Trying to explain social distancing to little kids during the coronavirus outbreak can be difficult for parents, particularly when they're struggling to come to terms with our new (hopefully temporary) normal themselves. That's why a new children's story about social distancing featuring a bear and a bunny is a must-watch video for parents of young kids. It's simple and sweet and less than two minutes long, making it easy to follow for little ones who need to understand the new way of things... because parents need all the help they can get right now.
Children's author Kim St. Lawrence recently released a video book called Time To Come In, Bear, which tells the story of a young bear who needs to come in from playing outside because "the world caught a cold." The narrator goes on to explain that the little bear "won't catch its germs if you just stay at home," and that this won't last forever, an important element for little kids to hear about the recent period of self-isolation. While the millions of children across the country don't yet have a set time for when they will be going back to school or, indeed, when life will get back to normal, reassuring them that this is "just for a time" is vital when talking about COVID-19.
The bear in the story is reminded that there is plenty of fun to be had inside with their bunny pal, where they can "climb pillow mountains" and build "towers sky high," as well as telling stories and reading books. The little bear is reminded there is plenty of pizza to eat and there are funny jokes to be told, but also that there will be no visits with grandparents because "a phone call is a great call to keep them both safe." The coronavirus is especially dangerous to older adults, and as The Washington Post notes, children can be carriers of the respiratory virus that might prove fatal for their grandparents. As difficult as the separation might be, visiting grandparents is off the table right now.
Finally, the young bear in the story is reminded that people are out there trying to clean up the germs while they stay inside. All told, the video story (complete with comforting soundtrack) lasts about one minute and 40 seconds. Within that time, the story manages to explain how important it is to stay inside, comfort kids that there's plenty to do, and reassure them that people are working hard to make sure this doesn't last for long.
That's less than two minutes to set your kid's mind at ease. Time well spent.