provide them with the support they need during a difficult time. Keep in mind that children can often sense if you’re feeling stressed and confused.

If possible, choose a time when children are likely to want to talk, such as at mealtimes. Ask what they already know and what questions and concerns they have. Everyone reacts differently, but let their questions guide your discussion. Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions. At the same time, it’s best not to force children to talk about things unless or until they’re ready.

Listen and answer their questions with facts in a way that they can understand. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest. Let them know that there are a lot of rumors and false information and that you’ll help them learn the facts. Answer questions honestly. Children will usually know, or eventually find out, if you’re “making things up.” It may affect their ability to trust you or believe any future reassurances. If it’s appropriate for their age, you can show them how to search for the answer on a reliable website.

Talk with your children frequently to see how they’re coping and offer them regular updates as more is learned about COVID-19 and the precautions families should take. Encourage them to express their feelings, letting them know that it’s ok to be upset. Also encourage them to come to you with any new questions. This builds trust.

Share simple facts about COVID-19 that are appropriate:

  • Define it. COVID-19 is caused by a germ (virus) that can make the body sick. People who have COVID-19 may have a cough, fever and trouble taking deep breaths. But some people, especially kids, who have the virus may not feel sick at all or may have mild symptoms similar to having a cold.
  • Explain how it spreads. The most common way it spreads is by entering people’s bodies when it’s on their hands and they touch their mouths, noses or eyes. If someone who has the infection coughs or sneezes on you from a close distance—closer than six feet—that also can spread the virus. A virus is so tiny that you can’t see it. This is why it’s important to wash your hands often and try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes.         
  • Talk about what’s being done. You’re hearing so much about COVID-19 because it’s a new illness that has not been seen before. Experts around the world are working hard every day to learn about COVID-19 and how to keep people safe.

Discuss how children can stay safe:

  • Take practical steps. Talk with children about all the practical measures we can take to stay safe. Encourage frequent and proper hand-washing—especially each time you come home, before meals and after blowing the nose, coughing or sneezing. Show them how to sneeze or cough into a tissue and throw it in the trash or cough into a bent elbow. Clean and disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces around the house.
  • Demonstrate effective hand-washing. Show your kids how to create tiny soap bubbles by rubbing their hands together and how to get the soap between fingers and all the way to the ends of their fingers, including their thumbs. Encourage your kids to sing the entire “Happy Birthday” song twice (about 20 seconds) so they spend the time they need to get their hands clean.
  • Stay home whenever possible. Explain to children how this can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Let them know that when the risks of COVID-19 become much lower or go away, they can look forward to being back in their normal routine.
  • Practice physical distancing. Avoid close contact with people outside of home, even if they don’t appear to be sick. Pretend there’s a bike between you and the person you’re standing near, keeping about six feet apart from each other. Instead of giving high fives, fist bumps or hugs to people outside your family, give smiles and waves to say hello.
  • Don’t forget ways to stay healthy. Healthy habits include eating a well-balanced diet, getting regular physical activity and getting a good night’s sleep.

What can I do to help children cope?

  • Remain calm. Children will look to you for clues about how to react. Remind them that how they feel right now is OK, and encourage a hopeful outlook for the future.
  • Keep to a routine. Keep or create new family routines, such as learning activities, meal times, chores, relaxation and bedtimes. This structure helps children predict what’s planned and feel as though they have control. Use a whiteboard or paper to display a daily schedule at home. Checking off tasks can encourage a sense of accomplishment.
  • Limit access to news. There may be times of constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media that may heighten fears about the disease. Limit reading, hearing or watching the news. Also limit social media use that may expose children to rumors and false information. Be cautious about discussing the news and your fears in front of children.
  • Be creative about ways to have fun. Encourage activities that children enjoy, such as puzzles, art projects, reading and music. Create opportunities for family time. Play games, have them join in on cooking projects and enjoy home movie nights. Head to CML’s brand new online shop for fun ways to play from home!
  • Enjoy virtual socializing. Connect with friends and family members using phone calls and FaceTime or similar apps. This can help everyone feel less isolated and can help build and maintain relationships. A great way to connect with other caregivers and little ones is through CML’s virtual programming with Miss Savannah on Wednesdays at 10am.
  • Avoid placing blame. Be careful not to blame specific people, including those in a cultural, racial or ethnic group.
  • Seek advice if necessary. If you notice persistent problems with sleep, changes in eating habits or difficulty concentrating on typical tasks, or if children display a persistent sense of hopelessness, excessive sadness or overwhelming worry, contact your doctor or a mental health professional for advice.

Until we can all be together again in person, join us for virtual programming with Miss Savannah or head to our brand new online shop for Boredom Busters, Robots to Go Coding Kits and more!  

