How the Coronavirus Is Influencing Children’s Play

Play is children’s language, and parents shouldn’t be concerned if the pandemic has been showing up in kids’ games lately.

In the middle of a disaster—such as the current pandemic—many parents witness episodes like these. “It’s upended [kids’] lives. It’s natural that it would be on their minds,” Sandra Russ, a professor who studies play at Case Western Reserve University, told me. As children absorb scary and confusing news, many turn to play seeking understanding and respite.