The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a period of social change for many of us.
Families encountered a range of new stresses, with their usual support networks – including teachers and carers – suddenly less accessible and few options for distraction or physical activity outside the home.
CoLab – Collaborate for Kids (a partnership between Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation) was on hand to help with the Bright Tomorrows mobile phone app, which offers more than 1,000 everyday tips, personalised to each child, to help parents and carers build their children’s core neural capabilities from birth.
The free app was originally released in October 2019 but was swiftly adapted in April 2020 to highlight tips designed to help families cope with their newfound physical isolation – including activities to help children burn off excess energy at home and ideas to help both children and carers manage their emotions during challenging times.
CoLab Director Professor Donna Cross said the app was a valuable tool for families, especially during COVID-19.
“During a period of great uncertainty, one of the things we can control is our children’s development,” Professor Cross said.
“This period of physical isolation presents us with a unique opportunity to invest even further in our children’s health, development and learning.
“The Bright Tomorrows app offers ideas to help parents, grandparents and other carers develop children’s emotional, social and physical wellbeing. These highly tailored, easy ideas can be used during everyday activities and are especially useful for a challenging period when our usual networks or routines are interrupted.