Rainbows, diaries, poetry and bug hunts

Have you got a rainbow in your window yet? Children have been putting them up everywhere, ever since COVID-19 closed down our schools in March. Rainbows signify sunshine after rain, so they’re the perfect symbol of hope for this difficult time – and they’re fun to count on our rare forays out of doors.

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Popping up beside the rainbows are colourful messages of thanks to the NHS. It’s just one of the ways we’ve found to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the brave key workers risking their lives for us. Download and print an NHS heart template by Millie Marotta, from Pavilion Books, or a flower design by Michael Craig-Martin, and get colouring!

While rainbows, hearts and flowers are multiplying in our windows, we’re also finding ways to pin down our fears and feelings. A group of award-winning authors are encouraging children to keep diaries to record the details of this strange period, with the aim of creating a unique, first-hand, historic testimony. Sign up to the Our Corona Diary newsletter, to find out about this exciting project.

There are tons of other free resources being offered by authors and publishers, to help entertain and amuse children stuck at home. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has compiled an online directory of resources from its members. Check it out, for activities, book readings, teaching guides and lots more.

Just as we always have, we’re using stories and poems to help us cope and make sense of the world. One of my favourite children’s poems is Jez Alborough’s The Smile. First published in 1991 in Shake Before Opening, it’s the story of an infectious smile – exactly what we need to feel better right now!

And when we can escape outdoors, there’s nothing better than a bug hunt. The SchoolScience Great Bug Hunt 2020 is open to age groups from 3 to 11 years, with fabulous prizes for the winning entrants and their schools. The closing date is 12th June, so there’s time for plenty of bug hunts. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Rainbows, diaries, poetry and bug hunts

  1. A heartening blog Janet. Thank you.
    Can I add that alongside our gratitude for the dedicated work of NHS staff, there are care staff, social workers, teachers, TAs and nursery staff as well as shop staff, drivers and essential service providers all doing their bit to keep everyone safe and fed.
    Does that super caterpillar have a name by the way?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for making the important point acknowledging all our key workers, Ann. You’re absolutely right! As for the caterpillar, it looks like some kind of hawk moth, but I’m seeking expert advice on that.


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