(Eureka)—“Our Play & Plan Journal”, a new journal publication has been produced under the direction of First 5 Humboldt and the Humboldt County Office of Education. The interactive printed book serves as a method for local families to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. The 22-page book features local artwork by local artist Annelise Farquhar throughout, with instructions and thought-provoking topics from a “children and families” perspective of the pandemic, for children of all ages with their families. The illustrations focus on special moments of connection between family and community.
The topics covered in the book include Tips For Creating Your Pandemic Plan, Key Definitions to COVID-19, Key Considerations When Talking With Young Children About COVID-19, and a reference page that discusses sadness, depression, anxiety, anger and grief.
The book provides room for children to express themselves with their family by way of activities that include drawing pictures of their family wearing masks, tracing hands, drawing germs and games that allow for physical distancing.
Project lead, Meg Walkley said, “The journal is the brainchild of Eureka Mayor, Susan Seaman who brought the idea to First 5 Executive Director, Mary Ann Hansen.” Walkley said that a group was formed to create a hands-on journal that would provide talking points and activities families could do together. “We wanted to encourage play and, at the same time, provide understandable culturally responsive and accurate information,” according to Walkley.
“Our Play & Plan Journal” has been published in both English and Spanish. 500 of the journals will be distributed throughout Humboldt County in December with First 5’s books, toys and parenting information. If families are interested in receiving a journal, they can see where distributions are happening at First 5’s Facebook page or check First 5 Humboldt’s website. Additional copies of “Our Play & Plan Journal” are being distributed through the City of Eureka and St. Joseph Hospital’s Paso A Paso program.