A safe learning environment is where kids feel emotional, socially, and physically comfortable. Providing a safe learning environment is essential in developing kids into stale adults. This environment allows the learners to explore their interests in a well-guided environment. Safe learning environments are important to kids as they allow them to reach their full potential. They also help to improve a child’s physical outcome throughout their life by allowing them to exercise their bodies (Harris, 2017). The kids also get to develop emotionally as they stay in an environment away from situations that may cause trauma and fear. A safe environment enables the learners to develop their cognitive skills, useful in their adult life. Providing a safe environment is essential in enhancing the learner’s health as it ensures the learning spaces are free of any disease-causing agents.
An ideal learning environment would be an open space in the school. The learning environment has to make the learners feel secure while exploring their interests. The space should be clearly defined to provide a proper flow of traffic and enhance engagements. The learning space should provide diversified learning materials to maximize the kids’ engagement, which discourages inappropriate behaviors such as running. A proper learning space should be free from foreign objects and well maintained by being properly lit, crack-free, and lacking chipping paint (Erdem, 2018). The learning equipment such as tables and rails should be free of rust, sharp edges, and protruded nuts and bolts. Non-anchored playing equipment should have stable handhelds for climbing, and also they should be properly placed for proper stability to avoid tipping while in use. The equipment should always be checked for wear and deterioration to avoid accidents during the activities. It is also important to inspect electrical equipment for worn-out wires and fixtures and repair them to avoid contact with the learners. The playing space and the equipment should be regularly inspected to ensure the learner’s safety.
One of the activities that can teach kids the importance of health and nutrition is to make a ‘Myplate’. This activity is important in familiarizing the kids with the different food groups and their importance in the diet. Each child is given a blank slip of paper whereby they are supposed to go home and record the food they ate and identify the category it belongs in (Lim, 2017). This is important in identifying the variety of food that the kids consume and will create interest in exploring other food categories. The second activity to instill knowledge on nutrition and safety has a cooking activity whereby the kids cook a cake (Lim, 2017). The kids are taken through food preparation activities to ensure the food is safe for consumption. Such activities include hand washing before touching any kitchen equipment, cleaning working spaces before and after preparing the floor, and covering their hair when in the kitchen.
One of the outdoor activities is planting food, which is provided with a variety of seeds and planting pots. The seeds should include peas, maize, beans, and tomatoes. During this activity, the instructor and the kids get to discuss food sources and their importance in the diet. The kids also learn how to plant safely, harvest, and store food (Erdem, 2018). The second is shopping, whereby the kids learn how to handle food when shopping. The kids get to learn how to check the quality of the food by inspecting for damages and expiration dates. The kids also learn how to place the different types of food to avoid contamination, such as avoiding placing vegetables and meat together (Harris, 2017). The kids learn to follow the order of shopping to avoid contamination by starting with dry foods and ending with fresh foods, which could be damaged at the top.
Planting foods may be difficult for some learners due to dust from seeds and planting media allergies. The dust during the planting is unavoidable as the seeds are carried in containers with preservation chemicals in the form of dust. This dust may cause allergic reactions such as a stuffy nose which causes sneezing (Lim, 2017). This condition may trigger under conditions such as asthma if left uncontrolled. To avoid these complications, measures must be implemented to allow the learner to participate while protecting them from the dust. One of the measures is providing the learners with masks and ensuring they wear them correctly. The learners should also be provided with disposable gloves to prevent them from contacting the dust (Lim, 2017). These measures will be enough to allow the child to participate in planting the foods easily.
In conclusion, safe learning environments enable kids to develop physically and emotionally. They provide safe environments where kids can learn and explore their interests without interference from the outside world. For a space to be considered a safe learning environment, it should be well maintained with no cracks, paint chippings, and well lighting. The playing equipment should be kid-friendly by being stable on the ground, with no sharp edges, without protruding nuts and bolts, and well maintained to avoid accidents. The equipment should be inspected regularly to ascertain its safety. Allowing learners to participate in activities such as ‘Myplate’, food preparation, seed planting, and grocery shopping helps teach the essence of health, nutrition, and safety. These activities may trigger allergic reactions for some learners, which will limit their participation. Measures must be put in place such as providing dust masks and disposable gloves to enable the affected learners to participate comfortably.
Erdem, D. (2018). Kindergarten teachers’ views about outdoor activities. Journal of Education and Learning, 7(3), 203. Web.
Harris, F. (2017). Outdoor learning spaces: The case of forest school. Area, 50(2), 222-231. Web.
Lim, S. (2017). Sugar Shockers: Healthy eating activities for kids. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 49(7), 607. Web.