How children around the world are adapting to life under COVID-19

Children and parents around the world are making a new normal

Around the world families are temporarily changing the way they live to protect themselves and others against coronavirus (COVID-19). Whether that means working from home, learning from home, or simply staying inside as much possible.

But life doesn't stop. And for children, in particular, achieving some kind of normalcy during this challenging time is the best way to get through. Here's what parents and children around the world are doing to create a new normal.

United States of America

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"Being a scientist here," says Luka, who is eight years old. "Digging in the dirt."

He plays with an Egypt Dig Kit sent to him as part of an education subscription given to him as a gift from his grandparents.

Luka is about to start week two of distance learning from home. Schools in Connecticut were closed on March 13 as part of precautions to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Students and parents were provided with home-based distance learning assignments. Luckily, Luka’s parents are both currently working from home and are able to support him in completing his schoolwork.

Jordan

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Dareen is a hand washing expert. "I wash my hands so germs don't get on them," says the six-year-old student. "Germs can make people sick or even kill them." "First you use plenty of soap, then scrub your hands thoroughly and wash with water." "You have to wash your hands before you eat and after you go to the toilet. You have to wash them every day to stay health. "My mother and father taught me how to wash my hands."

Her and the other students at Al Khader Mixed Primary School have been receiving and practicing hygiene promotion for three months. UNICEF and partner RHAS have established an Environment Action Club and will improve the WASH infrastructure for the school.

Nigeria

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Farida proudly displays her hands after learning the importance of hand washing. The nine-year-old schoolgirl from Lagos State in Nigeria says she's excited now to share what she learned about hand washing.

Iraq

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These kids are plugged in and focussed! Children throughout Iraq are combining new and old technologies — smartphones and traditional lesson books — to continue learning during the lockdown.

Republic of North Macedonia

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Get up and move! Five-year-old twins Maksim and Jan are doing yoga, part of a TV-classroom programme broadcast on national television. This particular lesson is supported by UNICEF with teachers helping to implement remote learning.

Like all children across North Macedonia, they have been home since March 10 when the government temporary closed schools due to the spread of COVID-19.

Italy

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These neighbours have colourful wardrobes. All the colours of the rainbow, in fact!

Cristiana (on the left) is a school teacher in Bergamo, Italy and is helping children to think positively by having them draw rainbows in different forms with positive messages. Along with her children and next door neighbours, she made a rainbow out of clothes hung outside her house.

The message on the flag - "courage Italy" - is an important one as Italy continues into its second month of a nationwide lockdown.

Vietnam

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No touching! Bach, 7, Bao, 8, and Khang, 8, from Hanoi, Vietnam starred in this clip to raise awareness about how to avoid touching your face and reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Germany

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Sophia has kept herself busy during lockdown by rollerblading and hula hooping. But then also painting beautiful pictures, with important messages ("we stay at home").

Her mother, Susanne, says their area has recorded a high number of cases, and so they have focussed on staying inside and staying healthy. "And guess who else has to do hula hoop?" she says, jokingly.

Sophia also loves peeling potatoes, which means mum has to keep dreaming up new potato-based recipes.

We love your picture, Sophia!

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New Zealand

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While everyone is in lock-down here in New Zealand, for children that means no trips to the playground or visiting friends for at least the next 4 weeks.

It’s no problem so far for Evie (2) and Rhys (4), who are spending more time in the vege garden at home.

 “I like tomatoes and strawberries” says Evie, holding up a freshly picked tomato.

Kids love getting their hands dirty, so the backyard veg garden is the perfect place for them to learn about where food comes from, how to grow it, and how to harvest it. Rhys has a big bowl of leaves, and freshly dug potatoes ready to wash. “Potatoes live under the ground where you can’t see them” he says.

For parents working from home with kids, taking time out together during the day will help families get through. Simple activities such as reading books, colouring in, board games and playing in the back yard, help provide routine and keep things normal for children.

France

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Mathias (foreground) and Flora are helped by their parents as they complete school activities at home in Mulhouse, eastern France.

China

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Xiaoyu continues to attend classes, while her mother also works remotely.

Xiaoyu's day starts at 8am. She logs in to an online platform launched by China's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. By 4pm, she will have attended six classes. Breaks and exercises are also part of the curriculum. Xiaoyu is one among hundreds of millions learning from home.

“When I first learned the news about the postponing of spring semester, I was happy about the extended holiday," she says. "But now I miss my friends."

UNICEF is working to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. We're providing urgently needed hygiene and medical supplies including gloves and masks. We urgently need your help to reach communities that need us most.

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