Fire safety does not necessarily need to be a serious or scary topic for kids. The key is for the kids to learn how to escape from a fire safety; not to become scared of being in a fire. By tailoring activities and lessons to the age of the child, lessons can still be taught...while kids have fun in the process. Here are 10 fun activity ideas that child care providers, parents and teachers alike can utilize to get the safety message across while still having fun in the process.
1. Field Trip TimeSince kids are sometimes frightened by fire fighters and may even hide from them (as some do to any individual in uniform), adults can plan a special trip to take them to a fire station and introduce them to uniformed fire fighters. Call the station and schedule an appointment in advance, so that staff can be on hand to spend special time with the children. Of course, plans could change if a fire call takes them away from the station.
2. Create Your Own Fire Safety Poster ContestEstablish a fire safety poster contest at daycare, school, or at home. Ask children to create a safety picture of kids doing the right thing in escaping from a fire. Display the posters and talk about them.
3. Book It! Fire Safety Books Teach Lessons WellRead children books on fire safety or, for the youngest kids, about fire trucks and their purpose, and fire stations. There are many on the market, such as No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (And Dragons), Stop Drop and Roll (A Book About Fire Safety), Fire! Fire! and Home Safety (Adventures in the Roo World Young Roo Series No. 4).
4. R-E-D, Red: Fire Trucks Are RedChoose the color RED as a theme and build on fire safety through the use of red fire trucks. Have them draw a red fire truck, a red fire extinguisher, and any other red elements and have kids wear red clothing. Consider providing a treat of red hots, red suckers or red apples and drink red punch or juice as a reward for a day well-done.
5. Exit, Exit: Where Are You?Take a walk around the daycare or school, or if at home plan a simple outing, and hunt for EXIT signs. Keep tally marks of all the signs found. Turn it into a game. If possible, turn the lights off in a building and let kids see the EXIT signs remain lit and then discuss why. As a follow up, have kids create their own special EXIT signs as a project.
6. Role Play Games of Stay Low & Go, and Stop, Drop & RollPlay a game of Stop, Drop and Roll. This is a fun game for kids and the lesson taught can be invaluable. Also, create a game with Stay Low and Go. A teacher can press an alarm (use anything with sound) and then kids practice these skills as fast as they can. Be sure to explain when they should stay low and go and when it would be appropriate to stop, drop and roll. Children should be encouraged to cover their faces when rolling.
7. Alarm! It's Drill TimePlan a fire safety evacuation drill. In-home providers should practice this as well. Assign one child each day to hold a bell or other alarm and let them choose the time anytime throughout the day to ring it and shout Fire! Fire! and for the other kids to evacuate. Providers/teachers of older kids can create some unexpected roadblocks/obstacles from time to time such as taping up an imaginary fire that means kids cannot leave the building through that route.
8. Hats Off To Fire FightersCreate fire fighter hats for kids and have them pretend to be firefighters. Discuss equipment that a fire fighter needs and why. Let kids see and learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Older kids should know where a fire extinguisher is located.
9. Find the Meeting SpotHave kids brainstorm where they should go once they leave a burning house or building. Have parents provide this information so that teachers can reinforce it. A fun game is to have kids sit in a circle and the first whispers to the the first kid, who then passes it to the next one, and so on, as to the meeting place. Sound the alarm, have kids meet at the place, and then the provider or teacher must find them.
10. Detect the Smoke DetectorsLet children look, touch, and experience a smoke detector alarm. Make a counting game of having them count the number of detectors in a building or at a home. Have them ask their parents if the batteries have been changed recently. For older kids, turn the hunt into a scavenger hunt, complete with fire-safety related clues.