Caring reminders for families during stressful times

Fred Rogers Productions and WGCU have a few tips from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on how families, parents and caregivers can relieve children’s insecurities and fears during these stressful and challenging times.

Provide safe ways for children to express their feelings, such as drawing or telling stories.

Listen carefully to what your children are talking about. Acknowledge their feelings. Give them the words to describe how they feel such as, “It sounds like you’re feeling ‘scared,’ ‘unsure about what’s going to happen next,’ ‘sad,’ ‘angry.’

Remember to be calm and understanding when children are being clingy, whiny, or over active. Helping them regain control of their feelings reassures them that you are keeping them safe.

Keep routines as familiar as possible.

Minimize children’s exposure to media coverage.

The links below offer information about ways to stay healthy during times of illness and also to help young children navigate new things:

VIDEO: Germs Germs Go Away Handwashing

VIDEO: A Germ Fighting Superhero

ACTIVITY PAGE: Draw Your Feelings

ARTICLE: How to Prepare Children for Unexpected Events

GAME: Doctor Daniel

Read more

How to talk to kids about the coronavirus

Educator and parent Deborah Farmer Kris shares how she’s helping her family stay calm, healthy, and safe. From PBS Kids:
Earlier this week, I overheard my kids engaged in a round of “I heard” and “Did you know?” while they were getting ready for bed.
“I heard that Margaret’s dad has it,” said my 6-year-old.
“Did you know that it’s the worst sickness ever?” added my 8-year-old.
Neither statement is accurate, but they were revealing: I had thought my initial conversations with my kids about COVID-19 had been good enough. But with adults, kids at school, and the news all hyper-focused on this coronavirus outbreak, my reassuring voice needed to be a little louder.
A favorite Mister Rogers quote ran through my mind: “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”
So before lights out, we talked. I asked what they had heard about the coronavirus. We got it all out — their questions, their “I heards” and their fears. The rest of the conversation had three themes.
First, I shared age-appropriate facts and corrected misinformation. Because my kids are young, I kept it simple. “You know what it’s like to have a cold or the flu — how sometimes you get a cough or have a fever? This is kind of like that. Most people who catch this sickness stay home, rest, and get all better. And we have wonderful doctors and nurses who can help people when they need it.”
Second, I reassured them that they are safe, which is the most important message my kids can hear from me. I know that they take their emotional cues from my tone. “You don’t need to worry. Right now, lots of amazing grown-ups are working hard to keep people healthy. Luckily, we already know a lot about how to keep healthy!”
Third, I emphasized simple things our family can do to be “germ busters” — for all types of germs that are out there! As Harvard’s Dr. Richard Weissbourd once shared with me, kids and adults alike are “more distressed when we feel helpless and passive, and more comfortable when we are taking action.” The hygiene routines that slow the spread of the COVID-19 are the same habits that help keep us healthy all year round.
Here are four ways we can help young kids build germ-busting habits.
Wash Your Hands
Make it a family routine before every meal and snack to wash hands. If you do it together, you can model for them how to use soap, rub your hands together and rinse. For a timer, try slowly singing the ABC’s together while you scrub. In Curious George, the Man with the Yellow Hat has a cold. He teaches George how germs can move from person to person, and that it’s important to wash your hands and avoid sharing utensils.  Good hand washers, like Daniel Tiger, are germ busters!
Catch that Cough
When kids cough or sneeze, they tend to do it right into their hands — and then they use those hands to touch everything in sight! Instead, we can cough and sneeze into our elbow. Make it a game with kids. Can they catch the cough in their elbow? In the beginning, cheer when they do: “You caught it! That’s what germ busters do!” If they accidentally “catch it in their hands,” they can simply wash their hands with soap and water and start the game again.
“Rest is Best”
Daniel Tiger reminds us that “When you’re sick, rest is best!” This is a good episode to show kids and a great song to sing when they are feeling under the weather. Tell them: “When we are sick, we can stay home and rest our bodies; we can be germ busters by not spreading germs or going to school sick.” And as parents, we can keep ourselves and our kids home if we have a fever or other symptoms.
Practice Healthy Habits
Remind kids that sleep, exercise, and eating healthy foods are good, everyday ways to strengthen our bodies. We all get sick sometimes! They have probably already had at least one cold this season. But we can be responsible germ busters when we practice handwashing, cough-catching, resting, and basic healthy living.

Read more

Celebrate #GivingTuesday by supporting PBS Kids!

This Giving Tuesday, December 3, WGCU is celebrating all the good PBS Kids has brought to our neighborhood by raising $20,000 to sustain WGCU’s 24/7 PBS Kids channel.

You don’t have to wait until December 3rd…give today!