Family Fun in Charleston, SC


If you’re looking for family fun in Charleston, South Carolina, check out the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. The museum is packed with all kinds of experiences for children and their adults to learn through play and set their imaginations free.  A family outing at the museum is a wonderful way to create memorable family time.

A visit to the museum offers families a unique opportunity to experience new things and engage in exciting discoveries. It’s packed with all kinds of hands-on activities that kids and parents can discover and investigate together. From artistic offerings to historic fantasy, scientific findings to shopping excursions just for kids, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a wonderful find.

Encourage your budding artist to fulfil their creative desires in The Art Room. Help them select recycled pieces to craft artwork in The Creation Station; search for their artistic medium of choice in The Discovery Den; and paint their own masterpiece in The Painting Place. There’s even a special place for the very young at Sensory Space, where Play-Doh and moon sand stir the creative juices of the museum’s youngest visitors while at the same time helping them hone fine motor skills, color recognition and language development.

Creative expression awaits the whole family, including grown-ups, at the Medieval Creativity Castle. Kids can don dragon, knight, prince and princess costumes to explore secret passageways, “ride” and feed horses in the stable and act out their favorite fairy tale or create one of their own in the Castle’s puppet theatre. Grown-ups are invited and encouraged to summon their theatrical side to take part in the action. The Castle Tod Pod welcomes visitors under three years of age. Kids get a history lesson, as well as language and vocabulary development, and the whole family has fun!  

There’s more history fun at Pirates! A supply of pirate costumes heightens the drama onboard the pirate ship where kids can search for buried treasure, fend off sea monster attacks and walk the plank. Learning and whimsy are combined as kids learn about pirate life in the lowcountry, learn to tie knots like a sailor and play the compass rose game. You can even create stormy weather aboard the ship!

Adults and kids will enjoy spending time in one of the museum’s seven organic Kids Gardens where they can watch butterflies and investigate the life of a bug. Stroll through the beautiful outdoor space together and enjoy the pond and waterfall and taste some mint, rosemary and lemongrass—you can even harvest the herbs and take them home to use in a favorite recipe! 

The fun continues in the busy Publix Market, complete with child-size carts, scanners and touch-screen registers. Create a shopping list for your child to follow and watch them sharpen their math skills as they weigh their produce or pay their bill.

Adults can also enjoy quality time with young visitors (ages birth to three) in the specially designed Infant & Toddler Playspace. It’s filled with tiny little slides for safe climbing; tactile and fine motor toys for little hands; and spaces for tummy time and reading. It’s also the perfect place to connect with other young parents.

The museum also offers special programming for families including Early Connections, which helps foster strong connections between children, birth to 3, and their grown-up. The whole family can also participate in the Brown Bag STEM Challenge, on Wednesdays and Sundays at 3:30 p.m., where families work as a team to design and build their STEM project.

With so many great and unique opportunities, why not make the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry your go-to place for family fun? A variety of membership and admission packages are available, with discounts for military families and educators and EBT, WIC and SNAP recipients.


Fun for Kids in Charleston, SC


If you’re looking for fun activities for kids in Charleston, South Carolina, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a great place to start. The museum provides an invigorating environment for children from birth to 10 years of age that’s certain to stimulate their natural curiosity and creativity. 

The museum offers many hands-on, engaging programs designed to let kids learn through play. 

Evidence-based research has shown that play helps children develop critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills, which builds a foundation for life-long success. Depending on schedules, these programs are great for homeschool families, weekend activities and after-school programming. All of the programs listed are included (or free) with membership or admission.

And don’t worry if you haven’t pre-registered. Most of the programs operate on a “drop-in” basis, so it can be a last-minute addition to your schedule. Here are just a few of the wonderful artistic, scientific, nurturing and even fitness programs designed to spark the imagination and kindle creativity:

Art Room Surprise gives young artists, ages 2 to 10, an opportunity to drop in, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays, to create a masterpiece in the Art Room’s “Discovery Room.” Children explore new media, including oil pastels, collage, weaving, sand art and more, as well as different artistic processes. 

Play to Learn, for kids ages 2 to 5, includes storytime and corresponding activities to help children develop and fine-tune kindergarten readiness skills, such as letter and number recognition, counting, shapes, fine and gross motor skills and social skills, Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. and Fridays at 11:00 a.m.

Full STEAM Ahead, for kids ages 4 to 10, invites children to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through art. On Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., kids combine their creativity and analytical skills for projects including painting with robots to building bugs that dance to creating art through chemical reactions.  

