• Easing Children's Fears about the War in Ukraine

    A Note from Deborah Clair, our Executive Director

    Talks of conflict, such as the war between Russia and the Ukraine, can be frightening and uncomfortable to approach. However, it is something that needs to happen in a safe environment. Safe spaces in times of turmoil can be a place where children can release their true feelings and thoughts around an issue. Finding comfort in people and places that can help lead factual but friendly discussions could be just what is needed during a time such as this.
    Children’s Museums like Wonder Works can serve as an outlet for learning and fun! Through imaginary play, young children process their feelings and understanding of the world. Our mission is to spark curiosity and creativity in ALL children.  When children are asking questions it means their curiosity has been sparked. Additionally, children’s museums make way for play-based learning, discovery, creative moments and opportunities to bring solutions to the table no matter how young or old. 
    Play has great power, even in times of great stress. Studies have shown that unstructured free play lowers stress, which decreases anxiety and depression while supporting emotional regulation. Play is a source of happiness and well-being. Playing with adults provides a sense of increased connection and a feeling of security.

    We believe places like Wonder Works can serve as a helper in the community, a place of refuge for open conversations to take place. We are here to help children be the change they want to see. We can help children to understand that while conflicts may happen there is hope for peaceful resolution.

    Today, we want to offer some resources that may assist families in speaking with their children about the events that are taking place in the Ukraine.
    The Oak Park Public Library suggests the children’s book Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival as another wonderful resource to ease anxiety in children.