When medical attention is necessary, children may panic if they don't know how to apply some basic first aid or if they don't understand what is being done to assist. Children have the capacity to learn first aid skills through games. The objective of these first aid games (keeping an individual healthy and safe) is serious, but the games present first aid in a way that is easier for children to remember and enjoy.
First Aid Maze
All Things First Aid has mazes related to first aid in which the child has to bring some kind of medical equipment to a first aid patient, such as bringing scissors to someone who needs bandages taken off. A variation of these mazes for groups involves creating a large maze outside with rope, twine or even garden hose. You set up the maze with a specific medical objective, such as cleaning a cut, and put pictures of everything you'll need to complete the objective in the maze, plus some additional non-necessary items leading to the dead ends. The children walk through the maze and collect the pictures--if they pick up items that aren't needed, they'll end up in a dead end. A variation might include having multiple mazes and having races to see who can provide aid fastest.
Red Light Green Light
Red Light Green Light is a traditional children's game in which children take steps forward when a leader calls out that the light is green and stay still when the leader calls out red light. Meaghan Lister created a first aid version of this game. Instead of simply calling out "red light" or "green light," the leader asks questions about first aid, such as whether you should pop a blister. If the answer to the question is "yes," then the children have a "green light" and take three steps forward. If the answer is "no," then the children stay put. This game allows whoever is overseeing the game to assess very quickly based on the children's movements what first aid topics may need to be addressed further with the children.
The Boy Scouts have a game called Fireman's Drag, which is a relay in which each team has victims and firemen. This game basically involves the firemen from each team dragging victims from their own team back to safety in relay fashion. The team who finishes the relay first wins. This game might be varied to any first aid topic, such as putting on band aids or putting together a first aid kit one relay stage at a time.
Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.