Kid-Size Situational Awareness
Guest blog by Granny O., Michigan
Granny here. I hope you’ve been playing awareness games with your kids and grandkids since my last article, “Granny’s Games For Prepper Kids”.
I can’t stress enough that all of us should be aware of what’s going on around us at all times. This is especially true of children, who tend to ignore anything that doesn’t interest them.
Awareness Away From Home
Today we’re going to extend that awareness away from just the home and go out into public places. I like to start with an outing to a park because children love those. The younger ones can play on the equipment while the older ones race, organize a game, or just talk.
After an hour of playing, I call them over and pepper them with questions. I’ve been observing what was going on in the park so my questions are timely. For example:
- Did you see someone wearing red? Was it a child or a man or a woman?
- How many babies did you see?
- Were there any dogs in the park? What kinds? How many? Did you see the owner?
You get the idea. During this time of questions I let them call out the answers, directing some questions at the younger children to give them first chance to answer.
After congratulating them on what they observed, tell them for the next thirty minutes you want them to keep sharp eyes out and be ready to share what they see with the others. They go back to their games and then I call them over one-by-one and asked them what they’ve observed. When all have had their turn, we compare what they saw.
Although it seems like just a game to the kids, it makes them begin to be aware of what in happening around them. Talk about how important this is. Point out that if a mother suddenly can’t find a child, those with sharp eyes will be able to help that mother and be the hero of the day.
This is a good time to discuss with them what they should do if they get separated from their family. I try hard not to frighten them but unfortunately the world can be a scary place. My goal is to give them confidence on how to deal with danger. I even mention that sometimes there are people who might harm them.
Instead of leaving them frightened have them share what they should do if they think they’re in danger. Let them know that just because they haven’t met someone doesn’t mean they’re a “stranger”. Have them name who they feel they can trust if they need help. Most children will name policemen. Point out that a woman with children is also someone who could probably help. End by telling them how proud you are of their quick thinking.
Of course, don’t forget to serve that picnic lunch you brought and play a few organized games they love.
Awareness at a Busy Mall
To build on this, I like to take them on another day to a busy mall. If you have a group, assign each a partner to keep track of each other. Then we wander around the mall as a group, looking in windows and talking about whatever interests us. After one time through the mall, we find a seating area, hopefully big enough for all of us, and as a group, we share what we saw. Once again, I have some questions for them based on what I saw.
After everyone has shared I suggest one more walk through the mall and ask them to keep sharp eyes out for what’s going on around them. Some of them take this too seriously and are so distracted they don’t watch where they’re going. Teach them there’s a happy medium between being alert and being their usual selves.
My last stop is usually the food court where I tell them to order a treat. As they’re eating, I talk to each one separately to hear what they saw and then we share our observations.
Another fun day with important awareness skills learned.
Please comment and share what you do with your children to teach them to be aware.