Resources for Group Leaders Working Remotely

+Resources for families during COVID

Many IY Group Leaders have reached out to us asking how to support their families during the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful for your efforts and commitment to these families.

We have created a new handout and refrigerator notes for group leaders to share with parents about how to talk with their children about the COVID-19 virus.

Keeping-Calm-and-Providing-Supportive-Parenting-During-the-Coronavirus Rev
Spanish Keeping Calm And Providing Supportive Parenting During The Coronavirus
Portuguese Keeping Calm and Providing Supportive Parenting During the Coronavirus
Refrigerator Notes For Parents - Tips For Coping With Social Distancing
Refrigerator Notes for Parents - Tips To Help Children Cope With Social Distancing
Tips To Help Children Cope With Social Distancing - Spanish

We have tips and activities for grandparents and other special friends and family members to reach out to children remotely.

Tips For Grandparents Reaching Out To Children Remotely
Tips for Grandparents - Spanish

We have developed two documents that you can send to parents for their children via email – or better yet, have Dina Dinosaur read the letter to them in a video, on the phone, or via video call. The first document is a letter is from Dina Dinosaur to the children about how she misses them, what she is doing, and how she is helping others stay healthy by washing her hands and using the phone to stay in touch with grandparents and other family members. The second document is some of Dina’s incredible activities, related to things the children have learned in Dinosaur School and can do at home alone or with adults.

Letter From Dina To Kids During Covid-19
Letter from Dina To Kids During Covid-19 - Spanish
Dina's Fabulous Activities For Young Kids During Covid-19
Dina's Fabulous Activities for Young Kids During Covid-19 - Spanish
+Resources and Videos for Teachers Working Remotely with Preschoolers
Sample Dinosaur Call Format for Dinosaur School Teachers
This document gives teachers and therapists who deliver the Dinosaur curriculum to children in the classroom or in small groups a suggested template or format for delivering remote on-line calls.

Video Messages to Preschoolers from Teachers & Puppets

In these 6 video clips with the Incredible Years puppets, Carolyn Webster-Stratton, the developer of the Incredible Years programs, talks to the child puppets about their feelings. She encourages the child puppets to share their feelings in response to the Covid-19 virus and helps them remember times when they have felt nervous, or lonely, or afraid in the past and how they have learned to cope with those uncomfortable feelings in order to feel safe, less bored, patient, fair, less lonely, brave and supported.

Teachers can share these video clips with other children in an interactive way. Teachers or child therapists can pause the video clip when the puppet is talking about a particular uncomfortable feeling such as boredom or nervousness or unfairness or loneliness or feeling unsafe to talk about the children’s own feelings at this time. When the child puppet shares ways to cope with these feelings the teacher can encourage their students to share their solutions for ways they can think and behave in order to feel better.

Teachers and parents may also watch these vignettes to learn ways they can use puppets themselves with their children or students to address their specific feelings. Since children ages 4-8 years are cognitively in what Piaget calls the pre-operational stage of cognitive brain development, the use of pretend and imaginative play can be a powerful way of helping children to talk about their feelings and for learning ways to not only manage any uncomfortable feelings but also ways to manage their behavior responses in healthy ways. We hope to encourage children to write about or draw pictures about their solutions and share them with others.

Hot Tip: With puppets you can open the door to helping children talk about their feelings or to write stories about or draw pictures about their experiences. It is important not to pressure these discussions and to focus when possible on positive feelings such as being brave, confident, strong, healthy, helpful, caring, happy, curious, creative, patient and loving.

Sample Scripts for Using Puppets to Talk with Children about Feelings

Molly Talks About Feeling Safe

Luciana Talks About Feeling Nervous

Felicity Talks About Feeling Lonely

Wally Talks About Feeling Bored

Freddy Talks About Feeling Impatient

Antonio Talks About Feeling It’s Not Fair

In this video Jamila Reid, Ph.D., talks to Wally Problem-Solver about his sad feelings of missing his friends and school and how he is helping others not get sick by staying at home. Then Wally thinks about solutions to this problem and what he can do at home to feel better. This video clip can be used to help children think of activities they can do at home or how they can connect with others.

