FireSmart’s Back-to-School Resources for Kids

The back-to-school season can be a stressful period for parents. While summer holidays may be officially over, the first week of school is often a slow one—a time for kids to meet their teachers and classmates, settle into a new class, and ready themselves for the challenges of the semester ahead. 

Before extra curricular activities start up and teachers begin to assign homework, there’s a good chance your children will have some free time and be looking for ways to beat the boredom. Fortunately, FireSmart BC has developed plenty of fun (and free!) games and activities to keep them entertained and get them FireSmart before school is back in full swing.

How FireSmart is helping kids fight wildfires

It’s natural for children to feel powerless in the face of wildfires. But as the next generation who will be taking care of this place we call home, they also have an important role in creating a more resilient province now and in the future. That’s why it’s critical for younger generations to start learning about wildfire preparedness today.

FireSmart BC offers a long list of proven methods that empower people to protect themselves and those around them. Everything about what we do is aimed at reducing the impacts of wildfires. Because, let’s face it, a lot is at stake: lives, livelihoods, properties, and our forests. So we’re doing all that we can to encourage people to take sensible steps to protect themselves and others, and we believe the best way to do that is by spreading prevention awareness to adults and children alike.

Research shows that children absorb and retain knowledge better when the delivery includes engaging visual aids, like mascots—remember the U.S. Forest Service’s ‘Smokey Bear’? For that reason, we designed Ember the FireSmart Fox. She puts a cute and cuddly—but also alert and adaptable—face on FireSmart’s messages of awareness and resilience, teaching kids the steps they can take to protect themselves and their neighbours.

Ember’s Den

At Ember’s Den, kids can learn all about wildfire prevention, and have loads of fun doing it, through games, activities, and other resources, like:

  • Ember’s Story Video: Meet Ember, the FireSmart Fox, and see how she helps the people in her community stay FireSmart.
  • Ember’s FireSmart Colouring Book: Ember visits homes to show families her favourite FireSmart tips and teach them how to keep their property and neighbourhoods safe from wildfire. This colouring book is great for ages 4-8 and is available in both English and French.
  • FireSmart Kid’s Home Assessment: Parents and children can take this quick assessment together to see how at-risk their home would be if there was a nearby wildfire, while at the same time learning what they can do to improve its resiliency.
  • Ember Word Search Game and FireSmart Matching Game: Designed to teach kids the FireSmart basics.
  • FireSmart BC Library Program: The first children’s literacy program dedicated to wildfire resiliency. It was designed to help children understand what it means to live with wildfires and the role they can play in mitigating its impacts on their home and community. This program includes both digital and physical resources, like materials for a colouring content, Ember activity packages, and Wildfire Resiliency Literacy Kits (a collection of books and activities that explore the topic of wildfire preparedness and resiliency, as well as a bookmark and Storytime videos featuring Ember).

As you and your children navigate the transition from summer to school, consider using this time as an opportunity to explore Ember’s Den together. In doing so, you’ll not only help reduce the impacts of future wildfires, but also give your kids the practical tools needed to care for their homes and communities for generations to come.

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