Our guest blogger and homeschool expert Genny Upton (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play) shares some fun ways you can use National Safety Month as an opportunity to review some valuable lessons with your kids.
June is National Safety Month, and what better way to teach kids about safety than to incorporate it into their everyday play! Here are some playful activities to introduce kitchen, road, fire, and bike safety to your children in ways that will really get their attention.
Teach your child some tips for being safe in the kitchen, like always washing their hands to get rid of germs before starting to prepare food, and (for older kids) to avoid going near the stove, or hot pots and pans on the table. Allow your child to role play the part of chef in their own play kitchen to demonstrate all the safety tips they’ve learned. You can find more kitchen safety tips here.
It’s never too early to introduce your child to road signs. Simply add a set of signs to their collection of toy cars. Tell your child what the signs mean and use the toy cars to demonstrate how to stop at the stop sign, yield at the yield sign, and pay attention to the speed limit! You can also start pointing out real road signs while you drive and showing how you have to pay attention to them to be a safe driver. (For more information on traffic safety lessons, read this recent blog post.)
While we all hope the unthinkable never happens, it is best to teach your child what to do in case of emergencies such as a fire. Here are some great tips for not only preventing fires, but for what to do in case there is a fire where you live. After talking to your child about how to stay safe during a fire, allow them to act out some rescue scenes through pretend play. If you haven’t toured a fire station with your child yet, I also highly recommend it. The ones in our area like to show kids what a firefighter looks like with all the gear on so that they know not to be afraid or hide if ever one should need to rescue them.
One of the most important ways for kids to stay safe on a bike, in addition to always wearing a helmet, is for them to learn to STOP!
One way my kids enjoy practicing this most important skill is by playing traffic cop. One of them dresses up as a police officer and holds a stop sign, while the other rides a bike and must stop whenever they see the stop sign or hear the police officer say, “Stop!” This is a fun way for the kids to practice the real-life skills of paying attention to stop signs while biking, and responding to voice commands to stop or pull over to the side when a car is coming during neighborhood bike rides.
Remember, safety doesn’t just happen; it needs to be taught! Start early by teaching your child important safety tips through play, as well as through real-life experiences.