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fire prevention week

Did you know it is Fire Prevention Week? Sure is!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) announced “Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years” as the official theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 9-15, 2016. The focus on smoke alarm replacement comes as the result of a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which showed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are or how often they need to be replaced.

To make raising fire safety awareness fun, educational and offer sensory input at the same time, we have some ideas below to get you started!

Fire Prevention Week: Jump To It!

The following activity works particularly well for teaching young, kinesthetic learners the emergency number 9-1-1, while providing for proprioceptive fun.

Draw a telephone number pad with sidewalk chalk on your driveway.  Or…

Draw a telephone number pad with markers on 12 sheets of paper that you can duck tape to the floor.

When you call out, “Fire! Fire!”, have your child run and jump on the numbers 9 -1-1.

Then, if you like, enact a mock emergency phone call.

Fire Prevention Week: Bucket Brigade

For some further proprioceptive fun, this activity works great for relays with large groups such as classrooms, but can just as easily be adapted for solo participants.

Grab a bucket and fill it with water.  To keep the area dry, consider using cut up sponges and fill the buckets with dry sponges.  If you choose water, consider moving this activity outside.  If you opt for water indoors, be sure to have towels on hand for clean up.

Then, as a team, try to pass and run the bucket from one location to another without spilling any water or sponges.

Add more challenge by putting obstacles along the way.  Up the fun-quotient by having a pretend fire as a target for throwing the bucket of water at.

Fire Prevention Week: Stop, Drop and Roll!

This activity is fun at home or in a classroom and encourages vestibular input.

Teach the traditional safety chant of “Stop, drop and roll!”

Then, make a game of it for the day. Whenever someone needs a break, they can call out, “Fire! Fire!” and everyone has to take a moment to stop, drop and roll.

But, if doing it as a large group, be sure to set parameters on how often “Fire! Fire!” can be called or you may all find yourself stopping, dropping and rolling the day away and never getting to planned lessons.

Fire Prevention Week: Fire Drill

Enjoy some more proprioceptive input while providing practice for emergencies. This activity is a classic and important one for kids of all ages.

Have your child get in bed or sit at their desk in a classroom.

Call out, “Fire. Fire.”

Have your child crawl to the bedroom or classroom door to feel it with the back of his or her hand. You never feel with the front of your hand, because your fingertips might burn, making it hard to open doorknobs, unlatch windows, etc.

If you say “Hot!”, have your child crawl to the nearest bedroom window, and if he is old enough or adept enough, stretch up to unlatch locks.

If you say “Cold!”, have your child crawl through the house or classroom using whatever your planned escape route is.

This activity can be adapted to school by having the students start at their lesson locations and having the first child at the door feel for hot or cold.

Enhance proprioception by adding a bag of rice to a backpack for the child to wear.

For further information about Fire Prevention Week, see the Don’t Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years page.

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Martianne is a homeschooling mom with over 20 years of experience in education, youth work and dramatic arts both in the United States and abroad. With certifications as a Middle School Generalist and English 8-12 teacher, plus a drawer full of certificates from a wide variety of professional development workshops and graduate courses, she brings a comprehensive "traditional" background to her present-day creative pursuits. Visit Martianne at Training Happy Hearts.