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Preschool Activities: Community Helpers

written by: Keren Perles • edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi • updated: 3/2/2012

Firefighters, police officers, and mail carriers – the models that preschoolers look up to. Use these activities to teach preschoolers why these people are actually so important, as well as what it's like to be one of them.

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    Not sure how to arrange a community helper theme in your preschool class? These activities will give you some great ideas on teaching students about careers and community helpers in their neighborhood.

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    Mail Carriers

    Apply glue around three sides of a piece of construction paper, and attach it to another paper to make a pouch. Add a hole in each top corner, and thread yarn through the bag to create a mail bag. Let each student decorate a mail bag. Then have students write (draw) letters to each other, and give their letters to a different “mail carrier” to deliver.

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    Doctors/Nurses

    Make lab coats for children using a pillowcase. Starting from a short edge, make two parallel cuts about two-thirds of the way up the pillowcase. Then cut outwards on both sides, leaving materials that looks like a capital “T.” Let children decorate their lab coats. Put the coats in a corner of the room along with a toy stethoscope and other doctor/nurse supplies, as well as a variety of dolls and stuffed animals. Encourage students to examine their dolls and stuffed animals and to make them feel better.

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    Firefighters

    Gather some large paper bags, and cut holes in the sides to make a “firefighter’s jacket.” Give children red art supplies, such as markers, crayons, sequins, buttons, yarn, and ribbon to use to decorate their jackets. Then take them outside, and have each of them use chalk to draw a different color “flame” on the ground. Give each child a squirt bottle filled with water, and instruct each student to squeeze the bottle to put out the “fire” that is a specific color. For example: “Carla, can you put out the orange fire?”

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    Construction Workers

    Let the children be construction workers for a day by building their own playhouse! Put a box from a large appliance in the middle of the room, and ask the children to design the house – where should the windows go? Where should the door go? What color should the house be? Tell children that they will each get part of the house to decorate. Cut the windows and doors out of the house while the children are deciding what they will draw on their portion of the house. Use a pencil to gently mark the area that each child should decorate. Then give the children art supplies and let them loose!

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    Involving Parents

    As is true with most preschool activities, involving parents is important. Send home a brown bag to parents with a note asking them to give their child some items that relate to their work. The next day, have the child show the class the items in the bag and explain the items to the class. This is a great way to end your community helper theme for preschool.

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    Benefits

    These activities provide an outlet for artistic or creative children, and they help them relate to the larger world around them. The activities in this community helpers theme also get children active. You’ll see students become even more interested in community helpers, and they might even become excited about what their parents do!