The Pillowcase Project
Help children understand, cope with and respond to weather-related emergencies that could happen in their community; and build transferable skills they could use in many situations.
- Teaching package, images, videos
- Geography, PSHE
- Disasters and emergencies
In this emergency preparedness resource, children learn about weather emergencies and how they can affect people; develop and practise coping skills; and have the option to decorate an emergency “grab bag” pillowcase with the items they would want to have with them in an emergency. They then take the pillowcase home with them to share their learning with their family.
Activities include films, worksheets, photographs, role-play and scenario cards, signs, presentations, factsheets, checklists and emergency planning documents to take home. Children will also gain skills such as: communication, decision making, problem solving and creative and critical thinking.
“The Pillowcase Project is a great way to get children thinking about what they would do if they were affected by severe weather, so they can be prepared for its potential impacts."
Derrick Ryall, Head of Public Weather Service at the Met Office
“No one can predict what’s around the corner, which is why emergency preparedness education is particularly important. The Pillowcase Project provides important preparedness tools, helping children around the UK understand what emergencies might affect them, as well as learning key skills to help them to cope and safely respond if an emergency happens.”
Simon Lewis, Head of UK Emergency Planning and Response, British Red Cross
- learn about the types of weather emergencies they might face in the UK
- discuss how to prepare for an emergency
- practise how to safely respond to and cope in an emergency
- share what they have learned with their friends and family to increase community resilience.
1. Introduction and warm-ups
Introduce the Pillowcase Project, the Red Cross and weather emergencies.
2. Weather emergencies
Learn about these weather emergencies, why they happen and the effect they have on people.
Weather emergencies covered include:
- winter weather
There is also a fact sheet on travel preparedness.
3. Coping skills
Interactive coping skills for children to feel calmer when faced with an emergency, and discussions about how they could use these skills in other settings.
4. Put learning about weather emergencies and coping skills into practice using active learning activities. The resource covers the following weather emergencies:
- winter weather
5. Children share what they have learned at school with friends and family through activities, such as the option to create and decorate an emergency grab bag (pillowcase), creating displays and taking emergency preparedness information and communication plans home to complete with their families.
The image of children decorating their pillowcases © Tim Mossford/BRC.