The Brown Bag Stem Challenge takes place every Wednesday and Sunday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. for families with children ages 4 to 10. Families can pick up their brown bag of supplies containing the materials needed to meet the challenge anytime on Wednesdays and Sundays at the front desk, then work as a team to build and test their projects against other teams. 

Let’s Move gets kids, ages 2 to 10, moving with fun physical activities including balloon badminton, scarf dancing, animal yoga and more! The fun begins at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and includes talking about healthy eating habits to excite kids about eating fruits and vegetables. 

Mini Masterpieces introduces children, ages 4 to 10, to artists and their artistic methods on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m., then helps them create their own works of art using the methods learned.

Early Connections welcomes young visitors, from birth to 3 years of age, along with their grown-ups, every Wednesday and Friday at 10:00 a.m. to a unique program helps strengthen connections between the child and adult by developing rituals, modeling attunement and promoting self-regulation skills. 

And those are just the drop-in programs! Check out the variety of available membership and admission packages, with discounts for military families and educators as well as EBT, WIC and SNAP recipients. There are other great opportunities for special events, party packages, camps, pre-registration programs and family events. Why not stop by the next you’re searching for fun activities for kids?

Things to Do in Charleston with Kids


If you have kids, you know that keeping them busy can sometimes be a challenge. If you’re in the Charleston area and you’re searching for a place where kids can learn through play, create and discover, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is the perfect fit. It’s filled with fun places to explore where imaginations can run free; art projects just waiting to be created; and eureka moments yet to be discovered.

Six days a week the museum provides a rich environment focused on the power of play that stimulates children’s natural curiosity and creativity. Most of the weekly programs are included with membership or in the price of admission, and some are free. The programs are open to all children from birth to 10, and usually operate on a “drop-in” basis, so you don’t even need to pre-register! 

The museum focuses on the power of play, the vital activity that children use to learn about and interact with their world. Through play, young minds are opened to endless possibilities and children gain the mental, physical and social skills necessary to succeed in their adult lives. A visit to the museum offers kids a unique opportunity to experience new things and engage in exciting discoveries. There are even some fun opportunities for parents to join the fun!

The Art Room is home to creativity featuring several opportunities for kids to explore their artistic side and engage their skills. In The Creation Station children are encouraged to construct artistic masterpieces using recycled pieces. It’s fun and helps children with problem-solving and spatial awareness skills. Washable paints invite kids to paint a masterpiece in The Painting Place. In the Discovery Den children are invited to try their hand using a variety of artistic mediums. From painting with oil pastels, to weaving, to gathering materials for a collage, kids learn about materials and process. Younger visitors will enjoy visiting the Sensory Space, where they can use playdough and moon sand to hone their fine motor skills, color recognition and language development, all while having lots of fun.

History and imagination take center stage in The Medieval Creativity Castle, a special place where children can use dramatic play to enhance their language skills and fire their imaginations. The museum provides dragon, knight, prince and princess costumes to enhance the experience. They can search for secret passageways, cook a royal meal or embark on a quest in a castle made just for them. Whether they use creative expression in the castle puppet theatre to act out a favorite fairy tale or invent their own story, kids will enjoy lots of fun in this special fantasy world. 

The fun isn’t limited to indoor activities. The museum is home to seven organic Kid’s Gardens, which provide a natural play space where kids can enjoy the wonderful world of nature. Kids can observe bugs and butterflies in their natural habitat, learn about plants and even taste and pick herbs, such as lemongrass, mint and rosemary, to take home. A pond with a real, running waterfall filled with shiny gems complete the gardens. 

At Waterwise! kids can don plastic smocks to stay dry while navigating the Charleston Harbor and even learn how hydroelectric dams work to use water to bring power to the area. While they’re having fun, kids can also work on their problem-solving skills to open a model of the lock and move boats from the lake to the harbor or play a game of tic-tac-toe.

A perennial favorite of children everywhere is Pirates! A pirate ship sets the stage for having fun while learning all about Charleston’s sea bandit history and even see what the Charleston Harbor was like in the 1600s. Kids can don pirate costumes to learn how to tie knots like a sailor and even test their sea legs aboard the ship in stormy weather! 

Kids to learn how to make healthy food choices, weigh their fruit and master their math abilities at the museum’s Publix Market. The made-to-scale grocery store also features express lanes with scanners and touch screens. 

Interactive activities in the Infant & Toddler Playspace are designed for the youngest visitors, ages birth to three, complete with tiny little slides for safe climbing; tactile and fine motor toys for little hands; and spaces for tummy time and reading. It’s also a wonderful place for parents to connect.

There are fun adventures for just about every child at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry! Check out the many membership and admission packages available, with discounts for military families and educators and EBT, WIC and SNAP recipients, and let the fun begin!

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