School holiday activities at Wollongong Botanic Garden will come with a timely message next week, as children learn how to stay safe in bushfires.
In the wake of the Illawarra's catastrophic fire conditions this week, a bushfire workshop, Fire Breathing Dragons, will teach kids aged three to 12 about fire-danger ratings, action plans and safe evacuation.
They will be treated to a "bushfire madness" play as well as a bushfire treasure hunt and crafts.
They will also have the chance to meet firefighters from the Rural Fire Service.
Education officer Michael Connor said the days were designed to raise awareness of fire safety for children and their parents.
"We just want them to be aware of the right thing to do now that this is the bushfire season - we haven't had fires in this region for some time so it's time to make sure we're prepared," he said.
"We will especially be looking at bushfire action plans ... where we teach them what to do with their pets and in their houses."
The importance of preparing kids for bushfires was highlighted by recent research from RMIT University's Dr Briony Towers, which showed involving children in making a bushfire action plan could be vital for their survival in a disaster.
Interviewing 140 children living in high-bushfire-risk areas, Dr Towers found those who helped develop their family's survival plan were more likely to have good knowledge about safety and survival.
The study also identified common bushfire misconceptions among children, including that they should wait until the fire reached their property, or that it was possible to outrun a bushfire on foot.
The workshop will be at Wollongong Botanic Garden from 10am-1pm Monday to Friday, and costs $8.50 per child or $16.50 per family.