An Update From CK on COVID-19

Many of you may be aware that COVID-19 virus has now arrived in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health (MOH) advised that with continued vigilance, the chances of a widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low. Currently, our programmes (April Holidays, One Day Programme and Junkey Monkeys in the Parks) are operating as usual. However, we ask you to strengthen precautionary actions and to notify us of anything that may affect you and your children.
First, we wanted to share updates and things we are doing to ensure everyone in our programmes (children and educators) is safer, as well as do our bit to prevent the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19. We are following the advice of the World Health Organisation and their recommendations for minimising the spread of this virus.


23.03.20 update

    We regret to inform you that in light of the current situation with Covid-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining 2 weeks of our One Day Programme.  We appreciate that this may be disappointing, but we hope that you understand that the decision has been made with the best interest of the children who attend, their wider families, and our staff in mind. Fees for the final two sessions will be refunded directly to your account. When the One Day Programme is back in action we will be in touch to offer you priority booking.  



18.03.20 Update

  • For April Holidays will reduce the number of programmes offered, limiting our sessions to LITLLE SHOAL BAY - WESTERN SPRINGS -  CHURCHILL PARK - as well the group sizes.

  • Should we notice a child appears unwell over the course of the day– specifically with a sore throat, or dry cough- we will request an immediate pick up. The child will be asked to wash their hands and remain physically separated from the group until their departure. Families will be notified of the potential case on-site at collection time if a child was sent home.  Staff will be provided guidance in accordance with MoH and Healthline advice.

  • The most likely scenario is if a student or staff member is confirmed with COVID-19, Health may require a programme to close for a day or two, to undertake tracking and tracing of close contacts. A reminder that close contact is generally described as someone who was in near proximity (1.5 metres) of a person confirmed with the virus for 15 or more minutes. For those with compromised immunity that is 2 metres.

  • In the case of programme/session cancellation due to MoH directions,  challenges in replacing staff or low attendance ( minimum of 14 kids to run the session ) a full refund will be processed. 

14.03.20 Update


From this week we will be taken a range of precautionary measures across our programmes including:

  • Commencing increased cleaning and sanitisation of Conscious Kids gear, especially our vests.

  • Preparing our educators to respond quickly to any emerging situation should it occur to best ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.

  • Asking any team members displaying flu-like symptoms to refrain from coming to work.

  • In locations with no tap water close by, adding an extra tank of water for handwashing and paper towels for drying + biodegradable/natural soap

  • Increase the amount of hand sanitizer at the sites and keep them available to our children as we always do.

  • During our morning meetings, we will include discussions with our tamariki about what is happening, how to keep ourselves safe and encourage reflections and learning experiences.

General Information


1. Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to illnesses such as influenza including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. Breathing difficulties are a sign of possible pneumonia and require immediate medical attention. If children or relatives have such symptoms, consider seeking medical attention and postponing volunteer visits until recovery.


2. COVID-19 are spread by bodily droplet via coughing, sneezing, close personal contact and contact with a surface with viral particles and then touching mouth, nose or eyes.

Prevention and self-protection

  • Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
    If you cannot find any of these use your elbow.

  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and dry them thoroughly before handling food, after using the toilet, after coughing and sneezing and caring for sick people.

3. Suspend the attendance to our programmes for up to 14 days, if you or your children have been in close contact with people from areas of concerns or under self-isolation. if you plan to travel to ANY country outside of NZ you and your children will be required to self-isolate when you arrive back in NZ. Please DO NOT attend any Conscious Kids programmes for the next 14 days upon the arrival. This instruction is in line with the Self-isolation guidance issued by the Ministry of Health.
4. Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you believe you or your children are exposed to the virus or require further advice. Bear in mind that the Healthline is currently under pressure due to increased call volumes, avoid calling them on non-essential matters.
5. MOH does not recommend the use of face masks, except people with symptoms of an acute respiratory infection. WHO believes Face masks may reduce the spread of infections to other people.
6. The MOH does not propose altering arrangements for the small public events - Our holiday programmes are still confirmed. However, we will provide further updates if the advice from MOH is altered.
7. Pay close attention to new updates by MOH 


Please note this communication is based on advice from MOH as at the morning of 14/03/2020 and the guidance may change in the near future.

