Safety is child’s play

2017-12-19 06:00
Fayrooz Johnson from Grassy Park.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Fayrooz Johnson from Grassy Park.PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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A new board game is making the rounds among students at local schools across the Mother City. Grassy Park resident Fayrooz Johnson, who is the brains behind the Play It Safe educational game, says that with more boards circulating, it could help more families introduce safety to their children. The game comes in levels and has already made its way to various primary and high schools.

Johnson says Play it Safe promotes all aspects of a child’s safety and has proven to be well liked and stimulating. It also imparts valuable life skills essential to the day-to-day survival of the youth, who are challenged by a volatile world. She say the game is known to open up new avenues for stimulating and fruitful discussions between players and parents, teachers and students, leading to dialogue on subjects that would otherwise have been neglected.

Some of the topics covered in the board game include child abuse, kids against crime, emergency numbers, fire safety, road safety, water safety and home safety.

“The game aims to empower the obvious victims with the knowledge and the life skills to cope with their own survival, as well as being instrumental in helping us. There are not many safety apps for kids, and this game could be great for the household and school,” she ­explains.

“The game is based on statistics according to what we have in our community. The situation as it is, is not very encouraging. If you as a parent or teacher can sit down with the child, they would be able to understand the game better. The game also has a reward system where the child gets a chocolate for every correct answer.”

Johnson says she designed the board game while living in the townships of Cape Town.

“During this time, I worked as a teacher at a local madrassa for 12 years. There were a lot of children with problems and lots of questions came from them. I accumulated all the questions and assigned them to be answered in the game,” she says.

“I didn’t have the courage to lay it out into a proper board game at that time. In 1998 I submitted it to a community newspaper and they published it. But I only decided now, after all this time, to make it into a proper game when I introduced the full board game to children in 2016.”

The board game comes in levels and children can expect new issues to be dealt with stage by stage.

“I created Play It Safe 1 and Play It Safe 2, which are designed for different ages. The game is designed to accommodate children up to the age of 15 years or older and is divided into a junior and senior category. It includes accident prevention across a board spectrum, crime prevention, child abuse, as well as children’s rights,” she explains.

“Questions are posted regarding a situation and kids have to choose the correct answer from a variety of options posted on the card. The answers are found on the bottom of the card. There are questions that cover very sensitive issues and therefore adult supervision is needed.”

Johnson calls on local organisations and schools to look into the game with the hopes of raising awareness around issues affecting the youth of today. She also hopes to implement safety among children from a young age and calls on parents to test the game in this ­regard.

V For more information, call Fayrooz Johnson on 079 722 7092.

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