In this video Wally Problem-Solver helps Tiny Turtle talk about the importance of sharing his feelings

Dina Dinosaur Talks About the Dinosaur Rules for Survival
Dina shares 5 dinosaur rules for survival: exercise mind and body; listen, think and solve problems; have courage; be friendly; and believe in yourself.

Dina Reviews the Dinosaur Survival Rules with Wally Problem-Solver
In this clip, Dina Dinosaur talks about her experiences with viruses and reassures the children they will be outside playing with friends before too long and reassures them that the virus is not their fault or anyone else’s fault and that their parents will be keeping them safe.

Then Dina says she has a game for Wally to see if he is following the Dinosaur rules for staying healthy and safe. Dina asks Wally questions about exercising his brain and body, eating healthy food, doing homework, helping others, washing hands and about staying calm using his happy place and breathing techniques. Dina encourages Wally to write thank you letters to the first responders for all they are doing to keep everyone safe.

This is a good video clip to use with children. Pause video for kids to answer the questions, collect points and share ideas and set up practices.

Palomar Family Counseling Dinosaur School YouTube Channel
Palomar Family Counseling Service in San Diego has filmed a series of Dinosaur School videos, shared on their YouTube Channel.

You can check out their awesome videos on their YouTube channel here!
Dinosaur School on Colorado PBS!
Invest in Kids has partnered with their local PBS affiliate, Rocky Mountain PBS, to bring the Incredible Years Dinosaur School social & emotional learning curriculum to children in their community to support their at-home learning.  Check out all of their awesome videos here!

Dinosaur School Feelings Lesson
Incredible Teacher Carley Maloney has shared a Dinosaur School feelings lesson delivered online to kindergarten students in Colorado. She starts with her usual Dinosaur School opening song and then continues with a feelings lesson regarding the emotions of sad and tense. She discusses Molly who had been sad and asks the students for suggestions for what to do. The students sent their ideas which helped Molly and Wally feel better. Then Dina Dinosaur arrives remotely from her house and shares what she learned from the children, showing pictures she received from them of what they were doing to feel happy. Carley uses the Dinosaur Feeling cue cards and talks about different feelings such feeling bored and frustrated as well as happy and excited. Dina Dinosaur asks the students to send texts or pictures to her and ends by giving them a hug. We hope this will give teachers ideas for what they can do to bring Dinosaur School to their students. Awesome work Carley!

Wally Talks About Feeling Lonely
Incredible Classroom Dinosaur leader Claudia has shared these videos she’s made for her students in Guilford, NC.  In the first clip, she talks about feeling lonely, and Wally problem-solving what to do. In the second clip, she talks with Tiny Turtle about calming down.  Thank you Claudia!

Tiny Talks About Calming Down

Timmy Turtle Talks About Feeling Sad & Frustrated
Incredible group leader Karen Bell from Dorset, England, has shared this message to her students who might be feeling sad & frustrated, and missing their friends right now. Thank you Karen!

Another example comes from IY Small Group Dina leader Julie Ní Brosnacháin and her friend Wally! In this video, Wally talks about the coronavirus and his feelings. Great work Julie!
Click here to watch Julie’s video.

Implementing Online Tele-Sessions the Incredible Years Way 

We are excited to hear about agencies that are working with families remotely – either to check in with individual sessions or to continue their on-going groups with online tele-sessions. We know that this is a big transition.

We have developed a webinar/in-service to help support agencies that are providing IY in a video tele-session format (either individually or in groups). This webinar/in-service with IY program developer Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton covers how to assess whether a family is a candidate for an individual or group based on-line IY program based on their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, family needs, goals, and children’s responses.  The webinar reviews how to help families prepare for these video tele-sessions. The group leaders will learn the format for delivering the program including how to use the IY methods in a video tele-session, IY principles of video-based discussions, role play practices, number and length of sessions, and experiential learning. Pertinent topics are discussed related to coping with social distancing for the parents themselves as well as their children. This webinar also allows time for questions, discussion, and practice of these skills with the webinar participants.  Please email Jamila Reid at for information about webinar pricing and scheduling.

