Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Fable of the Pine cone

This is a little visual that helped my children understand the dangers of the street when they were about 2 1/2. I thought I'd share because it worked really well.

For this story you will need two pine cones..One should be the biggest, pricklist, most hard and tough pine cone you can find.  The other should be flatten out by a car, maybe you will have to drive over it yourself if you can't find one on the road (or at least hit it with a hammer until flattened).

Hand the full, tough pine cone to your child.  "This pine cone grew way up on a tall branch of a beautiful pine tree.  He could see for miles and miles where he sat.  One day in a big windstorm he fell down, down, down to the ground with a crash.  Does he look hurt?  Not really, he is covered with hard scales that protect him from harm.  If you fell that far you would probably be really hurt, but not this pine cone, he is tough and built to be strong.  Can you feel how strong he is? Can you crush it with you hands? Not really.

After the fall, the pine cone was feeling very brave, he thought nothing could hurt him.  A little boy kicked him across the yard, no problem still no injuries.  He decided he was so tough he wanted to see the world.  He had seen big cars driving by when he was up in the tree and wanted to see them up close.  He rolled into the road...smash...(hand your child the flattened pine cone).  He was squished.  Even though he was so tough on the outside the car was much bigger and heavier and smashed him.  You might be bigger than the pine cone but your body is even softer and less tough.  It is important to stay out of the road unless you are holding my hand and we are watching for cars together.  I do not want you to be squished, it would be terrible and you would be really hurt."

I feel like when it is a safety issue sometimes you have to be graphic and strict on the rule.  This was an important rule to me and this visual worked really well.  For months afterward the boys would point out squished pine cones on the road, "Uh, oh, wait for mommy."


Diane said...

What a great object lesson! It is hard for kids to catch the vision of danger from cars - they ride in them all the time.

Stephanie Steele said...

I love it- just exactly what my boys need to hear. You are awesome! :-)

Burbs said...

I LOVE it!! I'm going to see if it will work for one of my grandsons! Love & miss you.

Jamie said...

Good idea!