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This has to be one of the most fun lessons that I’ve ever done with Jack. Ever.
*I’m the fireman fire f-fireman (I uh I) got that fire…*(sirens blare, Lil Wayne bumps in the background, lights flash red and blue from the ceiling, I’m getting down while double fisting drinks on the dance floor)*
…welp I guess that’s about the closest I’m getting to the club for a long time… oh well. At least I have the mood set for a good time. Ready to turn up preschool style? Let’s get down to learning business.
You can do this activity outside with a hose or inside the bathtub with a shower hose or even a spray bottle. I implemented the lesson with Jack outside last fall and he loved it so much that we’re doing it again. There’s nothing wrong with repeating lessons-that’s part of the beauty of preschool. During a lesson, observe your child to assess what concepts they do and do not grasp. If you notice that some concepts were not mastered but the lesson was enjoyed, go ahead and repeat it! As Lil’ Wayne put it, “I don’t think life is about a pace, living slow or fast…” Let those kiddos learn at their own pace!
The second time around, spend some extra time on the concepts that were most difficult. I found that Jack didn’t have a firm grasp on all the prepositional phrases, so I thought that it would be valuable to revisit them, especially, “in the middle” and “in between”. This activity was such a blast so I knew it would be perfect for a repeat lesson!
Firefighter Rescue: Prepositional phrases, fine motor skills, writing
- Washable markers (linked)
- book, Firefighters by Norma Simon (linked)
- white coffee filters
- cheap shaving cream
- toy fire truck (optional, ours linked-love it because it’s safe for 1 yr olds and made from recycled plastic)
- firefighter dress up clothes (optional, our cute set linked-I love Melissa and Doug products)
Using washable markers, draw 5 fires on 5 separate white coffee filters. Go to a spot outside that is ok to get wet, or if you are completing the activity inside, go to a bathtub or shower, and tape the fires onto a vertical surface, one in the middle and the rest surrounding it.
- Read aloud, Firefighters written by Norma Simon. Before you begin the book, prompt your child, “Make sure that you listen carefully for different jobs that firefighters have.”
- When the book is finished, ask your child, “What are some of the jobs that firefighters have?”
- Record responses onto a sheet of paper, stating each word aloud as you write it. Make sure that your child can see what you’re writing-an easel works well in a classroom setting, or at home you can use a sheet of paper and be mindful of where you’re placing your hand and where your child is sitting. Watching writing like this helps develop concepts of print, an important pre reading skill.
- Firefighter time! Tell your child that they get to be a firefighter today. If you have dress up firefighter clothing or props, have your child get dressed up! Novel experiences help get children more engaged. You can dress up too if you want! Take your child to the designated firefighting station (aka the shower or outside). To make it even more fun/engaging, pretend that you’re driving a fire truck on the way there or have your child push a toy fire truck on the way. Have your child make siren noises for extra extra fun. Wee woo wee woo!
- Once you arrive at the “fire” you set up earlier, tell your child that you are going to play a firefighting game and that you need some help to finish setting up the game. Explain that they will be in charge of spraying pretend smoke (shaving cream) where you ask them to. Show them how to operate the shaving cream and allow them to practice spraying out the shaving cream a few times in the bathtub or on the ground if you’re outside.
- Time to practice prepositions! Instruct your child where to spray the shaving cream “smoke” on/around the fires. (“Oh no! There’s smoke on the middle fire!…) Try to include the following words:
- Next to, in front of, behind, in the middle of
- On, under
- Around, through, between
- Some of these prepositions will be harder than others. It’s ok if your child doesn’t understand them all. Make note of the ones that they could use more practice with. Jack didn’t know the concepts, “middle” or “in between” so I remembered to practice them more later!
- Spray out those fires! Hand the hose or spray bottle to your child and have them go to town spraying the “fires” and “smoke.” Make sure you look at their faces, I bet you’ll see some pure joy here.
Play as long as your child is interested! Enjoy.