We recommend setting up regular calls with each household, including partners and grandparents when possible. Please download our tips below for helpful ideas for connecting with families through technology.

Hot Tips For IY Group Leaders Delivering Parent Programs Online
Hot Tips For IY Group Leaders Delivering Child Programs Online
Tips For Parents To Support Children's Dinosaur School Learning Online And Offline
Supporting Children Remotely with Incredible Years
Telecommunicaton Tips for Reaching Out to Families with Incredible Years Parent Programs
Portuguese Telecommunication Tips For Reaching Out To Families
+Frequently Asked Questions about Online Delivery

How many sessions do I need to complete on-line, and how long should each session be?

Session length: Group leaders should collaborate with parents to determine optimal and realistic on-line session length and most appropriate time of day. In most cases for group delivery we recommend 60-90 minute sessions and 45-60 minutes for the individualized sessions. Most families are doing these calls from their own homes, with children present and finding uninterrupted time is challenging especially if they are working from home, doing home schooling or taking care of a sick family member. Many group leaders are delivering these to parents at night after children are in bed. Often at this time parents are tired and a shorter group time will be best to help parents manage fatigue and optimize learning.

Number of sessions:  Based on our research regarding program dosage, Incredible Years groups have a minimum dosage recommendation. For in-person Basic Parent prevention low risk groups this is a minimum of 14, 2-hour sessions (28 hours) and for Basic Parent treatment/high-risk groups this is a minimum of 18-20, 2hour sessions (36-40 hours).  Some groups will move more slowly through the material and will need more sessions to complete the program.  Since on-line sessions will be shorter than the usual 2-hour in-person groups, it will take more sessions/weeks to cover the same amount of parenting material.  Moreover, group leaders will also be discussing other family issues such as stress, depression, child anxiety, and family conflict related to the Covid virus situation. The number of sessions offered should be adjusted accordingly to offer at least the minimum number of hours for the type of group conducted (e.g., at least 28 hours for a Basic prevention group) and preferably more sessions.  While this may seem like a daunting number of weeks to work with a group, group leaders may be surprised to find that on-line groups have better parent attendance and that parents really welcome the sustained group support during this time of physical isolation and increased family stress. In some cases you might find it helpful to offer 1 hour sessions twice a week so you can complete this is in a shorter number of weeks and add more frequent weekly support.

Number of participants: It is recommended to have no more than 8 parents per on-line group.  Sometimes you will find 8 parents will involve more than 8 adults because partners and other caregivers in the home can join the on-line group. This is one of the silver linings of on-line home delivery of the program because all those caregivers involved with the child can be on the same page in their parenting approaches. For the treatment version of the program and higher risk families it is recommended to have 4-6 parents online. This allows the group leader to tailor the on-line practices to the developmental level of the child and nature of their language, play and behavior issues.

What materials will the parents or children need for on-line sessions?

For the parent IY BASIC programs it is helpful to send parents the “How I am incredible?” form and complete it ahead of time during your initial assessment interview.  During those initial interview calls you can find out if the parents have a printer or not. If they do have a printer you can send the weekly editable home activities, record sheets, refrigerator notes, thought cards, and brainstorm buzz sheets for each of the main topics ahead of time by email.  This way they can keep their notes on them during the session. If they don’t have a printer it will be necessary to send them each topic packet of materials in the mail ahead of time. You will also need to send them the parent book ahead of time so they can read the suggested chapters each week.  Parents will also need some of their child’s favorite toys, puppets, puzzles and books for use in the practices.

For the child Dinosaur Small Group and Classroom programs it is helpful to send home via email some of the child dinosaur games such as bingo, the crossword puzzle and maze handouts or other turtle or teasing shield templates, dot-to-dot games, self-encouragement bubble, calm down thermometer and some of the appropriate social skills, problem solving, anger management, solution lightbulbs and feeling graphics for each topic.  If parents don’t have printers then send these via postal mail ahead of time.  In addition, ask parents to have their children’s blocks, Legos or Duplos, puppets, favorite stuffed animals, or concentrating puzzles available. For each of the dinosaur topics you can tell parents which toys or art supplies, markers and writing books such as the feeling alphabet or secret pals blank books or interview sheets will be needed. In addition, parents are sent dinosaur stickers so they can reward the children for their participation on-line. As well parents are asked to prepare a small snack mid session for the snack break.

