Every Town Should Have A 'Safety Village' To Teach Kids Important Life Skills

by Valerie Williams
Image via Mashable

Kids at “Safety Village” learn about vehicle and home safety as well as stranger danger

As parents, we have a pretty big job. That is, we’re preparing small people to become responsible, safe and knowledgeable big people who are able to enter the world on their own and navigate it safely. They say it takes a village, and in this case, that’s literally true. This Safety Village in a New York town should be in every town. Because we need all the help we can get.

According to a video from Mashable, Safety Village, located in Ashville, NY, is one of only dozens of its kind across the country. It teaches children through hands-on examples about everything from vehicle safety to stranger danger. And the best part? It looks like a total freaking blast.

I know my kids would flip out for this kind of thing, especially the go-carts, as the video notes. Director Terri Kindberg explains that their methods are successful because they keep the lessons fun and brief. “Kids here are very attentive and I think that’s because we’re jumping from one thing to the next to the next. It refocuses them to something new we’re talking about.”

According to the Safety Village website, their program includes several “real” buildings, such as AAA, a McDonald’s, a Walmart, a church, a fire station and many others. It has roads, side walks, street signs, a railroad crossing, street lights, and a four-way traffic signal. All tailored for little ones, of course.

As someone who has attempted “what would we do if our house were on fire” talks with my kids, I can certainly see the value in trying to make those lessons a little exciting and in a “real” setting. Their eyes glaze over in minutes and that’s probably because I have no way of replicating a smoke-filled room they can try to escape using skills they’re taught by professionals to safely exit such a situation.

Also, the average parent is not exactly equipped to teach kids basic vehicle safety, other than droning on during a drive while the kids ignore ignore them for their tablets in the backseat. But if they had an actual kid-sized car to commandeer on roads designed especially for them? Wild horses couldn’t hold them back.

The “stranger danger” lessons are another valuable set of skills every child should learn, but most parents might not know the right way to convey it without causing too much fear. I would have loved to outsource that conversation, namely because it makes me break out in anxiety hives thinking of someone taking my child. Having a calm and knowledgeable person explaining the particulars and ways to get away should something go down would be amazing.

The video says that villages like this are on the rise across the country, and hopefully, that’s the case. It’s hard to deny the benefits of something like this not only for children, but for their parents. If you’d like to donate to the Ashville Safety Village, you can do so here.