But many of our kiddos struggle with safety in the community. Here are 3 tips to help set basic safety expectations.
1. Stop! Freeze! – Does your child know how to stop/freeze when you say the words?
Try playing the freeze game with them to practice. I play “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, Freeze!” with my students but you can do it with “march”, “dance” or any other movement. Remember to intermix the words “stop” and “freeze.” Then practice while on a walk or going to and from the car.
2. Match My Pace! – Does your child know how to change pace when needed?
If your child usually has two paces: turtle and ‘run like the wind’, you can teach them to match your pace. I play “match my pace” and we practice walking down the sidewalk or in the backyard. I teach two main paces: “we’re getting there” is what I say when we are walking briskly. I exaggerate my arms pumping at my side with a determined attitude. This is good for crossing a street or getting to a safe place as quickly as possible without running. My other pace is more of a relaxed stroll, the “just moving along” as I say. We use this when we are calmly walking on the sidewalk or safe area, like the park.
3. Empty Hands! – Does your child struggle with being aware of their surroundings?
Anything in their hands can easily distract them from watching what is going on around them. Make sure your kiddo’s hands are free of any distraction when walking across a parking lot, crossing the street, or any high risk area. A tote bag usually solves the problem (except for popsicles or ice cream – best to finish them first). Plus, the reward of gaining the item once they are in a safe spot is a great motivator to follow the safety expectations!
Some of my favorite places to go during the summer are the library and the zoo.
Here are two sets of picture cards and two social stories to help make your day trips awesome!
Is there a place you’d like to visit and wish you had visuals supports or social stories? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the website contact page at www.thesuccessbox.com.
Stay safe and watch for my July 4th visuals and social story coming soon! ~ Karen