Kids don't always naturally make safe choices; they must be taught. A safety fair provides a way to introduce kids to the concept of making safe choices. When planning a safety fair, teachers can incorporate local resources, as well as student-created works, to help cover a whole realm of safety topics and ensure kids leave safer than when they came.
Teach kids about traffic safety by using tape to set up a makeshift roadway. Add a crosswalk and let kids practice stopping, looking and listening before crossing the road at the crosswalk. If the safety fair will take place outside, set up a car to give kids a chance to hop in the backseat, buckle up and practice safe car behaviors, such as keeping their voices low and not messing with the door lock. A traffic safety area also gives you a chance to introduce bike safety. Set up a table where kids can try on different sizes of bike helmets and learn the difference between an ill-fitting and a properly fitting helmet. Have a bike on hand too, so kids can practice checking to make sure there is air in the tires, the brakes work and the chain is connected.
Invite the water safety unit from your local police department or another organization that deals with water safety to set up a table at your safety fair. A lifeguard or local swim instructor could also provide valuable information on water safety. On the tables, these individuals can display pictures of how to stay safe in water. They may also bring life jackets for kids to try on or demonstrate performing CPR as they would during a water rescue.
Local fire departments often have training programs designed to present at a school safety fair. Invite firefighters to come talk to kids about fire safety. Kids can practice how to stop, drop and roll if their clothes catch on fire, or crawl along a long rug to remind them to stay low when trying to get out of a fire. Bringing in a firetruck and letting kids sit in it and try on firefighters' gear will also help encourage fire safety and be a big hit with kids.
Get the local police station involved in the safety fair by bringing them in to set up a table on personal safety. Have the reps from the police department fingerprint children. Take a photograph of each child and add it to a card with the fingerprints and a description of the child to give each kid an up-to-date emergency card to take home. At the personal safety station, police or other adults can talk to kids about watching out for strangers, staying away from dangerous weapons, and calling 911. Doctors or other hospital reps can talk to kids about topics such as going to the emergency room, or set up an stuffed animal care station where kids can take care of injured animals.
Getting Students Involved
While a safety fair gives you a chance to get local safety resources into the school, students can also play a role in setting up tables of information for the fair. Have them create posters to display at each table, or fliers and brochures with safety tips for other students to pick up and take home. You can also set up a stage at the safety fair and have students perform skits or sing songs they have written about safety.
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