Saturday, April 28, 2012

Firefighter Week

I'm sure we aren't the only ones will a little firefighter in our house, so why not take that passion and build upon it?!  The following  contains some great links to activity ideas, books, more information about firefighters, fire safety information, and some ideas from me.  Happy firefighter learning!

Sparky the Dog- This a great website for fun and information.  You can play games, print out coloring pages, look at different parts of the firetruck, and more.  When my son saw me checking out this page, he would not let me do anything else!  He loves it and he's 2. My oldest daughter is 7 and was jealous of his time on it so its good for several ages. 
DLTK's Fire Safety Section- This is a great place to start.  There are coloring pages, craft ideas, party hats, greeting cards, songs, rhymes, and links to addition sites.  Its great.
Bright Hub Education- More songs, crafts, obstacle course ideas, book recommendation, and more links to other sites.  The craft that you see right away is made from a paper towel roll and is of a fireman. If you follow some of their links though you can find a firetruck made out of an egg carton which looks fun too.
Little Giraffes- The thing I like most about this site is the snack idea- a firetruck made out of graham crackers, pretzels, and frosting.  There are other things too like songs, rhymes, crafts, games, etc.
Green Jell-O- While this is really a link to a Batman Birthday party, I liked the idea of rescuing people from the blocks of ice.  It could be a good way to pretend to be a firefighter- just use hot/warm water to free the people from the blocks of ice.  Perfect for the summer, right?
TippyToe Crafts- I love this Five Little Firefighters craft.  Use your child's hand print to make the firefighters!  The thing about these crafts is you can always adjust them to what you want to focus on- You can precut out shapes to glue on or have a shape drawn for them to cut out.  You could use lots of different textures or you can have them paint it all- whatever your focus needs to be, your time restraint, and patience of course!
Martha Stewart- Go to page 8 of this Carnival and you will find another game that would be perfect for a little firefighter in training!  Put some ping pong balls on top of pegs and squirt them off with water guns.  Another great summer activity!  Way not spray them at the end of the fun and get another game going!
Tangarang- You could go into a little map study as you talk about firefighters since they have to figure out where they are going to get to the fire. This link has a template that you can use to make a pirate map for the backyard. 

Those are all the links I'm going to share today because a lot of those links, link you up to more and soon you will have so many things to look at you won't know what to do!  Here's a couple of more ideas from me though:

Field trip- Schedule a tour at one of your fire stations.  The first year I did tours, we went to the one in our neighborhood.  It was a lot of fun but did you know that different stations have different firetrucks and focus on different things?  This year we are going to the one that has a ladder firetruck.  It will also be a much bigger fire station so can accommodate more people.  All you have to do to schedule a tour is get calling. I looked up fire stations in the phone book and started calling.  They were them able to direct me to a number that schedule tours.  It should be free but don't expect stickers or anything- budget cuts these days means there isn't any money for those fun freebies anymore.  Last time I got to dress up in all the firefighter gear which was tons of fun for me!  Go with a back up plan though in case they do get a call.
Thanks to the Firefighters- These people work so hard for so little.  Why not go drop off some Thank You cards or treats?  You can even try going to a couple or just be prepared when you go on a tour of the station.
Firefighter Museum- It seems there are a lot of these today and if not, often a children's museum will have a pretend firetruck to play on.  Go with clues and have your kids find the object or do a picture scavenger hunt to make it even more memorable. 
Fire Escape Plan- Obviously this is the perfect opportunity to go over with your family, your plan during a fire. Practice a couple of times during the week- planned and maybe one surprised and see how you all do.  You can have a timer and work on improving your time mapping it all out on a chart or just have check list so you make sure you are all remembering the most important things.  Draw your escape plans (A and B) and hang them up around the house in key points. 
Worksheets- They are lots of things that you can work into a worksheet with firefighting like how many miles is it to the fire and if they are going this fast, how long will it take.  Or take a piece of licorice and wind it up like a fire hose.  Then estimate how long it is and measure.  Print out a picture of a firetruck and have your child trace over it with colored glue or markers.  You get the idea. 
Masking Tape City Play- If you've been on Pinterest, you've probably seen this great idea- masking tape on the carpet and even the furniture.  My kids ended up making houses and swing sets to go all over the city too.  Then mark one spot as the fire station and depending on the age group play! For the younger set like mine above, they can just entertain themselves or just yell the words "Fire, fire!  Hurry, hurry!" The older ones may enjoy a little bit of a challenge to go along with some free play.  Give clues about where a fire is (like its north of the playground or its next to the grocery store) and see if they can find it.  Or grid the city with yarn and see if they can find the fire based on your coordinates. 
Playground- If you pick one that is close to a fire station, all the more fun!  My son loves one playground in particular to act out his fireman fantasies.  It has a red ladder to climb up and a pole to slide down.  Then we run underneath to some big poles and turn on the hose to put out the fire.  He even calls that playground his Firehouse. 
Obstacle Courses- I'm a big fan of physical activity and learning and I'm sure there are a dozen obstacle courses you can think of right now.  Why not let your kids design it as part of firefighter training?  Get out a few things that could be firefighter challenges first like cones to run around, a slide to climb up and go down, a stuffed animal to rescue, a water gun to put the tissue paper fire out, a trampoline to jump on.  Then let your kids choose the order.  After a while, I'm sure they will come up with some of their own great ideas to incorporate.
Firefighter Clothing- Craft time!  Buy a red shirt or jacket or hat or even boots.  Then decorate it them firefighter style.  You can find badges to copy online or design your own.  Use puff paint or even just permanent markers.  Just be sure to put a piece of cardboard or lots of newspaper inside the shirt or whatever so it won't bleed through.  Then wear it!  You can even have a parade.
House Fire Safety- Have your children help you check the house for fire hazards and get rid of them.  Check all the smoke detectors and make sure you have a fire extinguisher.  Go over how to put out small fires like grease fires or the rules of fire extinguishers. 
Books and Movies- Check out your library and see what fits your children. My family loves "Fireman Sam", a British cartoon.  I could kind of take a break from it right now but they are cute.  Each episode does not last too long so you can break it up a lot and use them whenever you need.  Here's a website to play games and listen to music with Fireman Sam.  There are so many to choose from though.  I like to order my online with my library then sort them and see what we will actually use. 

Have more thoughts, ideas, or reviews to share?  Please do!

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