An unexpected learning moment
I go around on a regular basis and check the first aid kits in each classroom and the yards to make sure they are fully stocked. Earlier this week I was checking the kit in the senior preschool yard. It was a beautiful day, so I took the kit and my list of supplies and sat at one of the small picnic tables with a few of the children from the Unicorn room.
The children wanted to know why I was there. At first they thought maybe someone was sick or hurt and I was checking on them. I explained that I was checking to make sure we had everything we needed ready in case someone got hurt.
When I opened up the first aid kit, I found I had several children very interested in what was inside. "What's this?" they would ask, holding up or pointing to an item. I explained what each item was and how it might be used. The tape and gauze were especially interesting to the children and they acted out how they would use them to cover or wrap an injury.
One child who had recently been stung by a bee was very interesting in the tweezers. The child had come to me and watched as I used my tweezers to remove the stinger from her hand. She wanted to try to use the tweezers herself. I reminded her to be very careful with them and she carefully removed pretend stingers from her hand, my hand, and her friend's shirt.
Other children were interested to find a pen and paper in the first aid kit. I explained that a teacher might need to write down what had happened. I shared pieces of the notepad with children and they took turns using the pen to write their names and "writing" about injuries or accidents.
Through the children's curiosity, a routine task was transformed into an opportunity for the children to learn about first aid. By practicing with the first aid supplies, children had an opportunity to get familiar with the supplies and how they are used. Hopefully the first aid kit will stay on its shelf and not be needed. If it does get used, though, I hope the children will find having their injuries tended to a little easier now that they have had a chance to explore doing so themselves.