This is great card for Spring! When Spring has sprung, all living things come out to enjoy the sunshine.
Our children are not the only ones that need to think about snakes, parents do as well! There is probably more play time outside with mom or dad. Sometimes our children are right next to us, and sometimes we see them from afar.
We discuss if anyone has ever seen a snake, this helps me know their interpretation of snakes and if they have a pet snake or if they know someone with a pet snake. Anytime a pet (snake or dog) is involved, I add to the discussion that there is a difference between a pet that is yours and an animal that is not.
My questions are always, would you touch it? Would you pick it up? Is it real or fake (a play toy) and are your sure? Is it poisonous or a good snake.
Their answers, along with helpful hints, guide us along the journey of the ultimate right answer....get away and get an adult. Personally, I am a believer that all creatures have a place on this earth and you do not kill snakes unless they are poisonous and can get to my dogs or family. I don’t share this bit of info with the kids because I don’t want to cause confusion. So my "go to" is to always get an adult.
Points to discuss:
-Be cautious of holes in the ground.
-I talk about Bees here too. Using a personal family experience from when my 4 year old brother covered a yellow jacket joke with a board and then took it off. EKKKKK!
-Respect nature/wild animals. This kind of covers my "don’t kill snakes rule", but I use it as a general conversation.
-Poisonous/bite. For the younger kids that I work with, I usually go with that "snakes are poisonous until our parents/adult deem them safe". Some of the 9-10 year olds already have some knowledge on identifying snakes, and based off of what they say, we discuss further.
***I have 5-10 "go to" cards in the Smart Choices Image Card deck. As of late, most of my students have been between the ages of 4 and 10. I like to think ahead so I usually pull a secondary set of images to prepare for conversations they may be come in handy to think outside of what my original plans are.
The process in which I teach, plus the images, are approved by the parents/grandparents. I like to ask the parents before our meeting where THEY see a concern and they almost all say "firearms". It’s not until I show them my pre selected stack of cards that ”light bulb” goes off, and the realization that they are not guiding their children through as many opportunities as they thought.
Shelley is the creator of Smart Choices, a public speaker, and a supporter of THINKING AHEAD. Smart Choices BLOG is a mixture of stories, Q & A interaction, new thought provoking ideas, guest BLOGS/videos, and MORE!