How to Wash Your Hands—and Other Gentle Lessons from TV Friends
The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic can be especially confusing and scary to little ones. In these times, beloved characters from well-crafted TV shows can provide the reassurance, the skills, and even the vocabulary for kids to make sense of their new reality. The episodes linked below—all from shows vetted by child development experts—offer simple, age-appropriate explanations that provide gentle-but-factual info from TV friends kids love and trust. Whether your kids are at home or school these days, you can use these resources to help start conversations about how to stay safe, minimize anxiety, and even have a little fun in the process.
Watch the episode "Clean," where DJ Lance Rock and the gang learn about germs, how to stay clean, and the best way to cover your mouth when you cough.
Ask the Storybots, 3+, Netflix
Families love this science-based series where real-life kids ask the animated Storybots questions about how things work.
Watch "How Do People Catch a Cold?" (Season 2 Episode 8), to hear the bots answer questions about how viruses travel, helped out by guest star Wanda Sykes.
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, 3+, PBS Kids
This gently paced preschool show stars a little tiger who learns new lessons every day, helped by his kind family and community.
- "Daniel Gets a Cold/Mom Tiger Is Sick." Daniel learns the importance of rest when people are trying to recover from an illness. Kids also get glimpses of real-life kids resting when they don't feel good.
- "Daniel Gets Frustrated." Lots of kids might be feeling frustrated about changes in routine due to the coronavirus. This episode shares Daniel's experience with frustration and how he deals with it.
- "Germs Germs Go Away." A fun video with a catchy tune about handwashing.
Watch "A Day Without Cuddles" where stuffed-animal friend Lambie has a sneezing fit on International Cuddle Day and must be washed before she can be cuddled again.
Little Lunch, 6+, Kanopy
Little Lunch is a truly hilarious Australian series (think The Office set on a playground during recess) that deals with kid issues through a comic lens.
Watch "The Germblock" where a student is accused by her classmates for not washing her hands after using the bathroom. But did she? The humorous, 15-minute mystery teaches the importance of handwashing—as well as getting all the facts before judging.