Tuesday, February 5, 2013

{Ten for Tuesday} Things That Go Series - Week #6 - Community Helpers

My Ten for Tuesday: Things That Go Series has been one of my favorites with Trains, Cars, Trucks, Buses and Boats, and a Christmas themed edition, but the series did get put on hold a bit with the holiday season and such. Now, though, I am happy to resume it with all things fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and more with a Things That Go dedicated to Community Helpers, with a major emphasis on Emergency Services Vehicles, which most little ones seem to love. I am glad to be back with this fun series and ten ways to learn, play and create that are inspired by community helpers. Also, if you love all things that go - please follow my Things That Go! Pinboard too!

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
4. Learn ABOUT Community Helpers - Books help with this too, but it also useful to be interactive with children to help them understand what various community helpers do. Crayon Freckles recently shared a sorting post she did focused on what community helpers do. She used the Safari Ltd. People at Work TOOB, but we have done something similar using stickers or you could do the same idea with construction paper vehicles and items you made yourself with the child matching which vehicles go with what item and helper. 

Image from Crayon Freckles
 5. Creative Pretend Play/Role Play - I absolutely love this Dino Rescue Water Sensory Play Activity that Glittering Muffins did. It includes a water boat rescue and Fireman Sam. Play like this encourages imagination and further helps children understand what various community helpers do. This activity she featured also made me think that it would be a good way to introduce children to the Coast Guard or Lifeguards as well - even more community helpers to add into the mix. No Time Flash Cards also has a useful post for using Pretend Play to ease fears and anxieties, particularly about doctor appointments and hospital stays. We also had some fun fireman pretend play in the backyard when we made our Cardboard Fire Truck using simply a water bottle and the wagon. 

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!
We are also planning to take heartprints to the volunteers who pass out food in our community on Wednesday as part of a food pantry/bread day each week, which helps (often) 70+ families in our little town. Glittering Muffins has an annual tradition of thanking public servants/community helpers and I always find the post so inspiring! They deliver to EMT workers, firefighters and police officers in their community. Oh - nurses are also important community helpers, and a friend of mine who is a nurse shared that one teenage patient wrote a song to thank his nurses and sent them the video of him performing it. How cool is that?!

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
Sharing at: Tuesday Tots, Tot School Tuesday, Artsy Play Wednesday, Read.Explore.Learn, The Sunday Showcase, Mom
's Library.

More from the Things That Go Series: 

Train Play + Learn!
Trucks Play + Learn!
Cars Play + Learn!


  1. Great round up! Thanks for including ours :)

  2. Wonderful collection of books and activities!

  3. I love how you make celebrating hometown heroes so much fun! Thanks for including me!

  4. I love the ambulance book basket for injured books. What an awesome idea!

  5. What a wonderful round up! I love the bookmobile! We have big dump truck that would make a wonderful bookmobile.

  6. I really enjoy this series on your blog! I thought that book ambulance was brilliant, too!

  7. Also, you header looks AMAZING. Love the way it turned out!!!

  8. Your cardboard ambulance turned out really cute!

  9. Adorable cardboard vehicles, and a great round up of things that go! Thanks for linking to Mom's Library!

  10. I will be sharing this post on the Read.Explore.Learn. Facebook page and Pinterest board.

  11. Love these ideas! Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Showcase. :)