Mo Willems will host daily livestream doodle for kids home from school

The author and illustrator will host the “Lunch Doodles” daily at 1 p.m.

For parents looking to keep kids engaged, entertained and educated amid coronavirus, author and illustrator Mo Willems is here to help at 1 p.m. each day.

Willems announced Monday that he will host a daily livestream doodle session for kids stuck at home because of coronavirus.

"I know a lot of you guys are not in school, you're at home right now because of all the things that are going on," he said in a video. "Well guess what? I'm at home too. So for the next couple weeks, everyday at 1 o'clock Eastern Time, I'm going to do a lunch doodles with you. I'm going to make drawings with you, I'm gonna show you some stuff about my studio and we're gonna hang out together."

Willems, known for his books “Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!,” and “Waiting Is Not Easy!,” has teamed up with The Kennedy Center for the series.

“As a matter of a fact, I’m really looking forward to it, because there’s nothing more fun that doodling with a friend,” he says in the video.

Author James Dean, who writes the popular “Pete the Cat” series, has also taken to social media to help keep kids entertained. He hosted a reading of his book on Instagram for kids at home.

With kids home all day because of the virus, a lot of parents are thinking about how to manage screen time.

Nicole Beurkens, a clinical psychologist who often advises families on how to have healthy relationships with technology, shared some tips here.

Beurkens notes that while it’s important to keep some structure to kids’ days when they are home for an extended period, parents can also think of this time as an extended spring break of sorts or a holiday break. Meaning, kids may end up having some more screen time than they would on a typical weekday.

However, the goal is for it to not become the only option, Beurkens said.

To prevent that, she recommends having some benchmarks for kids to reach before they are able to engage with leisure screen time. Perhaps there are some chores to do first or a set amount of reading time.

Experts also say it can be important for kids’ anxiety to have adults talk to them about what’s going on.

Jamie Howard, the Child Mind Institute's director of trauma and resilience service, said in an informational video that parents shouldn't be afraid of discussing the virus outbreak with their kids.

Howard says it’s an opportunity to communicate with kids about the facts. The institute recommends that parents are the ones who consume the news, then relay to kids.


CDC recommends preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

• CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

• If you are concerned you might have the coronavirus, call your healthcare provider before going to a hospital or clinic. In mild cases, your doctor might give you advice on how to treat symptoms at home without seeing you in person, which would reduce the number of people you expose. But in more severe cases an urgent care center or hospital would benefit from advance warning because they can prepare for your arrival. For example, they may want you to enter a special entrance, so you don't expose others.

Source: CDC