Coronavirus lockdown: Share a story to stay in touch

The children are home, the lockdown is here and we’re all socially distancing from the people who enrich our lives.

But self-isolating doesn’t need to be lonely. The modern world has created ways to be together while apart and my plan during the next three week is to use these technologies to still enjoy special times with those we hold near and dear.

Baby Bookworm’s nursery is now shut indefinitely and because he is due to start school in September, we fear he might not go back at all. We were sad about him not seeing the staff who care for him so deeply and the little friends who fill his days with fun.

Then one of the nursery mums suggested we copy what some other families are doing – taking turns to pick a bedtime story and share a video of us reading it with his classmates via WhatsApp.

I’ve volunteered to go first and since we made a crown for our online Toddler Sense session yesterday, the boy wants us to read The King Who Banned The Dark.

I’m going to ask his grandparents to hop onto FaceTime, Zoom or Houseparty for bedtime stories too. My in-laws are self-isolating down the road, as are my parents, sister, nephew and 96-year-old grandmother in Wales.

The distance has always been hard but feels much greater now we have no idea when we will next have the chance for a real hug.

Instead we’ll follow the lead of parents in the armed forces, who send prerecorded bedtime stories to their children through special apps. Because there is a special closeness that comes from cuddling up together to share a book with a child that is just magic.

We might not be able to physically show our love right with the cuddles part right now, but I’m damned if this pandemic will stop us having a story.

Stay safe and share a story too.

Book-themed activities for the coronavirus lockdown…

Can you guess these children’s books from the emojis?

Free book-themed activity sheets to download at home

How to draw Dora the Dinosaur

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