1. Read - There are many great books about community helpers ranging from books that feature fire trucks and ambulances, books that teach kids about police officers and such, and books that help kids understand and prepare for situations, such as being at the hospital or seeing the doctor. In addition to the ones featured in my collage, No Time for Flash Cards has a great post with Books About Emergency Workers. She also has a post featuring 20 books about fire fighters, and I love this post from JDaniel4's Mom on Fire Safety Books, and we previously shared a round-up of Fire Truck books too.
I also have to share a post from Pragmatic Mom on Librarians as Superheroes, in which she highlights books about librarians because I think librarians are also important community helpers. Plus, since our weekly library happens to be a bookmobile - for us librarians also are part of Things That Go! So, here is a bonus book that is on Pragmatic Mom's list, and our bookmobile pretend play adventures.
2. Visits/Outings - The Fire Station always seems to be the most exciting place for little ones to visit. The mom group I was a part of arranged a visit for us and most fire stations are happy to arrange visits for children and their parents. Our visit did not go quite as well as I would have liked because of an impatient 2 year-old, but it helped me learn to roll with the punches and have patience and to do better next time in preparing him for what the visitation process would be like.
3. Creative Learning Activities - Using cool vehicles as part of the learning process can engage learners and excite them about the activity. No Time for Flash Cards shared an activity focused on counting and writing that uses fire trucks. Similar ideas could be done with any types of emergency services vehicles. Additionally, these vehicles would also work well for young children learning their colors as they group vehicles by color - for inspiration check out this post from Crayon Freckles, which features several learning activities through Garbage Truck play (garbage collectors are very important community helpers!). Incorporating learning about shapes works well too through shape trucks, such as the shape fire truck we featured in our Activities for Fire Prevention Week post.
|Image from No Time for Flash Cards|
|Image from Crayon Freckles|
6. Make Cardboard Vehicles - You just saw our firetruck from a cardboard box. Via The Golden Gleam, you can see how to make a really cool ambulance using a cardboard box - thanks to a guest post that Taming the Goblin did -- I would also check out this Cardboard Mania post from Taming the Goblin for lots of creative cardboard creations!
7. Snack Time! If you love having creative fun with snack time, lunches and more, you have to check out JDaniel4's Mom - she always has so many cool ideas for keeping mealtime (and snack time) fun, and her graham cracker fire truck is just another yummy example of this.
8. Create a Sensory Experience - We created a fun Fire Sensory Bin. This bin provided lots and lots of fun playtime for both Wild Thing and Caterpillar, who particularly liked playing with the orange shreds in it.
9. Say Thank You - Teach Kindness - We love 100 Acts of Kindness, a challenge from Toddler Approved and this week the specific challenge is from Teach Preschool and it is to Share a Heartprint. Who better to share your heartprints with than Community Helpers, which could be firefighters, police, nurses, doctors, EMTs, or also your librarian, garbage collector, mail delivery person, or any other person that you consider important to your community. I know they would just love this! We made some granola hearts recently, and I am thinking we may have to make a couple more batches to give to our community helpers this week!
|I found this mold at a yard sale for 50 cents!|
10. Just Play - As always, I wrap each Things That Go post up with this this idea -- just let the kids play!! We got our wooden emergency vehicle toys in the dollar section at Target and at a yard sale, so I think total I have spent $4 and they provide lots of fun and encourage the boys to use their imaginations.
Oh -- one last thing -- I have to share this Book Ambulance from Growing Book by Book as a clever way to teach children to treat their books well and as a special place to put books while they are waiting to be fixed. This would be useful at home, but particularly useful in a classroom. Love it.
|Image from Growing Book by Book|
More from the Things That Go Series:
|Train Play + Learn!|
|Trucks Play + Learn!|
|Cars Play + Learn!|