Situational awareness is basically being aware of surroundings and the possible effects that any new seen or unforeseen incident can bring about in life. The incidents may occur suddenly or unknowingly and that could cause serious damage to oneself and others too. Being aware and prepared for the same is important for kids, teenagers, and adults.
For organizations, this entails being aware of the surroundings, any potential threats, and the placement and duties of the staff. By paying more attention to their surroundings, individuals can lessen the possibility of themselves in danger while also keeping themselves out of it. While situational awareness is an important concept, it is difficult to teach this without practical inclusion.
In such cases, situational awareness activities and games play an important role in teaching this concept. Given below are some situational awareness activities that can help individuals and businesses understand the core problems and help them find solutions for different situations. These activities are easy to conduct and can be used in changing surroundings as well.
Efficacious activities to teach alertness to students
Situational awareness is an important aspect of everyday life. However, significant activities, just like other tools such as books and apps help individuals make understand situational awareness in the most appropriate manner. Check out activities that can be conducted for kids, teens as well as adults.
1. How is the Touch?
Every child should be first taught the difference between a good touch and a bad touch. When children understand different touches and situations, they become more aware of their own selves too.
- To conduct this activity, take the help of different pictures that depict good touch and bad touch
- Now, divide the participants into groups of 2 members each
- Ask them to write Good Touch and Bad Touch on a flashcard
- As you show the pictures, let each participant get an opportunity to show the flashcard that matches their understanding of good touch and bad touch
While this activity is directed toward children, various other activities can also be introduced to adults. The activity teaches them to be aware and stay alert considering different situations.
2. What’s Next?
Situational awareness is an important factor when considering what happens next. It instills a sense of understanding when individuals gain confidence about their next step.
- To conduct this activity, make different chits and put them in a bowl
- These chits should have different situations where participants answer about their next step
- For example, the chits can have the following questions:
- If you were supposed to choose one best friend out of two, what would you do?
- If you are stranded on an island with your friend, what’s the first thing you would do?
- If you do not like your friend’s behavior, what would you do?
- Now, ask participants to pick chits and let them openly express their views
Situational awareness is not just about physical situations but also about emotional and mental situations. It is important for individuals to be aware of their emotions and act in an appropriate manner in the physical world.
3. The Mega Interview
An interview is one of the effective ways to build the quality of situational awareness. With an interview, individuals get an opportunity to face different questions curated with unique pointers.
- To conduct this activity, make a set of different questions and list them on a paper
- Ask participants to dress according to an interview
- Now, take a one-on-one interview where you ask different questions that put them into different situations
- For example, these can be the questions
- How will you treat others if you fail in a team?
- How do you define success if you have not contributed entirely to the project?
- Put them into different situations and hear their thoughts
Critical thinking is an important aspect of situational awareness and this activity exactly triggers it. It also opens the mind to different perspectives in a particular situation.
4. Captain Of the Ship
It is evidently important to take leadership and also be aware of the different situations that a leader has to face. Whether it is about sharing responsibilities or aligning tasks, situational awareness helps in various ways.
- To conduct this activity, convert the activity area into a problematic situation
- Now, participants need to navigate well to find feasible solutions
- Divide the participants into 4 members each
- Here, place different obstacles in the room to make them reach the final destination
- After this, choose one person as the captain for the game who is responsible to guide others with reference to different tasks
- To reach the destination, the captain should make sure that all participants get an equal chance to complete tasks
With such an activity, individuals get an idea about how to deal with different situations in any setting. This activity can be conducted for kids as well as adults and tasks can be modified accordingly.
5. What Belongs Where?
Situational awareness is all about understanding the place of different equipment in the aspect of safety. This activity focuses on identifying different types of elements to create awareness.
- To conduct this activity, consider different places including an office, school, or even a mall
- Now, in the play area itself, place different safety equipment
- Turn by turn, ask students to spot equipment as per the questions asked by you
- For example, these can be the questions
- Where will you go if the fire breaks out?
- Where shall you go in case of an earthquake?
- Whom should you approach in case of a health issue?
- Let individuals spot the equipment or answer the question with their understanding
An understanding of the environment enables individuals to be aware while also staying alert in different situations. It prepares them for fire breakout or any other hazardous times.
6. Travel Plan!
Traveling anywhere takes a lot of planning and plotting. Right from booking the stay to deciding the places to visit, it does take analysis and awareness of different situations.
- To conduct this activity, ask participants to choose their favorite destination
- Now, ask them to plan a 5-day journey to the destination
- Ask them to research weather conditions, places to visit, safety precautions, adventure activities, and other cultural differences
- Now, ask them to make 2 different columns – Positive and Negative
- Here, they need to write the positive and negative points about the place
- After this, invite an open discussion about the negative situations and how they can overcome it
Situational awareness is enhanced when individuals get an opportunity to analyze the negative side of any situation. It also makes them creative while testing their thinking capacities.
7. Pictures, Who are You?
Situational awareness is significant when individuals are able to identify something that is right in front of them. This activity focuses on different pictures of objects that individuals see and remember in a short span of time.
- Take different pictures of objects and place them under a towel
- The pictures can include spoons, knives, bullets, toy guns, erasers, hammers, and pens
- You can also include more pictures of objects depending on the environment
- After this, uncover the towel for 30 seconds
- Let individuals categorize the pictures into safe and unsafe after 30 seconds
When individuals learn to identify safe and unsafe, they can easily set themselves safe in any given environment. It also enables their analytical thinking skills.
8. Who Did What?
Nonverbal cues play an important role in situational awareness. It is the nonverbal gesture that makes an individual aware of the other person’s intentions.
- To conduct this activity, write down different tasks
- Put the written tasks in a bowl and give one to each individual
- For example, these tasks can be the following:
- Show anger
- Display appreciation
- Act like you are happy with the work but accepting it
- Now, the task here is to perform the tasks without speaking
- Individuals have to act simply through nonverbal gestures and other players have to guess what is being enacted.
Nonverbal communication is an important aspect of understanding the human mind. Anger, love, and uninvited gestures also stand strong in the case of situational awareness.
Situational awareness: Why it matters
Situational awareness is an important aspect of everyday human life, and this life skill also has many real-life and practical examples. Kids as well as adults are more likely to meet different situations and work with different people. Being situationally aware matters a lot for personal as well as overall safety. Certain points that are given below highlight why situational awareness matters in daily routine.
- Situational awareness helps individuals become aware of their surroundings thereby eliminating any personal or work-related risk. It also helps one anticipate the future by carefully observing the processes
- Situational awareness reduces unexpected consequences and improves overall quality, which reduces risk. Gaining situational awareness enables leaders to see key touchpoints immediately, improve individual engagement, and mitigate unforeseen problems.
- Error detection and prevention are one of the main goals of situational awareness. Similarly to this, situational awareness can support organizational and team-level continuous improvement on two levels.
While situational awareness becomes more evident in teams and organizations, it is equally important for kids, teens, and adults. Only when one is aware of the consequences can one react appropriately.
Employing these activities is easy and fun for individuals to learn. Alongside this, teachers can also use quotes to motivate and encourage students to be aware of the situations. With such activities, one can learn patience and observational skills. Hence, whatever is demonstrated and taught, should make individuals feel positive and protected and not create fear. Situational awareness activities boost confidence and help individuals stay alert.
Teaching self-awareness, as well as situational awareness, makes individuals have a positive attitude and grow their problem-solving skills. Individuals imbibe the ability to deal with various situations at any given point in time. Moreover, it allows them to take the necessary steps and be observant always.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,