There’s nothing better than getting outside, and I think most kids would agree with me. Whether you and your kids are hitting the trail for a high-quality hike or relaxing by the pool, time spent in the great outdoors is time well spent. It’s refreshing, restorative, and beneficial for a child’s development and wellbeing.
Playing outside isn’t always fun and games, though. Minor injuries like bruises, scrapes, cuts, and skinned knees are an inherent risk of physical activity. When kids are out exploring on their own, a basic knowledge of first aid can mean the difference between a great day and a not-so-great day.
Introducing your kiddos to basic first aid can be overwhelming. After all, scrapes and cuts are no laughing matter. However, it’s easy to teach kids these valuable skills in a fun and educational way. Just turn first aid lessons into a game!
Without further ado, here are Troomi’s five ways to make first aid for kids fun and educational at the same time.
Teach First Aid like a Story
When I was a kid, I loved listening to my dad’s stories. Telling stories is a great way to help kids learn, and they’re pretty entertaining, too. If your child responds well to storytime, try teaching first aid for kids by spinning lessons into wacky tales. Walk your child through first aid procedures step-by-step—and don’t forget to throw in a silly voice or two.
Here’s an example. If you’re teaching your child how to bandage a wound, tell them the story of Lady First Aid and Sir Scrapes-A-Lot. Lady First Aid is a powerful knight from a faraway kingdom. Her best friend, Sir Scrapes-A-Lot, just won a fight with the Concrete Dragon—but walked away with a pretty scraped up knee. Lady First Aid is the only one who can help him!
As soon as she arrives on the scene, our hero washes her friend’s wound and covers it with antibiotic ointment. Then, she whips out her trusty bandage from its scabbard and peels back the adhesive. Carefully, she places the bandage directly over the wound. After a few days, Sir Scrapes-a-Lot removes the bandage and…huzzah! His knee is healed!
It may sound silly, but what kid doesn’t love a silly story?
Mix Playtime and First Aid
Imaginative play is so important. It encourages kiddos to develop creativity, build social skills, and helps reduce stress. Teaching kids as they play is also an excellent way to help them learn, so try mixing together playtime and first aid lessons.
There are a few ways you can mix playtime with first aid lessons. If your child enjoys playing with dolls or action figures, help them play doctor. Try creating pretend scenarios where your child’s toys are injured, then show them how to do the proper first aid. You can even give your kiddo some disposable gloves and a homemade ID card to complete the doctor fantasy.
Some kids may get anxious or worried at the thought of their favorite toys facing harm. If that’s the case, try playing other imaginative games, like pretending to be a first aid teacher. Encourage your child to imagine that they’re teaching their own first aid class. Help your child set up their stuffed animals and dolls in a circle, then watch as they show their toys how to perform simple first aid.
Play First Aid Charades
Older kids and teens likely won’t get as excited about imagination play as younger children. However, you can still make their first aid lessons fun by hosting a game of first aid charades.
Here are the rules:
- Take a few blank pieces of paper. Write a scenario that demands first aid on each one.
- Fold them up and place the papers in a bowl.
- Split the players into teams.
- Have a member of one team select a piece of paper. They then act out what was written on the card.
- Members of their team have to guess what the injury is.
- Once the team has guessed correctly, they can get a point by showing how they would use first aid to help the situation!
- If they don’t guess correctly, the other team can steal the point by answering the question and demonstrating the proper first aid.
Sounds pretty fun, right? After you’ve played, keep the cards somewhere safe—you can use them later for other games like first aid pictionary and first aid trivia.
Yep, you read that right. Strap on your acting shoes and do some vocal exercises, because you’re about to role-play.
Role-playing is one of the best ways to help kids learn. Practicing the proper first aid for certain scenarios before they happen helps children prepare for potential events in a low-stress, familiar environment. It can also be pretty fun!
Make sure to keep your role-playing lighthearted. Scenarios where kids see their parents in pain, no matter how fake it is, can make kids feel anxious or distressed. If you notice your child getting nervous, take a break and remind them that it’s simply a scenario.
Decorate a First Aid Kit
All that first aid for kids is no use without a first aid kit nearby. Take an evening to help your child put together their own, personal first aid kit. Let them pick out the container, then help them decorate it using paints, markers, or stickers. Once the kit is complete, stock it full of supplies.
As you and your kiddo fill their first aid kit, remember that some things, like pain medication and sharp scissors, should be left out of a younger child’s kit. Instead, stock it with these items:
- A list of emergency numbers (911, Poison Control, Suicide Hotline, etc.)
- A variety of different-sized bandages
- Antiseptic towels
- Instant cold packs
Teens and tweens, on the other hand, are likely able to handle more responsibility and can have a greater variety of supplies in their kit, like:
- Medicated ointment
- Medical tape
- Eye wash
- Calamine lotion
- Aloe vera gel
- Cough drops
- Pain medication (ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
Parents should always be prepared with a well-stocked first aid kit nearby in case of sudden injuries. If you’re interested in doing your own first aid kit craft, check out this list of recommended items by the Red Cross.
First Aid? No Problem!
Spending time outside should be fun and low stress—and first aid for kids should be, too. With these tips, it’s easy to teach your kids first aid in a fun and engaging way, ensuring that your kiddos can make the most of the great outdoors without fearing pesky scrapes and bruises.
Of course, some injuries are more severe than a scrape. When someone needs prompt medical attention, a cell phone becomes the most valuable first aid tool. That’s why smartphones from Troomi Wireless arrive preloaded with emergency phone numbers like 911 and Poison Control already in your child’s contact book. Click here to learn more about Troomi’s dedication to keeping kids safe both outside and online.