Talking with our tamariki

Help children cope with anxiety by providing accurate information
Guidance for parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers.

Children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events such as COVID-19. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers will have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time. Children will react to and follow your verbal and non-verbal cues. If you are able to stay informed and realistic, it will be easier for you to reassure children effectively as well. Children need factual, age-appropriate information about COVID-19 so that they can also feel informed and in control. They need to know how they can play a part in avoiding infection and the spread of the virus.

They also need to feel that any fears that they may have can be talked about and addressed.

Reassure your children

If no one in your family has COVID-19 nor has had close contact with anyone with COVID-19, emphasise to your children that they and your family are fine. Remind them that the right people are working hard to keep New Zealanders safe, including the adults at the children’s school or early learning service. Let your children talk about their feelings, and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective. You know your children best. If they have a lot of questions, consider how much extra information would or wouldn’t be helpful for them to know before replying.

Information for Kids

Tips - If your child is anxious

  1. Try offering children simple choices to help give them a feeling of being in control. Would they like to use the red towel or the white towel to dry their hands? Spend some time together - would they like to do a puzzle or listen while you read a story? Make sure that you choose options that are both acceptable for you, so there is no chance of getting into a power struggle.

  2. Help them do some deep breathing exercises. (This works for adults too.) Gently hold their thumb with your hand, have them breathe slowly in and out, and count out loud, “ 1”. Move your hand to hold their pointer finger, have them breathe slowly in and out, and count “2”. Move to your hand to hold their middle finger, have them breathe slowly in and out, and count “3”, and so on.

    You can move across just one hand and count to “5”, or both hands to count to “10”. Can they do it for you? Can they learn to do it for themselves – many children are now practicing mindfulness exercises at school? Can they lie on the floor with their hand on their tummy and feel their breathe move in and out? You can ask your child if there are any other strategies that they know and use.

  3. Sparklers  has a range of calming activities you could try

Make yourself available

  • Children may need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions. Make time for them.

  • Tell them you love them, and give them plenty of affection.

  • Be patient; children and youth do not always talk about their concerns readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or work.

It is very typical for younger children to ask a few questions, return to playing, then come back to ask more questions. Often they will ask the same questions again and again as they try to make sense of things – keep your answers simple, truthful and age-appropriate. Children will be reassured by your consistent responses.

When sharing information, provide facts calmly, remind children that adults are working to address this concern, and give children actions they can take to protect themselves.

Maintain a normal routine

  • Keep to a regular, predictable schedule to help show your child that their daily routines are in control and will continue as normal.

  • Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Avoid blaming others

  • Explain that sometimes people blame others for events they cannot control, but that this is not correct behaviour.

  • Avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.

  • Report any bullying or negative comments you are aware of at your children’s school or early learning service.

  • Be aware of the influence that other adults with different attitudes on COVID-19 have on your children. You may have to explain to them that some people have different values from the ones that you and your children will follow.

Monitor social media and TV

  • Limit your children’s television viewing, Internet access and social media involvement. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.

  • Let your child know that a lot of COVID-19 information on the Internet may be based on rumours and inaccurate information.

Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices

  • Talk about what you and your children what they can do to help prevent infection.

  • Wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds each time (singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star slowly takes about 20 seconds) and dry hands thoroughly.

  • Cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough, and throw away the tissue immediately; or have them sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow.

  • Do not share food or drinks.

  • Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Fewer germs are spread this way.

  • Discourage the child from touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to develop a strong immune system for fighting off illness.

  • Discuss the new rules or practices at the child’s school or early learning service.

  • Keep in contact with your child’s school or service and let them know if there have been any changes within your family.

What to emphasise when talking to children about school

  • Adults at school are taking care of your health and safety.

  • Not many people have the COVID-19, and most of those who do will not get very unwell.

  • Teachers are being especially careful to make sure that as few people as possible get sick.

  • Children and students need to treat each other with respect and not jump to conclusions about who may or may not have COVID-19.

  • There are things you can do to stay healthy and avoid spreading the disease, including covering your cough or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water (20 seconds) and dry them thoroughly.

Fun at Home


113 Fun activities to do at home with kids

Whether you’re choosing to self-isolate due to Coronavirus or simply have no choice, you might be looking for some fun ideas of things you can do with the kids that don’t involve screens! Here is a list of ideas for home-based activities with kids – from craft & games, to exercise, cleaning, home organisation and photography!

