Safety is one of the most important things that we can teach our children. Preschoolers are naturally curious and exploratory, and they may not always understand the risks involved in certain activities. It is important for them to learn about health and safety fundamentals at a young age so that they can avoid accidents and injuries.
However, teaching health and safety topics to preschoolers can be challenging. They have short attention spans and may not be able to grasp complex concepts. Additionally, they may be reluctant to participate in activities that involve learning about safety rules if they are perceived as “boring” or “uninteresting”. As a result, it is important for teachers to be creative and engaging when teaching these topics.
If you are a preschool teacher seeking new activities that you can use to educate your students on health and safety, this guide is for you. We are going to cover 5 simple activities that you can easily incorporate into your lesson plans that will engage your students as they learn.
1: Read Children’s Books About Health and Safety During Storytime
Storytime is a great opportunity to teach health and safety topics in an engaging way. There are many children’s books that focus on relevant topics such as stranger danger, crossing the street safely, washing hands, and more.
You can use these books as a starting point for discussions with your students about the health and safety topics that they are learning about. Additionally, you can use the books to model proper safety procedures. For example, if you are reading a book about crossing the street, you can demonstrate the proper way to look both ways before crossing.
As you are reading to your students, ask them recap questions throughout to help them retain the information. For example, you can ask them “What should you do before crossing the street?” or “Why is it important to wash your hands?”.
After reading the book, you can also engage your students in a related activity. For example, if you read a book about strangers, you can have your students role-play how to respond if they are approached by someone they do not know and what to do if this happens.
This activity can be easily added into your lesson plans and requires minimal preparation. It is also a great way to introduce health and safety topics in an age-appropriate manner.
2: Practice Handwashing Before Snacktime
Handwashing is an important health and safety topic that all children should be taught. It is a simple activity that can help prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.
You can use snacktime as an opportunity to teach your students the proper way to wash their hands. Before giving them their snacks, demonstrate the correct handwashing technique and have them follow along. It is important to scrub their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
After they have washed their hands, you can ask them questions about the activity such as “Why do we wash our hands?” or “What are some other times when we should wash our hands?”.
Snacktime is one of the most exciting points of the day for young learners. If washing their hands leads to enjoying a snack, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about doing it.
3: Invite a Local Doctor or Police Officer to Speak About Health and Safety
Inviting a local health professional or law enforcement officer to speak to your class is a great way to engage students with health and safety topics. These individuals are experts in their field and can provide valuable information to your students.
Preschoolers often enjoy breaks from their usual routine. They may be excited to have a special lesson time with someone that works as a doctor or police officer and it can help them to see the importance of health and safety rules.
When inviting a guest speaker, be sure to prepare some questions in advance that you would like them to answer. This will ensure that the visit is educational and informative for your students. You can also ask your students to prepare questions that they would like to ask the guest speaker.
4: Demonstrate How to Use Playground Equipment Safely
Playground time is a great opportunity for students to get some exercise and fresh air. However, it is important to make sure that students understand how to use playground equipment safely.
Before letting your students loose to play, take some time to demonstrate how to use the different pieces of equipment. For example, show them how to swing without going too high, how to go down the slide feet first, and how to use the monkey bars correctly.
You can also use this time to review some safety rules such as not running on the playground and not climbing on top of the slides. By modeling proper behavior and providing clear instructions, you can help your students stay safe while they play.
After demonstrating how to use the playground equipment, you can have students practice using it in small groups. This will help them to feel more confident and comfortable using the equipment on their own.
5: Have a Show and Tell Themed Around Health and Safety
Show and tell is a classic activity that can be easily adapted to focus on health and safety topics. To prepare for this activity, have students bring in an item from home that is related to health and safety.
For example, they could bring in a favorite book about staying safe, a helmet they wear while riding their bike, or a picture of themselves practicing healthy habits. This is a great opportunity for students to share what they have learned about health and safety with their classmates.
After each student has had a chance to share, you can lead a discussion about the different items that were brought in. This is an opportunity to reinforce the importance of health and safety rules and answer questions other students might have.
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