A large earthquake is an extremely terrifying and unsettling act of nature that even we as adults, can find impacts on us in the days and weeks afterwards. It is only to be expected then, that children of all ages can also be affected in a range of ways. It is hard to know exactly how each child may process such a frightening experience, and to what degree it may impact on their emotions, fears, and understandings of what happened. Children may seem to be cool, calm and collected, but there may be confused thoughts and feelings bubbling away inside.

Here are a few resources that both families and educators could find useful to support children during this unsettling time:

  • Civil defence have a website packed full of resources for all in the community, with specific resources especially for children under 5. 
  • Skylight is a national not for profit trust that enables children, young people, their family/whanau and friends to navigate through times of trauma, loss and grief. Their resources are widely used in early childhood services by educators supporting families during times of grief, and are also available for families. 
  • EQNZ have many resources on their website developed to support children and families after the devastating Christchurch earthquakes. The resources available are extensive and although mostly designed for families in Christchurch, are still of great value to anybody suffering stress or anxiety post earthquake.
  • The national child traumatic stress network is also a recommended site to support children and families during the stress that may come after an earthquake. 

Don’t forget to look after yourself as well! If you as parents or educators are feeling afraid, unsure, or just not coping, don’t hesitate to reach out to your family, friends, colleagues, teachers, or seek medical support from your own healthcare professional. You are probably running on adrenaline at the moment, but these feeling can resurface at a “safer” time when you least expect it!

Lastly, if you are parents at home with your children today, don’t forget to give them lot’s of hugs, and find time to have fun with them. Check out our YouTube channel for inspiring activities that will keep young children busy and focused 🙂

Take care from the team at Storypark!

Posted by Sonya McIntyre

Sonya went to Rata Street Kindergarten and Petone kindergarten. She gained her Bachelor of Education at Victoria University in Wellington and has worked as an educator and manager in home based care, community based and kindergarten services.


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