5 Safety Behaviors You Can Teach Through Fun

Staying Safe From Smoke

This activity shows kids how to stay safe from smoke inhalation in case of a fire. You just need the whole family and a large blanket. Stretch out the blanket and hold it at about 2 feet from the ground. 

Talk to your kids about crawling on the ground to avoid smoke inhalation. The blanket represents the level at which smoke hangs in the air during a fire. Have each kid (and adult!) take turns crawling under the blanket to practice. The ones holding the blanket can even wave it around for some added fun!

Call 911 Poster

Have your kids make a big poster that looks like a telephone keypad. Color in the numbers 9 and 1 differently from the rest of the numbers. At the bottom, draw three circles. Fill one circle in with the color that corresponds to the 9 on the keypad, and two that correspond to the 1. Hang it in a prominent area in their play areas. Teach them that in an emergency they would need to use these numbers on a phone and share some examples of what an emergency is. 

Ask them different questions to see if they are understanding. You can even make them silly, like, “Do you need to call 911 if mommy stubs her toe?” 

At random times throughout the day, ask them to show you what they would need to do if there was an emergency, and have them show you by “pressing” the buttons on the poster. Of course, 911 is the US emergency phone number, but this activity can be customized for any country’s code.

Stop Drop and Roll

This activity can happen anytime while your family is together, and is sure to get some laughs. First, you introduce the idea of “Stop, Drop, and Roll,” to your kids, telling them that it is the best way to put yourself out if you are ever on fire. Then, challenge them to a game that will be ongoing. Someone yells out “Stop Drop and Roll!” to another family member and they must stop what they are doing (safely) and act out the movements. 

Of course, each family might need to set their own rules about when they can do it, for example: not during the parent’s teleconferencing calls for work, etc. Your kids are sure to remember it in an emergency with all the practice they’ll get from saying it to (and laughing at) each other! 

Label the Hazards Around Your House

Ask your kids to design a handful of signs using markers and construction paper that say “hot” and “poison.” Explain what these words mean and why we avoid them. They can include any drawings that will help them remember what the words on the page mean. Then, go on a scavenger hunt to tape these signs to all the items that apply! 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to leave them up for long. But it helps kids to remember different hazards when they help label them. 

Road Safety Game

Use household items to mark out paths around your home. These will be your “streets” for the game. Then, use construction paper, scissors and markers to make different road signs that are common in your area, like signs for  “Stop,” “Yield,” and so on.

Set up the signs or recruit family members to stand at different parts of your “streets,” then have one kid walk the paths. As they encounter the road signs, they must follow their commands and say what each sign means. If they break a rule, the Police (You!) can come and give them a ticket. Then, the next kid in line gets a turn! 

If everyone makes it through the course while following all the rules, give them a healthy treat as a reward.