Being Aware of your Surroundings with Preschoolers

Written by: Courtney Phillips – Lead Teacher Yellow Class

With Teacher work in full swing my husband inquired:

“Courtney are you locking your doors when you get to work?”

“Yes” I said with my fingers crossed behind my back. I did not want to tell him that I had forgotten because I was too busy with posters, art supplies, my purse and other random things to remember to lock my doors.

Quentin gave me a cross look and said “This is the time of year that so many people are unaware of what surrounds them.”

As I thought about that I realized that he was right. As busy parents how often do we just run in quickly somewhere and forget to hit the locks on our car? Or leave our valuables laying around because we are in a “safe place”. I then began to wonder what I was teaching my children about safety. Sure, we hold hand when crossing the street and look both ways twice but what were the unsaid things that I was teaching them. I decided at that moment that I would do a better job at being aware of my surroundings and what I was teaching them about safety.

Here are a few safety tips and things that you can try with your preschooler.

1. Lock it up – What preschooler doesn’t like a game. With this game, whenever you reach your destination someone has to shout “Lock it up!” The first person to say it wins. This is a silly way to help you remember to lock your doors at all time.

2. The parking lot game. Have your child/children help you find parking spots that are considered safe. These spots can be located close to a store entrance or near light posts. Share with your child/children the importance of being safe. 

3. Discuss when it is appropriate to speak to strangers. While playing outside at their grandparent’s house one day, a neighbor came outside and said hello. My son asked “can I say hi? And the response was “yes”. Let your child/children know when it is okay to speak to strangers. My children know that if we are together it is okay to say hello or good morning. They also have a special code word to say if a stranger approaches them and they feel that they are in danger. 

4. Make them aware- I think that it is very important to make your child/children aware of their surroundings. I don’t want my children to live in a constant state of fear but I do teach them that there are dangers in the world. For an example: now that my daughter is older she prefers to use her own stall in public restrooms. She knows that she is not allowed to come out of the stall until I tell her that I am standing in front of it. This not only gives me peace of mind but it helps her foster her independence.

It is my hope that you will be safe and aware this school year. Best wishes!

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