What materials will the group leaders need?

Group leaders will need to have a computer to deliver this program. They can show the video vignettes by putting the vignettes they have chosen for the session on their computer monitor. This can be done with the DVD or USB. Recently we have started streaming some program vignettes on line so group leaders can access the program this way.  See information on the web site for information about what streaming options are available.

In addition group leaders will need their toys, puppets, Wally books and materials for each session topic such as laminated rules and solution cards in the detective kit, spinning wheel, calm down thermometer and examples of what completed activities look like such as the turtle puppet or anger shield. Encourage children to sent you pictures of their activities so you can share them on-line at the next session.  Be sure to dress your puppets differently for each session and have them share their own homework activity.

Download these FAQs for Online Delivery:

FAQs for online delivery of IY Programs (revised 5 March 2021)

We have put together smaller packets of our parent program handouts that can be e-mailed to parents:

Please see our Articles and Handouts for Parents web page for more parent handouts.

Editable Record Sheets

Group leaders can download these editable Record Sheets to send to parents to fill out as homework and send back to the group leader electronically.

Editable Cards, Awards & Certificates

Group leaders can download these editable files to send individual cards and awards to parents and children electronically

Please see our Resources for Group Leaders section for additional resources and handouts.

Evaluations For Group Leaders Offering Parent Programs Remotely

Parent Collaborative Process Checklist (rev. 2019) - Editable
Peer & Self Evaluation (Parent) (Editable form)
Parent Weekly Evaluation - Editable
Weekly Parent Evaluation Tele Format
Weekly Parent Evaluation Tele Format - Spanish
Final Parent Satisfaction Tele-plus Form
Baby Parent Final Satisfaction Questionnaire Editable
Autism Parent Final Satisfaction Questionnaire Editable

Editable Handouts and Evaluations for Group Leaders Offering Teacher Program Remotely

Teacher Monthly Evaluation Form - Editable
Teacher Final Satisfaction Questionnaire - Editable
Teacher Collaborative Process Checklist (Rev. 2019) - Editable
Teacher Peer and Self Evaluation (Editable form)
Incredible Beginnings™ Peer Self Evaluation (Editable)

Information For Group Leaders Pursuing Certification/Accreditation

Group leaders have asked if remote IY parent video tele-sessions can count towards group leader accreditation/certification in the IY programs that they are delivering. Here is information on certification/accreditation when one IY group is delivered remotely.

Remote session accreditation information (revised 5 March 2021)

For group leaders who have delivered two or more courses remotely, here is information on becoming certified in the online format:

Online Parent Group Leader Certification
(for group leaders delivering online-only groups):

Complete the session protocols online with a minimum of 2 cohorts of parents.  For high-risk families, we recommend no more than 8 participants.

It will take a minimum of 28 hours to complete the Preschool Basic prevention protocol online, and 36 hours to complete the Preschool Basic treatment protocol online.  Since on-line sessions are likely to be shorter than in person sessions, additional sessions will need to be scheduled to meet these minimum hour requirements.

Submit to the Certification Committee Workshop Session Checklists for 2 complete cohorts.

The date(s) and time(s) of each session must be clearly included on each checklist.  Since workshop checklists are based on 2-hour sessions, it may take more than one on-line session to cover material on one checklist.

Submit to the Certification Committee weekly evaluations from each parent (from a minimum 12 parents).  Weekly Parent Evaluation Tele Format

Submit to the Certification Committee final program evaluations (Final Satisfaction Questionnaire) by each parent who attended the two groups.
Final Parent Satisfaction Tele-plus Form

Certified trainer’s video review of your group session.  The review expects the following protocol to be met: Online Parent Group Leader Process checklist.
Online Parent Group Leader Collaborative Process Checklist

Online Parent Group Leader Collaborative Process Checklist (Estonian)

Note: Group leaders who receive certification in the online-only format who would like additional certification in the in-person format will need to submit video of delivery in the in-person format for certified trainer/mentor feedback review.

