Our class has started learning about "Trucks and Big Machines!" We are learning how these big pieces of equipment deliver, help, do big jobs, and have different parts. During this week, we helped promote appreciation for people who help in our community and inspire children to show helpfulness to others. Trucks can help us when we are in trouble, to fix things, and to keep our community clean.
What better way to kick off "Trucks and Big Machines" than with our local Fire Department! We were so excited the firefighters took the time to allow our classroom to learn all about fire safety. The children learned about dialing 9-1-1 and discussed making an emergency plan with their families to make sure everyone has a meeting spot in case of an emergency at their home. Everyone got to hop on board and sit in the cab of the truck. The firefighters opened all of their compartments and the children got to see all of the tools they use to help during an emergency. These awesome community helpers left stickers and safety coloring books for all of the children and even let the sirens go wild as they exited the parking lot. This was a very special day for the children and built up their excitement for our new theme!
Our friends created visual art by rolling a tractor along a piece of construction paper with markers attached to both sides. The children enjoyed seeing the different markings the markers made as they pushed the tractor along the paper. You could use any toy trucks for this activity and vary the amount of markers attached.
Children love pretending to fix things. We built a "garage" out of some softer blocks and added a tow truck to the block area. The children were able to tow away the cars they saw that needed help into the garage for repair. The children really had fun with this activity and wanted to collect as many cars as they could. Some of the children even gathered some tools from Dramatic Play to bring over and repair the cars before they were allowed to leave the garage. If a tow truck is not available, a small wagon could be used to haul the cars to the garage.
This is a fun game that allow children to "deliver" a flower to a friend. Turn on music and allow the children to pass an artificial flower around a small circle. When the music stops, the person holding the flower gets to "deliver" it to a special friend. This will allow some positive social interactions and teaches the children the beginning of participating in simple games. At the conclusion of the game, the group should discuss how trucks help deliver items to people. You could even have some pictures of various trucks that deliver goods to show the children.
Two items that are the same can also be very different at the same time. A fun beginning math concept of comparing and contrasting can happen with two similar toy trucks. We used fire trucks for this activity but it can work with any two trucks that are similar. Allow the children to point out things they see, but it is also important to help them explore and think about things they might not think about yet. You could search for hoses, lights, tools, wheels, windows, etc. What is the same about the two trucks? What is different?
Use masking tape to create the outline of a house. Allow the children to scribble on the house with sidewalk chalk. The chalk will symbolize the fire on the house. Allow the children to dress up like a firefighter and put the fire out with water. You could use a cup of water, garden house, squirt bottles or trigger-spray bottles for this activity. Give a big hurray when the fire is all gone!
Extend learning during reading by adding community helper hats with some of the children's books. We added a firefighter hat with our fire truck book and a hard hat with our construction book. This allows the children to become more excited about the books they are reading and they can even act out the stories. Dress up clothes could also be added to add even more to the experience.
Trash trucks are very interesting to children. Some children get really excited and some are not as happy to hear the trash truck coming. Allowing children to play with toy trash trucks might help them be more comfortable when the trash truck comes to your school or even by your house. We set out several different trash trucks and the children told us what they already know about trash trucks. The children can add these to their play experiences by driving them around the room, gathering trash they might see and hauling it away. When the trash truck comes to our school, we are usually out on the playground. The driver always gives the children a loud honk when he is all done with his job!
Miss Amanda is one of our Twos teachers from school #246 in Clayton, NC. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and Paralegal Technology. She is wrapping up her Bachelors Degree in Early Care and Education. Amanda has over 9 years of experience working with children. Knowing that she is helping wire young minds for the future and setting the foundation for learning is her biggest reward. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, cooking, and spending time with her family.