Community helpers often get a bad rap. At the end of the day, community helpers take care of us.
I can hear Mr. Rogers now as he takes his shoes off and sings “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” So vividly, the thought practically brings tears to my eyes. How can one person impact the lives of so many young children? His message, especially this one, was always sincere, genuine and full of kindness. Sesame Street resonates the same theme with “Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?” with such sweetness and goodness that we have to smile and feel good about the idea of, and hopefully for most of us, the reality of “community”.
How to Teach Kids about Community Helpers
Such an important topic to bring home to children for a lot of reasons such as safety, thoughtfulness, understanding the way the world works (e.g. the mail doesn't just magically appear in our mailbox, someone actually delivers it). I try my best to always address the people in our neighborhood, wave, ask his or her name when possible and generally try to show my children that they should feel safe and that these people take care of us.
I was thrilled to see that Safari LTD created a “People” Toob, the perfect complement and tool to teach children about Community Helpers. So I jumped on the chance to own the Toob and use it for this very purpose – beginning the conversation about these community helpers, the people who take care of us. There are seven figures included in this Toob. I added our Farmer from the Down on the Farm Toob (the detail on this figure is remarkable!) because I think that person plays a key role in our community with a focus on eating locally and organically. We're lucky in Seattle to live near so many farms that grow food in healthy and sustainable ways for our environment. We are even luckier that we get to attend Farm School and visit these farms for pumpkin picking and harvesting.
My sons are in love with the figures included in Safari's People Toob. Their imaginations are running wild with ideas to incorporate with their People. Heartwarming to see such a simple product inspiring them so much. My 3 year old is asking me more specifically about how a latter gets to our home, for example, and how the people know how to build the buildings, not to mention, “where do they take the trash, mama?”
I believe having real experiences and moving our bodies is the best way to learn. With that idea in mind, here are some ideas on how to get to know the people in your neighborhood and to understand a bit more about how the world works:
- Take a field trip to the fire house
- Take a trip to a local farm
- Stop and watch a local construction site, study the machines
- Write a thank you note to a teacher
- Visit a post office, mail a letter, create your own stamp
- Watch the garbage and recycling trucks then visit a local library or the internet to read more on the process
- Find someplace to watch planes or visit a Museum of Aviation or Flight
- Find someplace to watch trains
- Ask to take a peak into the kitchen of a local restaurant
- Next plane ride, ask for a peak inside the cockpit. Maybe if he or she has time the pilot will indulge you and your child
- Attend your community's next “Safety Day“. Many communities host these events for children every year.
To go along with your Safari People Toob, here are some wonderful activity links to celebrate the People in Our Neighborhood:
- Fire Safety:Build a Firetruck from one of my favorite blogs Teach Preschool
- Animal Doctor: Set up your very own pretend play Vet Clinic by the adorable No Time for Flashcards
- Recycling:Recycling sort activities are easy to do and go a long way with giving children lifelong skills.
- Construction Worker:Construction Worker Pretend Play from Crayons and Freckles
- Doctor:Doctor Pretend Play
- You must check out these adorable Community Helper songs from Preschool Education.
- Community Helper Stick Puppets with FREE Printables from First Palette. I can't wait to do this one with my sons.
- Create a Community Helpers A-Z as did Ms. Leslie from Life in First Grade
- Create a Visual Aid to help your child understand how he is connected to the people in his community
- Community Helpers Matching Free Printable from Gwyn at OwensFamily-Gwyn.blogspot
- Go crazy and purchase these Community Helper Felt People from Hatch
- Make a Mailman or Mailwoman carrier toilet tube puppet with free printable from Making Learning Fun
- No Time for Flashcards has a great list of books about Community Helpers
Community Helper Books
Thank your for choosing to read this post today. Please leave a comment, I love hearing from you, and share this post with your social network. I hope that we inspired you today.
This post is brought to you by Safari LTD, where you can discover the frontiers of your imagination. They produce great products. Beyond their Toobs, Safari LTD offers amazing educational products across a variety of subject areas.So be good to them and go check out their products. You will be happy that you did it.