The Safe Birdy Game
The object of the game is to train yourself and your family to have an eye out for everyday hazards. The reason I love this game is it gives rewards for having a careful eye, and “punishment” for being careless, but all in a fun and playful way that avoids yelling and guilt. It is especially great for homes with kids. It is a very flexible game, so tweak and adjust to best fit the personalities of the people around you. As long as everyone is getting in the habit of being careful, the game is working!
1.) Pick a small reward, such as small pieces of candy, stickers, quarters, etc. An alternate system could be to use a non-reward item such as paperclips or other tokens and whoever has the most at the end of the day gets a slightly larger reward, but still small such as an ice cream cone. If your family is a bit older and prefers higher stakes, you could come up with a “grand prize” at the end for the person who wins the most days. Ideally you will play the game for at least a couple of weeks, so keep that in mind when choosing a reward. We will use candy as an example. At the beginning of each day, pass out 5 pieces of candy to each person.
2.)Come up with a list of things that are a danger to your bird. Post your list of dangers in an obvious place. Include space to add more as you think of them. Here are some that I suggest.
-Ceiling fan on
-Dog, cat, or other pet wandering around
-Cooking on the stove
-Leaving a door open
-Burning candles or turning on wax warmers
-Opening the door to guests while the bird is out
3.) Place a toy bird (or other representation of a bird) in the cage where your bird will stay. Take it out of the cage in the morning, and treat your home as if it were a real bird. When the bird is out, the family needs to avoid doing the dangerous things. Each person tries not to do them, but also tries to CATCH other people doing them. When one person catches another person doing a dangerous thing such as letting the cat roam around in the room with the bird, the person who catches gets to take one of the pieces of candy from the person they caught doing the dangerous thing. At the end of the day, tally up who has the most pieces, and they win!