Preschool classroom safety rules should include walking rather than running, cleaning up after oneself, washing hands, being gentle with other children and following instructions. Rules for preschoolers should be kept short and positive. Preschoolers cannot remember more than three to five rules, and they tend to understand rules better if they are accompanied by visual aids.
Preschoolers should be taught that running is only for outside, perhaps through telling them to use "walking feet" or "quiet feet." Because children easily trip or slip on scattered toys, water or craft supplies, a cleanup rule should be established and followed whenever children finish any activity. Washing hands is crucial to keeping children from spreading germs and dirt; kids should wash their hands when they arrive at school, before they eat and after they finish messy activities.
Teaching children to use "gentle hands" is part of helping them to learn social rules regarding personal space and respect, and this helps avoid physical fights or hitting in the classroom. If children are taught to follow the teacher's directions, they learn to listen for specific safety instructions pertaining to different classroom activities.
Rules for preschoolers should be stated in the shortest, clearest ways possible. Preschoolers are still learning how to understand negative statements such as "don't," so preschool rules should be phrased in terms of what children should do rather than what they should not do. "Do pick up toys" is more effective than "do not make a mess."