Video Review for Group Leaders Live over Zoom

Our trainers are now scheduling to deliver video reviews toward certification/accreditation live over Zoom!  We hope that group leaders will find this collaborative approach to the video review process beneficial.  Learn more about the process fo receiving video review feedback live over Zoom:

Tips For Video Review Live Over Zoom

Receive Consultation/Supervision with our IY Trainers live over Zoom

On-going professional training and supervision is important to assure quality delivery using the online tele-session format.  Online consultations offer opportunities for more consultation and in small groups, even with dyads. Consultation calls can include a discussion of video segments sent to the IY Trainer for review. Or, consultations may be a discussion of questions and issues related to program delivery. Online consultation calls are typically 1 hour in length and can include multiple group leaders and agency managers. For discussion of videos, plan on sharing no more than 2 group leader videos in a 1 hour Zoom/Skype call. Keep video clips to 10-20 minutes.

Online Consultation Tips for Group Leaders
Online Consultation Call Prep Form

Experts in Action leading groups and delivering group leader workshops

We have some great resources to keep Group Leaders reflecting on their group work and key principles of working with parents, teachers, and children.

These videos, which show Incredible Years Trainers leading groups and group leader trainings, provide a rich self-study resource for the Basic Parent, Baby, Autism, and Child Programs. The videos can be used as a pre-training resource for group leaders to prepare for training. Group leaders and clinicians who have received the initial training will find these supplemental programs an invaluable resource for furthering their group leadership skills, and can provide on-going support for group leaders.

Experts in Action: ​Basic and Autism Group Leader Training
See program developer, Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton lead 3-day workshops for new group leaders in the Basic Parent and parts of the Autism Program training. In these video series, Dr. Webster-Stratton models how to lead Basic Parent and Autism Parent groups and discusses the process of collaborative group work, how to mediate vignettes and set up practices with workshop participants. The parent workshop videos are over 13 hours with 8 DVDs. These are must-see videos for leaders of both the parent programs!

Experts in Action: Sample Parenting Groups are an opportunity to see program developer Carolyn Webster-Stratton and certified Incredible Years trainers lead parenting classes. If you are working with multi-cultural groups, the Experts in Action: Cross-Cultural Parenting Groups DVDs of Julie Anderson, MSW, delivering two sessions on child-directed play with parents in Head Start are invaluable.

+View Sample Clips from Experts in Action: Autism Programs Workshop Training

Experts in Action: Sample Parenting Groups are an opportunity to see program developer Carolyn Webster-Stratton and certified Incredible Years trainers lead parenting classes.  If you are working with multi-cultural groups, the Experts in Action: Cross-Cultural Parenting Groups DVDs of Julie Anderson, MSW, delivering two sessions on child-directed play with parents in Head Start are invaluable.

Experts in Action: Baby Sample Groups Videos
In this video series, Dr. Webster-Stratton and expert trainer, Kimberlee Shoecraft, MSW lead a baby parent group together. These model sessions provide first hand examples of implementing the Incredible Years Baby Program with parents and their babies as well as interviews with parents about their experiences as participants. Get inspired with over 3 hours of video content!

Home Coaching Sample Sessions
In the videos, expert trainer Kimberlee Shoecraft, MSW, delivers the home-based version of the Basic Parenting program with a mother of 2 children. These DVDs can be used to learn about IY program delivery in an individual situation.

More information on our Experts in Action Programs available on our website.

Experts in Action: Child Program Video Samples
There are three separate child program Experts in Action Series: one features Dr. Webster-Stratton and Dr. Reid leading a small group treatment series. These 7 DVDs include over 8 hours of clips of delivering each of the Dinosaur topics. The other three videos show the Classroom Dinosaur School Program in action (separate video series for preschool/kindergarten and primary school and one on emotional regulation, with 9 hours of content. Watch these expert leaders work with children with puppets, role plays, and program vignettes. The videos provide examples of how to teach the curriculum content as well as how to handle challenging behaviors in a positive and supportive way.
More information on the Experts in Action for child programs can be found on web site.