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The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on children and education around the world

PEDAL’s perspective


- We have written a paper on the impact of quarantine-type environments on children's play. You can read it here: 

A rapid review of the impact of quarantine and restricted environments on children's play and the role of play in children's health.

Graber, Byrne, Goodacre, Kirby, Kulkarni, O’Farrelly, Ramchandani. Child Care, Health and Development 2020

This research review, and a new study of play in the pandemic, focussing on children’s experiences and voices is described in this blog for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health by Kelsey Graber (PEDAL PhD student).

Krishna Kulkarni (PEDAL PhD student) outlines her research on play in the pandemic in India:

Despite increasing academic focus on play and child development, very little is known about play in non-Western contexts, especially in relation to parents. I initiated my study to understand the attitudes and perceptions of Indian parents towards play, and how they engage with play.  I conducted home visits to families in early 2020. With the advent of the pandemic I had to change the plan for my study and have conducted virtual interviews with the same parents to explore play and family life during lockdown. This work is being written up now but is described in a talk in the PEDAL play in the pandemic webinar series – see link below in PEDAL Events.  

- We are working on a booksharing research project – an ‘in person’ parenting intervention we have taken online to deliver virtually. This is currently being tested before we hope to roll it out.



We created a short video for caregivers about how to use play to help children deal with being tested for COVID. You can watch it on YouTube here. 

PEDAL Events

The way we play: PEDAL's September Speaker Series

  • Play in the Pandemic - Dr Sara Baker, Prof. Helen Dodd, and Prof. Ane Qvortrup. Watch it on YouTube here. 
  • Play in Challenging Settings: Children, play and hospital settings during COVID - Dr Jenny Gibson, Dr Krutika Pau, and Dr Fadi El-Yamani. Watch it on YouTube here. 

Helpful resources from other organisations 

  • The Children's Commissioner has compiled a list of free online activities and resources to keep children busy, active, and learning while at home.
  • The National Literacy Trust has a Family Zone with free activities to keep children aged 0-12 busy. 
  • Hungry Little Minds have simple and fun ideas and activities for children aged 0-5 years. 
  • Emerging Minds have pulled together advice for supporting children and young people who are feeling anxious and worried at this time.
  • NSPCC has tips for keeping children safe, working from home with children, and looking after your own and your child's mental health.  
  • The British Psychological Society has advice for talking to children about Coronavirus. 
  • Newsround has a Coronavirus section on their website that includes FAQslockdown activity ideas, and advice if children are feeling worried.
  • The Children's Commissioner has produced a children's guide to coronavirus. It answers questions children might have about the virus, discusses how to stay safe and protect other people, and suggests some of the ways children could spend their time while at home.