As a parent, you may have noticed that your kids respond well to games when you want to get them involved in something, like chores around the house. This can also work well for teaching your kids about home safety and security. While you want them to learn that they should never open the door to a stranger or how leaving a pot holder too close to the stove can cause a fire, you don’t want to terrify them so much that they fly into a panic and are unable to absorb any of the lessons you are trying to teach them.
With this in mind, the following at-home games and activities can help teach your kiddos — in a fun, upbeat and reassuring way — about the importance of home safety and security.
No. 1: Who’s at the door?
If your children spend any time alone in the home — this includes those times when you are on an important call or taking a well-deserved bubble bath — they will undoubtedly hear the doorbell ring from time to time. If you have invested in a wire-free security system for your home, show them how it works and how they can use it to stay safe inside. Explain to them that the wire-free cameras are designed to “wake up” and start recording whenever they detect motion and then take turns going outside and ringing the doorbell. Review what the footage looks like with your kids and reassure them that when you are back home/out of the shower, you can look at the video as well, determine who was at the door and follow up if need be.
No. 2: Safety scavenger hunt
In addition to teaching your children the importance of staying safe and secure, you also want to reassure them that you have all of the tools available to help with this goal. A great way to bring this point home is by holding a safety scavenger hunt. Make a list of the home safety tools you have, including first-aid kits, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, security camera systems, etc. Then, have a scavenger hunt for the items; if you have more than one child, have them race to see who can find all of the tools on their list first.
No. 3: Spot the safety hazard
While you might pride yourself on having a safe and secure home, you likely have places where this can be improved. As Healthfully notes, go through your home as a family and look for potential danger zones — which includes things like unlocked doors, tripping hazards (usually easy to find in homes with kids and toys) and electrical cords that stretch across the floor. You can also make a list of common safety issues and challenge your kids to go through the entire house and see if any of these are a problem. Once you find uncovered outlets and other issues you’d like to remedy, ask your kids to help you fix these problems.
Have fun learning about safety together
After playing these games and activities, you and your kids should both feel a lot better about your collective level of safety and security in the home. At the same time, please remember that this important topic is not a “one-and-done” type of thing — feel free to continue talking about ways to stay safe and finding additional games and activities to illustrate your points.