A safe preschool means you know your child is safe both in the classroom and out on field trips. Here we discuss some of the steps your child’s preschool should be doing to keep them safe and to teach about safety both in and out of a classroom setting.
How To Maintain A Safe Preschool
Below are a few fun and creative ways preschool teachers can help build trust and ensure the safety of the little ones on- and off-campus.
Build Trust And Relationships
As a teacher, building relationships and trust within a classroom is vital in ensuring that same trust is felt outside of the classroom. There are many class activities that can help with this, such as a game where one child is blindfolded and led to a chair by another. This should be made fun and can often be done during circle time – rewards or recognition can be awarded to the children who take part.
Encourage Group Play
If you notice one or two children are always playing alone or don’t necessarily interact as much with the other children, talk to them and encourage occasional group play. The aim is not to change the child’s personality or to make them feel like who they are is wrong, but rather to make everyone feel that the group is always one cohesive team, even with different types of personalities within the classroom.
There are also other creative and fun ways to learn about safety. Art is a wonderful mechanism where kids can draw and paint about safety symbols they see around them in preschool as well as outside. Have them draw important road safety signs like the stop sign and general traffic indicator lights. Make sure they know what each light color means and that read means stop! General signs in and around the neighborhood may also be important, such as “look out for the dog”, a slippery road warning sign and “beware” construction signs. Your children should be familiar with these signs or what they look like in real life so that if you are on a field trip they will be able to spot potential dangers.
Incorporate Safety Drills
Have special and fun “drills” in the classroom where a mock outing is created. This can also be done in the playground or in a bigger classroom if your class is too small. Have the kids put up all their drawings about the safety signs and build a mock construction site or an open drain if possible (simply use a black cloth on the floor for this). Walk in a circle and have them point out any potential hazards and how to avoid them. This is also great for a “stranger danger” scenario.
Never Tolerate Bullying
Always remember that bullying should not be tolerated – any form of teasing, nastiness and hitting, that may make a child feel alone or that they don’t want to belong in the group, should be discouraged and attended to immediately. This can be very dangerous off-campus as a child may wander off alone to feel the need to be by themselves. Build a classroom of love, acceptance and appreciation.
Educate Kids About Safety Measures
Make your children aware about safety measures that are available to them, in the case of an emergency in class or out of the classroom. Familiarize them with the emergency number 911. Talk to them about when they can call the number, where, and why. It’s important however that they understand it as an emergency number only and should only be used if they themselves or a classmate or loved one is in trouble. Show them where the numbers are on the telephone. It is also a good idea to collaborate with the local police or fire departments – have someone come in and talk to the children about safety – make sure you tell them the age of the children, so they can make it age appropriate. A trip to the local fire station can also be a fun and educational trip.
A safe preschool is one of many ways to ensure that your child is safe. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, take note of these tips above and ensure that you’re either implementing them or you’re looking for a preschool that is.