Obviously, we’re very lucky to live in an age of digital entertainment and don’t get us wrong – you should also be utilising that as well to keep the sanity. But this list will help break up the screen-time and keep the kids active and engaged beyond that. Hopefully, it helps mamas from going completely 'cuckoo' during this weird time we’re living through!


And if you’re in New Zealand or another country that isn’t yet quarantined, you can get prepped using the shopping list I added at the end (though lot’s of these you may already have).

  1. Treasure hunt (with clues, hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house)

  2. Make a batch of play-doh

  3. Tint shaving cream with food colouring, paint the windows or glass doors (or the inside of the shower glass) then rinse it off

  4. Go through clothing from previous seasons, try on and cull things that are too small

  5. Play dress-ups in mum and dad’s clothes – do a photoshoot

  6. Graffiti the garden fence with chalk

  7. Make a small bowl, plate, egg cup or statue from air dry clay

  8. Day spa – do a Mani/Pedi/foot soak/face mask

  9. Go through old photos and videos, and old craft and paintings

  10. Have a Living Room disco – play freeze, musical chairs, have a dance-off

  11. Go through recipe books together and have a bake-off challenge

  12. Do a backyard scavenger hunt

  13. Make Origami animals or paper ninja stars

  14. Gardening – pull weeds, trim bushes, collect flowers for a vase

  15. Make a mud kitchen in the garden, make different coloured rock paint

  16. Practice hammering nails into a plank of wood

  17. Organise the books on your shelf into a rainbow of colours

  18. String up a sheet tent in the backyard

  19. Find three toys to give to charity

  20. Using Lego characters or other small toys, make a stop motion movie (download the app Stop Motion to your phone or Ipad)

  21. Organise your Lego and then have a building challenge. Who can build the best house, hotel or shop?

  22. Write notes of love, compliments or doodles and hide them around the house for the family to find

  23. Do a marshmallow toothpick engineering challenge

  24. Create a “God’s eye” weaving using sticks and wool

  25. Build a teepee fairy house

  26. Try shadow drawing, leaf rubbings, painting bark or stones

  27. Build a bug hotel

  28. Try leaf threading and make a nature chandelier 

  29. Use a mirror to draw a self-portrait

  30. Create an Alfoil river in the garden and float things down it

  31. Learn to braid hair

  32. Create an obstacle course

  33. Build a fort using the couch and every cushion/pillow you can find

  34. Thread pasta into jewellery

  35. Make 3D paper rainbows

  36. Make your own bubble blower

  37. Put goggles and swimmers on and swim in the bath

  38. Go through your board/card games and challenge yourself to play them all. Design your own game

  39. Make greeting cards for the stationery cupboard to be used for birthdays and other occasions

  40. Paint a family portrait to be framed and hung

  41. Choose a picture book each and read aloud to each other in the biggest bed in your house

  42. Have a handball tournament

  43. Write a short story or poem that includes a dog, an umbrella and some sushi

  44. Find 10 different shaped leaves in the garden

  45. Create a paper crown for a member of your family and decorate it

  46. Make a paper chain to hang up in the dining room

  47. Try the travelling water experiment

  48. Fill a small spray bottle with water and aromatherapy oil and then spray and wipe the house

  49. Fold the paper and cut out paper snowflakes

  50. Make pom poms out of wool

  51. Play drawing games like Simon Says drawing

  52. Put on a puppet show using toys behind the couch

  53. Make DIY rain clouds in a jar

  54. Do the magic milk experiment

  55. Create a sensory shaker bottle using an old bottle, glitter and water (and whatever else you’d like to put in there!)

