A new free online farm safety game that children can play on smartphones, computers and tablets is the latest innovation in the quest to improve farm safety.
Industry body DairyNZ’s cowbassador, Rosie the Cow, has teamed up with WorkSafe and ACC to create Farm Rules!, an engaging way for primary school children to learn about the risks involved with certain farm activities and how to minimise or avoid them.
Farm Rules! has children avoiding surprise dangers while tackling the challenges of farm life. From driving tractors and avoiding cow pats, players learn how to navigate through challenges to win the most points.
With bright graphics and plenty of sneaky scenarios, players can become a farmer for a day moving cows, driving quad bikes and tractors, fixing broken fences and spraying gorse. They have to try and do all the farm work while avoiding surprise dangers.
The computer game is being rolled out as part of DairyNZ’s education programme for children.
DairyNZ’s brand marketing manager, Andrew Fraser, thinks the new game will encourage some interesting conversations between kids and their parents.
“We all know how our children very quickly challenge us based on what they have learnt or seen.
“Children do a lot of their learning online now and games are a great way of interacting with them about various issues. We think we’ll reach a lot of adults with a game like this in a roundabout kind of way.
“It will certainly raise awareness and create situations where the kids are advising their parents about what’s a risk and how to stay safe on a farm,” he says.
“It’s also a great way to entertain your kids while helping them learn about how to stay safe on a farm.”
Rosie is the cow character DairyNZ uses to help children learn about farming, cows and how milk is produced.
“She has her own Facebook page and visits schools and community events. She is the key educator in our schools programme where we provide a range of online resources for teachers that they can use in classrooms to teach everything from history to science to research skills.
“So far we’ve also had more than 5500 children visit dairy farmers as part of the Rosie’s World Find a Farmer programme and 900 parents have attended one of those farm visits too. This is the second computer game we have created and it all helps children, both urban and rural, to learn more about farming and how milk is produced,” Mr Fraser says.
The new Farm Rules! game can be played online at www.rosiesworld.co.nz and is also available as an app for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.