Starting to talk about safety with little ones is difficult. Here is an idea that nursery schools/play groups or even first and second grade teachers can use to get the kids started on learning about personal safety… without making them frightened.

PROJECT SAFETY SOCK PUPPET: Ask the children to bring an old sock to school. Provide cut up wool or bits of material that they can use for ears, hair and mouth and some cheap “eyes” they can stick on.

While they are making their hand puppet, ask them to think of names for him/her (their puppet). This name can be used as their “secret word” for when people pick them up from school or elsewhere. While they are making their puppets, introduce the concept of safety to them. Talk to them about their seat belts and why they wear them. This opens the door to all kinds of talks and interactions on safety.

Once the safety sock puppets are ready to start “their training”, talk directly to their puppets so that the child thinks that he/she is helping to make their sock puppet safer too. It is a fun, easy, non-threatening way to start teaching children about safety and get their parents involved. Let the children take their safety puppets home and interact with their parents using them so that their parents also have a way to talk to their children about keeping safe.