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Coronavirus: getting organised with children at home

Discover a selection of ideas and resources to keep your children busy at home and enjoy some pleasant moments together. 

Explain without dramatising

Begin by explaining to your children, without over-dramatising the situation, what is happening so that they understand the importance of the measures taken to limit the spread of the virus. Calling on Zep and his character, Titeuf, may prove useful to help children understand that they might be healthy carriers. 

The “Etre parent, parlons-en” website provides advice for helping children who are afraid of the coronavirus

Learn while having fun

deux filles penchées sur un cahier

Schools are closed, but classes continue at home!

  • With Petit Bazar, the Schools Media Service (SEM) of the Canton of Geneva’s Department of Public Education, Training and Youth (DIP) publicises the two websites intended for primary school pupils. Pupils in cycle 1 (years 1 to 4) and cycle 2 (years 5 to 8) have access to digital tools, activities and games.
  • RTS Découverte, the educational website of RTS, provides educational packs. You can find numerous packs linked to novel study plans, infographics, reports or animated explanations. 
  • Through educational videos, files and games, the French Website Lumni (formerly France TV éducation) offers children a different way to learn, either on their own or with an adult – a chance to extend their classes and to understand the world they live in.
  • For 7-12 year-olds who want to keep up with the latest news, the magazine Astrapi, associated with France Info, broadcasts Salut l'info! every Saturday, exploring world events in a way that is suitable for their age.
  • Do palaeontologists know what colours dinosaurs were? What purpose does pollen serve? What is beyond the universe? Thanks to the InterroGE online service, Geneva’s librarians answer any questions that children – and even their parents – might want to ask! 

Take a break from the screen: radio and podcasts

Brouhaha on La première

affiche brouhaha

As long as the confinement lasts for French-speaking pupils, Brouhaha will offer them a half-hour slot every day to answer a question: what makes you feel good at home? Why are we afraid of the dark? … Every day, in connection with that day’s topic, there will be an original story by Christine Pompeï (author of “les enquêtes de Maëlys”), an excerpt from a report and specialist who is there to answer any questions that children want to ask live by phone.

jeune garçon de trois-quart avec un casque sur les oreilles

Listening to stories

  • With “Les p’tites histoires” by Taleming, 6-10 year-olds can give free rein to their imagination as they listen to a short tale. Available on the Taleming website as well as on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify;
  • Wander among knights, dragons, magicians and fairies with the legend of King Arthur, hop into the saddle with Calamity Jane, sail the stormy seas with Christopher Columbus or reach for the sky in Apollo 11 with Neil Armstrong:, Les Odyssées by France Inter offers children aged 7 to 12 the chance to plunge into the adventures of some of the great figures of history.
  • Sybel’s series to listen to take children to the very heart of fiction and adventure. La Tablette magique, for children aged 6 and over, follows the adventures of Ethan, Camille and Sacha who find themselves transported back to the Middle Ages; the Mythes et légendes, series for children aged 5 and over is an ideal means of discovering the stories of Odysseus, Athena, Thor and many others as you have never heard them before, while the Expédition solaire polaire offers children as young as 3 years old the chance to follow the adventures of two heroes as they explore the far north on a solar-powered kayak. 

Drawing and colouring

main d'enfants tenant un néocolor

Get your pencils, pens, paints and other Néocolors out so that your children can have fun scribbling or maybe create the greatest work of art this century. Young children can look at the clouds and try to reproduce the shapes while older kids could choose a household object and try their hand at still life. 

A simple and practical activity, colouring also helps promote children’s creative, emotional, cognitive and even motor development! Numerous websites provide drawings to colour that you can download and print out, for example: 

Crafts and DIY

mains d'enfant faisant un bricolage

It’s time to get the glue, scissors, cardboard and other equipment out so that your children can give free rein to their creativity! From magic sand through creative home-made costumes and bookmarks to plasticine that you make yourself, a number of sites have plenty of inspiration: 

Playing with words

enfant tenant un crayon en train de dessiner ou faire ses devoirs

Why not take advantage of your unexpected downtime to encourage your children to write? Keeping a diary, drafting a list of dream destinations or writing a letter to their grandparents or other relatives gives children the chance to practise putting their feelings and dreams down in words. 

To make it fun, teach them to play exquisite corpse, a group game invented by surrealists which involves several people forming a sentence without being allowed to see what has already been written. This game can also be played with drawings. 

Stay zen

The author of Calme et attentif comme une grenouille, a reference work for child meditation, offers you the possibility of downloading exercises from her website free of charge to help your children increase their awareness of their body, the noises around them and little moments of happiness. On her Facebook page, she suggests meditations as well as a game of the goose which helps them channel their attention and display empathy: 

Much more besides

enfant pétrissant de la pâte

Dressing up, building an indoor tent, inventing a dance routine or designing an obstacle course can all be found on the numerous lists of ideas available online, such as those suggested by papapositive or the boîte à je m'ennuie

Activities for all the family

Playing a board game, reading or concocting a main course or dessert together offer numerous opportunities to spend some pleasant moments together. Children are often more than willing to help with the chores, such as watering plants or doing the housework. 

A collaborative list of digital resources

Podcasts for children, videos, audio stories, school resources, ideas for activities, etc. A super collaborative online file, regularly updated on the Taleming website, provides numerous resources to keep your children busy at home. 

 "L’Assemblée invisible", the new blog from the Théâtre Am Stram Gram

Micro-poems to read aloud together, book recommendations, drawing materials, films to watch and many other daily surprises for children and adults alike: l'Assemblée invisible is a treasure trove that gives meaning to the present and helps make the most of the time to come. 

Article modifié le 18.08.2023 à 10:23