The novel coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives, and kids are experiencing the same fears, doubts, and feelings of powerlessness we all do but with fewer tools and life experiences to process information and cope with emotions. And they have questions. Ask any parent or teacher and you’ll likely hear about the very particular questions children have, and how we adults are struggling to answer them.

“Today, Explained to Kids,” a special episode of our daily explainer podcast Today, Explained, gives kids back some of that power in the best way we know how: by explaining scary things and dispelling fears with facts. Fun facts.

The episode takes kids to a secret island where they get answers to two of their biggest questions about coronavirus: how it spreads and why they can’t go to school right now. Kids and grown-ups will learn five to six takeaways about each question from some very cool special guests, including Corona, the traveling virus, and a curious fellow who lives in a cave full of questions.

Listen to the episode with your young people, or just because, and then come back here to download four fun learning exercises you can do with kids (or, again, by yourself) that build on what we learned in the episode.

Grown-ups: Also read this Q&A with early childhood education specialist Rachel Giannini, who talks about the importance of having an honest conversation with your kids about the pandemic.

Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.


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