Tips on how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 pandemic

Learn about online safety through play

eSafety has teamed up with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and the Australian Federal Police to produce a collection of play-based online safety activities, called Playing IT Safe.

The Playing IT Safe resources are designed for educators and families of young children.

They include more than 20 hands-on online safety activities that educators can set up for young children as part of their everyday learning experiences. 

The Playing IT Safe website also contains information for parents and carers about starting online safety conversations with their under 5s, as well as three online games that can be played together to support these family discussions.

Educators and families can use the Playing IT Safe resources as practical opportunities to teach children about eSafety’s four key messages.

Examples include:

Be safe

Educators will find many activities to help children understand digital toys and devices and how being digitally connected is useful, but also how it can have risks. 'Share that Photo!' is a great online game — educators can suggest parents/carers and children play it together, to spark conversations about how photos and information are shared online.

Be kind

Playing IT Safe provides many activities for children to practice taking their kind and caring behaviour from the real world to an online environment, including 'Sharing our digital things' and 'How do I feel when?'. Activities such as 'Taking a photo' can encourage discussions about seeking consent.

Ask for help

The non-digital 'Classroom pop-ups' activity helps young children learn about what to do when pop-ups appear online. Educators can suggest families play the online game 'Who can help?' so children understand who they should go to when something unexpected happens while they are playing on digital technology.

Make good choices

Educators can use the 'Pre-school Technology Plan' to start the discussion about rules for the use of digital technology. This can be extended at home by families playing the 'Family Technology Plan' game and using eSafety’s own Family Tech Agreement

Learn more

Families and educators can access these free resources now at the Playing IT Safe website.

Educators can also gain a deeper understanding of online safety concepts for early years and access many more practical resources in eSafety’s free Professional Learning Modules.