Learning About the Neighborhood by Walking
Is your child familiar with your neighborhood? I am not talking about the street your house is on. I am talking about your entire neighborhood. If your child ever gets lost, will he know how to get home? It is important that every child knows the ins and outs of their neighborhood as early as possible.
Typically, this information is taught in kindergarten, but children can get lost at any age. What if they let go of your hand for a second at the corner market and wander off? Within a second, he could be on his way out of the supermarket doors and wandering down the street. You may think this time frame is dramatic, but it happens all the time.
This free homeschool lesson is aimed at teaching your child about his entire neighborhood and where he can find help if he does get lost.
Teach Your Child His Address
By the age of 5, your child should be able to recite his address and telephone number. Learning their address and telephone number is the first step in learning about the neighborhood and how it works. If your child ever gets lost, they can easily tell a responsible adult where they live and how to get a hold of mom and dad.
A helpful way to teach your child their address and telephone number is to put it to music. By making it a catchy tune, your child is more likely to learn the information, and be able to recite it upon request. Sing the song on a regular basis, and make sure your child sings along with you.
By the age of 5, your child should have decent control of a pencil or crayon. Have them practice writing their address and phone number on paper, or on a chalk board.
Take Long Walks Often
The best way to teach your child about their neighborhood is to walk around. Driving around in a car, and walking on foot are completely different. On foot, your child is able to pay more attention to fine detail, storefronts, and what specific houses look like.
There are many parts of your neighborhood that cannot be seen by car. They can only be seen if you are walking. If your child gets lost, there is a very high chance that he will be walking around looking for home. These fine details are an amazing way for your child to create an in-depth, detailed map of your area.
While you are out walking, you can also collect things they can use for homeschool projects. By picking these things up, they not only gain craft materials, they also learn the location of certain materials they use on a regular basis, which will help them gain their bearings if they are lost and end up in that location.
Teach Your Child Where Police Stations and Fire Stations Are
As early as you can, teach your child where police stations and fire stations are located. Let them know that these are safe places and if they were to become lost, they should become lost, they should immediately look for one of these stations. It doesn't matter how young your child is, it is never too early for them to learn that these locations are safe places and if they cannot find home, they should go to one of these locations.
Make A Map Together
Every time you walk through your neighborhood, your child will notice more and more things around them. Sit together and make a simple map of your neighborhood. Mark important locations, like police stations, fire stations, stores, and libraries. As your child notices more locations, add them to their map.
Take time each week to study the map. Ask them questions, like where is the blue church? Where is the police station?
As you study the map, talk about the directions to get home from each of the locations you typically go to. Yous should also talk about places that are safe to go if they are lost.
Teach Your Child About Neighborhood Safe Havens
Choose stores that you use on a regular basis, neighbors, police stations, fire stations, and hospitals in your neighborhood. Let your child know that these are the safest place to go if they are separated from you. Talk to them about different situations where they could get lost. Let them know that these locations are safe havens, or places they can go if they cannot find mommy or daddy. Explain to them that they need to tell the people at the safe haven their address and telephone number so that you can be reached immediately.