Donate now

Read more

PBS Kids was there for you as a child

…and we’re still here helping SWFL kids learn, grow, and thrive.

For 35 years, WGCU has believed – and continues to believe – in a lifetime of learning for everyone, including kids. This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking you to support your local PBS Kids channel by helping us raise $20,000 by December 3. PBS Kids is trusted and safe, proven to help children learn, and is there for your kids and grandkids 24/7. Now it’s time for you to be there for them!

You don’t have to wait until December 3. Make a gift TODAY to help SWFL kids!

Read more

Won’t you be our neighbor?

Celebrate Giving Tuesday by supporting PBS Kids! From Mister Rogers to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS KIDS is still helping SWFL kids learn, grow, and thrive.

Your #GivingTuesday donations ensure all Southwest Florida kids have access to educational and engaging programming anywhere and any time. So be like Daniel Tiger and “Mr. Rogers” (aka WGCU General Manager Rick Johnson) and give today!

Read more

Happy Halloween from WGCU Kids

Who are the “Queens of Halloween?” Here’s a hint…it’s a funky little critter of the night that hangs upside down.

That’s right, they’re BATS, BATS, BATS! These nocturnal creatures are the focus of this fun song by Producer/Songwriter Rosie Emery.  In honor of Halloween, check out the time WGCU’s Curious Kids visited the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary to learn about bats.

Bat Song from “Rainbow Road” CD available online at http://www.rosieemery.com/



Looking for more Halloween fun? Check out these crafts and activities from PBS Kids that will be sure to drive you “batty” with excitement!


Bat Activities


Image result for kratt brothers bats

1. Build Homes for Bats

Build a bat box and learn about the habitat preferences and shelter needs of bats.


2. DIY Bat Trees

This Halloween, decorate your home or classroom with these bat trees using simple supplies.


3. Halloween Bat Treat Holders

This Halloween-themed project is fun for kids and a great way to get rid of old paper bags.

Read more

Val Challenges YOU this #GivingTuesday!

Longtime donor Val Trotman along with her neighbors Dick and Carol Munro plan to match #GivingTuesday donations raised up to $5,000 each! A total of $10,000 for WGCU Kids!

Val Trotman (along with her neighbors and fellow WGCU members Dick and Carol Munro) believes that every minute and every dollar they spend helping kids in Southwest Florida is time and money well spent.

“My name is Val Trotman, and I am a proud member of WGCU. I believe every minute and every dollar we spend helping children in Southwest Florida is well spent.

Last year, my neighbor and great friend Dick Munro pledged to match Giving Tuesday donations in support of WGCU’s 24/7 PBS Kids Channel, and this year, he inspired me to do the same! I will match Giving Tuesday contributions up to $5,000 to support WGCU kids by December 3.

Together we can make a difference for Southwest Florida children on Giving Tuesday.” Give online at WGCUKids.org and “won’t you be a sustainer?”

Read more

Won’t you be our neighbor this #GivingTuesday?

Celebrate Giving Tuesday by supporting PBS Kids! From Mister Rogers to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS KIDS is still helping SWFL kids learn, grow, and thrive. In honor of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, WGCU is counting on you to help raise $18,000 in support of WGCU’s 24/7 PBS Kids Channel. WGCUKids.org/givingtuesday

Your #GivingTuesday donations ensure all Southwest Florida kids have access to educational and engaging programming anywhere and any time. Become a sustaining member of WGCU today at $15 per month (just $180 per year) and you’ll receive our coveted “Won’t You Be A Sustainer” thank-you package filled with Mister Rogers goodies! Make your sustaining donation online at WGCUKids.org/givingtuesday. ??


Read more

Support PBS Kids This Giving Tuesday

Meet Hollis, one of our PBS kids! He stopped by the station to remind everyone of the importance of PBS Kids programming. In honor of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27, WGCU is counting on you to help raise $18,000 in support of WGCU’s 24/7 PBS Kids Channel. Make your sustaining donation online at WGCUKids.org/givingtuesday. Support PBS Kids this Giving Tuesday.??


Read more

Support PBS Kids 24/7 This Giving Tuesday!

Support PBS Kids 24/7 this Giving Tuesday! With WGCU’s 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel, children have access to free, educational programs that parents and caregivers trust anytime, anywhere. We stopped by Kinderworld Academy in Fort Myers to see how they use PBS Kids programs and materials in the classroom and why Southwest Florida parents and kids love PBS!

On this Giving Tuesday, November 27, WGCU is asking YOU to help raise $18,000 in support of WGCU’s PBS Kids 24/7 Channel. You don’t have to wait until Giving Tuesday, make your donation online today at https://wgcukids.org/givingtuesday.

Read more

WGCU Kids 24/7 Channel