Talk to children about Japan’s earthquake with help from these resources

Never is a child’s curiosity stronger or more difficult to answer than when a natural disaster strikes, such as the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. That’s why the National Center for Family Literacy has published special tips for talking to children about disasters and published a special Wonder of the Day® on Wonderopolis®, NCFL’s family learning website.

As the media coverage of the disaster in Japan continues, it’s important for families to be able to discuss children’s fears as well as provide activities and outlets to escape the barrage of bad news. The best way to handle a child’s curiosity — especially about difficult subjects — is to provide easy-to-understand, factual information.

On, a recent Wonder of the Day asked “What Is a Tsunami?” The answer focused on the science behind the phenomenon, relying on animated illustrations instead of real-world videos and suggesting a couple ocean-related science experiments.

In addition, you can download When Children Face Disaster: The Role of Literacy from this website. This resource offers tips for using conversation, reading, writing and drawing to help children express emotions and develop coping skills. These activities can help bring a much-needed sense of stability and normalcy to children’s lives during a natural disaster.