The children of the Jumping Jilly Beans Family Day Home Agency in Rimbey enjoyed a fun day at the Lions Park on March 5 and unbeknownst to them, they also got some learning in that, at some future point, could save their own lives, along with the lives of others.
“We started a program with the children and each provider picks a different theme, and that week was my turn and we picked fire safety,” said agency provider Jessi Scott. “We had done a couple of other things during the week related to fire safety and on the Friday, we met at the park where we did some finger plays about firefighters and read a book on fire safety and then we held our relay, which was the really fun part.”
As part of the relay, the children were required to dress up like firefighters complete with hats, goggles, gloves, masks, ponchos and rubber boots, and on the sounding of a smoke detector, were to locate the fire, which happened to be small candles, and extinguish it with water bottles.
In addition, the fun day also included a scavenger hunt that saw the kids searching for fake lighters and matchbooks and if found, were instructed to return them to an adult, just as they should in the real world.
“That’s definitely what our program is trying to be based on,” said Scott in explaining the concept of combining learning with a whole lot of fun. “It’s a little more towards an academic play day instead of just playing. We really tried to get the fire department to come out and show the children the fire trucks and stuff, but unfortunately they were too busy.”
Throughout the week leading up to the fun day, the children also participated in games of improvised tag that featured red and black pieces of string. If a child was in possession of the red string, that meant their clothes were on fire and they were to ‘stop, drop and roll.’ The black string, on the other hand, was symbolic of smoke where the kids were to crawl under. Much like the game of tag, once the kids had completed their task, they would ‘tag’ another with the string, and start the process all over again.
As part of the learning experience, the children also painted and decorated cardboard cutouts of flames and smoke that included a very important practical aspect. At the end of that day, the participants and family members were encouraged to hang the flames from doorways and smoke from the ceilings of their homes to practice and establish an escape route in the event of a fire.
Again, the flames signified a room was engulfed in flames forcing them to seek an alternate route while the smoke meant they had to crawl, not walk to safety.
Recently, the children also celebrated the Olympics complete with a number of activities that included games of curling and hockey, learning the national anthem and gold, silver and bronze medals for all the children of the agency, who range in age from infants to six years old.