Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to wear a helmet 101

It seems like July has been the month for Helmet Safety. Not only did I help run the skills course for GRBC's annual helmet giveaway, but Jill and I also have taught a few bike safety classes to a summer camp for pre-kindergarteners. 

We had our last one this past Monday. I arrived WAY too early and entertained myself with helmet and safety selfies while I waited for Jill to arrive.
When Jill showed up we went to the classroom and found out that the kids were just finishing up their snacks. One of the teachers met us at the door and informed us that the class was a bit bigger then last time. "How big?" I asked. She smiled and answered that we would be teaching about 60 kids.  60 pre-kindergartners!!!!!!!

Instantly we were all...
Before we entered the room the teacher had the kids watch a short video on helmet safety. Then it was our turn. We were barely in the door when one of the little girls shouted out to Jill, "why is your bike yellow, pink and blue?"

It had already begun :-)

The first thing we covered was "things to watch out for when riding a bike." One little girl raised her hand and immediately blurted out "CARS!" We applauded. Then a boy raised his hand and shouted, "CARS!" We applauded again. Then the next 5 kids suggested bikes...like motorcycles. It was hilarious. The purpose of the summer camp is to get kids ready for kindergarten in the fall, so that they at least understand the concept of raising hands and listening to the teacher. Most of the kids understood that they had to raise their hands, but the whole waiting to be called on before talking thing went right out the window. So we basically had about 5-10 kids talking to us or to each other at all times. Which, in my opinion, isn't too bad since there were 60 in the room!

Jill showed everyone how to put a helmet on and then we tested them. They LOVED that.

Then we decided to do a drill we thought up (because we are geniuses) where the kids pretended to ride a bike by pedaling their hands. Every time we held up a stop sign they had to stop. It worked at first. But after the second time we held the stop sign up the kids thought it was more fun to keep "fake pedaling." Oops. They were all shouting and laughing...it was impossible to keep a straight face.

I decided to test them one more time about the whole helmet thing by putting my helmet over my face so that they could tell me if it was right or wrong.

Seeing me with a helmet over my face pushed them over the edge!!!

If you look at the kids faces every single one of them started laughing. At that laugh slowly turned into a joyful scream. This happened last year too and I was actually happy that Jill was there to witness it. It was kinda sorta awesome. And for one boy in the front it was JUST TOO MUCH TO HANDLE! He looked up at the ceiling, started shaking his head, and was screaming at the top of his lungs. That's the beauty of being a kid. There are so many times when I wish I could do that...but it probably wouldn't be as cute :-)

That was our signal to leave. I think we got the main message across (always wear a helmet) and once again I had a blast. It's amazing to see little kids process the information that you give them, and then hear the questions that they have. Half of the time the questions are completely unrelated to the subject that is being talked about but that's what makes it so much fun.

As always, I'm completely in awe of teachers and STILL firmly believe that you can never, ever, ever, ever pay them enough.

Now I'm off to Wausau for the Wausau 24. I'm racing 12-hour duo with T6 Brent and I can't wait. This past week was completely craptastic as I lost one of my aunts who I loved very much. She was one of my best friends growing up and my family is still reeling from it. I don't know how a week has gone by already but I am so ready for some serious dirt therapy. I basically packed on autopilot and I have a nagging suspicion that I am forgetting something huge. The good news is that I'll have a day to figure out what it is before the race.

Wausau 24...here I come!

No comments: