Besides being fun, arts and crafts are useful learning tools for teaching vital lessons, such as fire safety, because they get the message across in a visual way, allowing kids to learn by doing rather than just listening. You can show your child the powerful image of a firefighter to begin a discussion about fires. By creating fire-themed projects together you can further discuss fires, helping your little one understand what can cause a fire and what to do in case of a fire.
1. Fire Safety Chart
Cut pictures from magazines of things that could start a fire, such as a box of matches, candles, heaters and firecrackers. Also cut out pictures of things that wouldn't start a fire such as a teddy bear, a toy car, a bed and so on. Give your child a piece of paper with a line drawn down the middle and ask her to place the dangerous things that could start on fire on one side -- and the things that are not typical fire starters on the other side. Talk about the way the dangerous items could start a fire, such as the heater could start a fire if you leave clothes hanging over it.
2. Fire Picture
Create a fire picture using strips of yellow, orange and red tissue paper. Help your little one shred the tissue paper into strips and glue them onto another piece of paper. Tell him, "Real fire is very hot and burns." Talk about how he should keep away from fire and get out of the home and alert an adult in the event of a fire. This would be a good time to practice a home fire drill together and test the home smoke alarm so he knows what it sounds like.
3. Firefighter Hat
Make a firefighter's hat with your child -- and he'll likely enjoy being a hero for the rest of the day. Take a piece of red construction paper -- and cut an oval in it large enough for your child’s head. Be sure to leave one side of the oval intact. Next, pull the oval up forward to create the front of the hat. This will leave a space for your head child’s head. Round off the edges of the paper. Once the "hat" is ready, help your little one cut a badge shape from paper and have him color it yellow. Then have him glue his photo onto the badge. Glue the badge to the front of the oval you pulled up. Suggest that your small-fry firefighter give his teddies some fire safety tips such as "If your clothes catch fire, you should stop, drop and roll," or "If you are trapped in a smoke-filled room, crawl along the ground to get out."
Introduce your child to calling 911 by drawing and painting the number with her. Draw the numbers in pencil on a piece of paper. Give her a dish of paint and help her trace the numbers in it with her fingers. After this activity, show her the numbers on the phone and explain how she could call them if she were trapped in the home in a fire. Help her learn her address, or at least the street name, for this purpose.
- Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images