  56. Outdoor games like egg and spoon race, tag-team races, three-legged races, or play stuck in the mud

  57. Fold paper planes and see how far they will fly

  58. Build the highest block tower you can

  59. Learn how to bake bread

  60. Make a Lego zip line

  61. Keep a balloon in the air as long as possible

  62. Build a house with a deck of cards

  63. String up the Christmas lights in your living room

  64. Play cinema – make tickets, popcorn, give your guests a rug and watch a movie together

  65. Play hotels using your bedrooms as ‘hotel rooms’ or restaurants by setting up the dining room like a restaurant with menus (or hospitals, vets, banks, etc)

  66. Make up a workout and do it together (eg: 25-star jumps, 20 squats, 15 crunches, hop like a bunny around the lounge room, frog leap your partner)

  67. Choose an inspirational quote and create a poster for your room

  68. Change the bedsheets and build a sheet city in your bedroom before they get washed!

  69. Press flowers within a few heavy books

  70. Play the gummy bear game (using dice and 5 gummies each. Roll a 1 you eat one in your pile, a 2 you pass one bear to your left, a 3 you pass to your right, a 4 you keep it, a 5 you eat it, a 6 you keep it – keep playing till the gummies are gone!)

  71. Make sidewalk paint

  72. Make a magic potion using aromatherapy oils, glitter, water, petals

  73. Take some garden clippings and see which ones you can get to grow roots for replanting

  74. Use masking tape to make a race track. Race matchbox cars. Or use the inside of your bathtub as a ramp for racing

  75. Listen to a kid’s podcast or audiobook. Podcast suggestions:

    • Brains On

    • Wow In The World

    • Circle Round

    • Little Green Pod

    • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

    • Fierce Girls

    • Story Pirates

    • But Why?

  76. With some old clothes, cut and create clothes for your toys

  77. Take everyone’s height measurement on a door frame

  78. Using butchers paper, trace a partner’s whole body. Now try to include as many body parts and organs as you can

  79. Give someone a back, foot or head massage

  80. Try sharpie tie-dye using a sharpie and rubbing alcohol

  81. Take some artistic photos in black and white. Play around with filters and see what you can create. You could use a phone or learn how to use the proper camera (if you have one)

  82. Water play – buckets, scoopers, whisk, pouring jugs, straws, bubbles!

  83. Have a picnic lunch outside. Take books and toys with you

  84. Sort through all your crafts and art supplies. See if something inspires you. Organise and sharpen all your pencils and test all your markers

  85. Make a bottle rocket 

  86. Make rainbow paper 

  87. Make a stained glass window using clear contact & cellophane 

  88. Make a marble run

  89. Paint a stick gnome

  90. Make a rainbow stick

  91. Jump rope – can you get to 100 without stopping?

  92. Take apart an old appliance. Can you put it back together?

  93. Research your family tree – see how far back you can go

  94. Make a time capsule of this time to be opened in 10 years

  95. Get swimmers on and wash the car or your bike!

  96. Set up camp in the garden and play inside the tent

  97. Write a letter to a friend, relative or teacher to mail

  98. Lie on a rug in the garden and spot cloud shapes. Make up a story about what you see.

  99. Work together to a family emblem, motto or song. Include elements that are important to you and your family

  100. Learn to finger knit, french knit or braid wool into friendship bracelets

  101. Sketch your dream red carpet look!

  102. Try Michelangelo drawing under the table 

  103. Make a pretty lantern using an old jar, tissue paper and glue

  104. Make an infinite paper flipper

  105. Make frozen dinosaur eggs (or you could use fairies, or Ooshies, etc) 

  106. Make a paper cut out family

  107. Make a paper plate whale 

  108. Try dying some old plain fabric using natural dyes 

  109. Do a chalk photoshoot

  110. Interview the members of your family 

  111. Make a popsicle stick catapult

  112. Can you draw or paint with your feet?

  113. Do a Yoga class together


Shopping list for craft activities



  • Cream of tartar

  • Table salt

  • All-purpose flour

  • Food colourings

  • Vegetable oil


General craft supplies

  • Chalk

  • Shaving cream

  • Food colouring

  • Paper – coloured and white

  • Air-dry clay

  • Glitter

  • Cornstarch

  • Mini marshmallows

  • Toothpicks

  • Wool

  • Acrylic paints

  • Watercolour paints

  • Crayons

  • Shaving cream

  • Balloons

  • Sharpie

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Butchers paper or a large paper table cloth

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Duct tape or Masking tape

  • An empty plastic bottle

  • Black paper

  • Clear nail polish

  • Tissue paper

  • PVA glue

  • An old jar

  • Sticky tape

  • Marbles

  • Popsicle sticks


Thanks to Mum Daniela Minns for sharing all these ideas! You can follow her on Instagram here or check out her website