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November 19, 2014


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One of my favorite signs ever was in a children's museum gift shop: Unattended children will be given a large bag of cotton candy and a puppy.
Got the point across in a fun manner. I did not notice any unsupervised children!

Lisa Mutchler

What a fun exercise! Here's my revision:

"Ship Rules"

Please make sure a parent or guardian is around.

If you're between 2 years old and 12 years old, come play!

Be careful of loose cords, belts, ties or ribbons from clothing or hats.

Please keep your shoes on at all times.

Please enjoy food or drink at the picnic tables, not on the ship.

Play safely and kindly- please don't run, push, or shove.

Please climb on the ship only, not the trees.

And most of all, have fun!!

Finally, I would add in fine print at the bottom that the property owners are not liable for any injury- kids don't need to know about that, just litigious parents:)

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Patty, wonderful example! Thank you for sharing it.


Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lisa, nice! I like what you have done. Your rules have a very positive, welcoming feeling with expressions such as "come play," "enjoy," and "kindly."

Below is my version. I thought about the parents and guardians of the children and decided to try another approach, including some hints that would help them manage the children's behavior.

I don't think I achieved the goal of making safety sound fun. But I may have succeeded in helping the adults by giving reasons for some of the rules.

Captain’s Rules for Safe Fun
• Play here if you are 2-12 years old.
• Have an adult or guardian with you.
• Take off ties, ribbons, and loose clothes that might get caught on the ship.
• Keep your shoes on. The ship can scrape bare feet.
• Eat and drink at the picnic tables, not the ship. Sticky decks attract bees.
• Play nicely. The captain does not allow running, pushing, or shoving.
• Climb on the ship, not on the trees.
Have fun!

I'm going to sit with this for a day and decide about changes.


Marcia Yudkin

This reminds me of a sign in my local drugstore:

Shoplifters here will be given a free ride... to the town lockup, courtesy of our local officers.

Something like that, at least. It sure made me laugh the first time I saw it. A friendly tone for a stern message.

Marcia Yudkin

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Thanks, Marcia. I like the free ride.


Mades Meas

In Cambodia, sometimes we say this to unattended children's parents..."Parents of unattended kid shall have a free cup of tea with the principal (captain)" In our culture, having a tea with a top-ranking person meaning being punished or receiving disciplinary measures.

Hope this makes sense to you all...

Mades MEAS

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

That's a wonderful example. Thanks for sharing it, Mades Meas.


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