The Pillowcase Project

About The Pillowcase Project

It is estimated that natural disasters have affected approximately 250 million people worldwide every year in the last decade. More than half of those affected have been children (IFRC 2010).

The Pillowcase Project is an emergency preparedness education programme, initiated by the American Red Cross and funded by The Walt Disney Company. It is now happening in six other countries including the UK.

The project helps children aged 7–11 develop understanding, and the skills to cope with and respond to any weather-related emergency they may face. As part of the programme, children decorate an emergency ‘grab bag’ pillowcase with the items they would want to have with them in an emergency and take this home with them to share their learning with their family. This project has strong curriculum links; and many of the skills children learn as part of this project can be transferred to other areas of their learning and their lives; including skills such as: communication, coping and listening, problem solving and creative and critical thinking.

The Red Cross – 2017 (

What we’ve learned through The Pillowcase Project

As many of the Year Sixes are currently undertaking their three weeks of Early Risers, the remaining members of Quartz and Opal class have been kept busy undertaking The Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project.

We’ve learned all about what kinds of emergencies there are across the globe, including those which are more likely to affect us in the UK such as storms and flooding.

Lucky, fortunate, advantaged – we’ve come to realise how many challenges and natural disasters other nations have to live through and how lucky we actually are living in this country.

As well as this, we’ve discussed and evaluated what we might need to do in an emergency and what equipment/items we might need to help us cope in an emergency.

What did we have to do?

The first step in the process was to design our pillowcases. Careful and thorough, practical and important, we had to think about all the vital items we would need in any kind of emergency, such as:

  • water
  • clothes
  • food
  • a torch (and batteries)
  • medicine
  • a toy (for comfort)

After this, we made a start on the designing process…


Once we’d completed our designs on paper, we then had to be extra careful and transfer our designs onto our pillowcases.

We were really pleased with the finished result and here they are…


What we thought about The Pillowcase Project

“I really enjoyed The Pillowcase Project because we could let our imagination run wild and I learnt that floods are more likely to happen in the UK than any other natural disasters.” M – Opal Class.

“In The Pillowcase Project, I have learned that I must listen to news updates if there’s a chance of flooding. Also, ten years ago, there was major flooding in Sheffield which caused lots of damage.” – N, Quartz Class.

“I really liked doing The Pillowcase Project because we could design and create our own pillowcase. As well as this, I learned how to stay safe if flooding actually happened.” – O, Opal Class.

“What I liked the most about the project was that we learned many different events that bad, or even dangerous, weather can cause. At first, I didn’t have a clue what The Pillowcase Project was but now I know and I really enjoyed the project.” – S, Quartz Class.

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