For my post today, I want to share some activities using free fire safety printables. The hands-on activities in this post are for preschoolers through first graders.
I think a community helpers theme is great for a number of times throughout the year. Community helpers activities are great at the beginning of the school year as children focus on their neighborhoods and personal safety. They're great for times like the anniversary of 9/11 to focus on the helpers who make such a positive difference in any tragedy. And they're great for times like National Fire Prevention Month in October and Fire Prevention Week from Sunday to Saturday during the week where October 9th falls.
You'll find many more activities for preschoolers through first graders throughout the year along with presentation ideas in my previous posts at PreK + K Sharing. You'll also find ideas for using free printables to create activity trays here: How to Use Printables to Create Montessori-Inspired Activities.
Disclosure: This post contains Montessori Services affiliate links at no cost to you.
Fire Engine Cards and Counters
This activity used the free Fire Truck Numeric Order Activity from Making Learning Fun. This is a wonderful printable for placing numbered fire trucks in order from 1-20. I used the printables as number cards for Montessori-inspired cards and counters with a fire safety theme. If you want to use a fire theme throughout October, you could always use the numbered fire engines for cards and counters in the beginning of the month and for the numeric order activity later in the month.
For DIY cards and counters, I only used the fire engines numbered 1-10.I used a clear acrylic tray from Montessori Services, 55 glass gems from a hobby store (Michaels) for counters, and a glass bowl from Montessori Services to hold the counters.
I like to lay out my numbers and counters in the traditional Montessori layout of rows of two counters with a left-over counter centered below the bottom row. This gives a visual impression of odd and even. For more about creating DIY numbers and counters and a link on how to present the lesson, check out my DIY Cards and Counters post.
Dalmatian Spot Counting Activity
This tray uses the Dalmatian Spot Counting Cards from Making Learning Fun. I used an economy tray from Montessori Services, black crystal-like decorative filler which was on sale at a hobby store (Michaels) after last Halloween, and small containers to organize the crystals and numbered collars for the dalmatians.
I used the printables for 1-10 and 55 crystals. You could add some sort of tweezers or Montessori Services quick sticks, although picking up the crystals with the fingers is a good practical life activity, too.
Firefighter Graphing Game
For this activity, I used the Firefighter Graphing Game from Firemen Printables ~ Kindergarten Pack by Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations. I used a large plastic tray from Montessori Services, water beads, and a glass bowl from Montessori Services to hold the water beads. I think it's easiest to prepare the die by printing it on cardstock, cutting it out, folding it, and gluing it together. Rather than laminating it, it's typically easier to use clear packing tape to hold the die together.
Water beads are wonderful for the pincer grasp. If you have the cardstock graph laminated and leave a laminate edge, it's fine for it to get wet from the water beads.
I don't recommend using water beads for this particular activity for a child who has difficulty with fine-motor coordination and becomes frustrated easily. The water beads require fairly good fine-motor coordination skills and tend to move around easily. For children who have fairly good coordination and would enjoy a challenge, I love the water beads as a fun addition.
I especially enjoy cooperative games, and this could be made into a cooperative game where each child takes a turn rolling the die and placing a water bead on the graph for the appropriate fire symbol. I like the cooperative aspect of having the children work together to add water beads to the graph until one of the symbols reaches 10.
Even though the game is cooperative, you can still use it to teach sportsmanship. At the end of the game, the children could shake hands with each other and say, "Good game!" It's helpful for children to learn the social etiquette for games without the emotions involved in winning and losing.
Hopefully, that will make it easier for them to remember to show good sportsmanship during an actual competitive game. See "How to Use Cooperative Games to Teach Sportsmanship" for more ideas on using educational games cooperatively.
Fire Truck Skip Counting by 5s
For this activity, I used the Fire Truck Skip Counting by 5s from Royal Baloo. I used a large plastic tray from Montessori Services and glass gems from a hobby store. I used a permanent marker to write the missing numerals on the glass gems and added a sugar tong from Montessori Services for a practical life component to the activity.
Five-in-a-Row Fire Edition Addition Game
For this game, I used the Five-in-a-Row Fire Edition by Sweet Kinderland at Teachers Pay Teachers. Two children could play by taking turns rolling the two dice, adding up the total, and placing a fire-hose card or fire-extinguisher card on the game card until there are 5 in a row. Again, this could be made into a cooperative game by using the same game board and working cooperatively to reach 5 in a row.
Fire Play-Set Craft
I love this printable Fire Play Set from Royal Baloo. This is a fun craft for children with fairly good cutting skills. It just requires simple folding once the pieces are cut out. The 3-page printable even includes African American firefighters. The cutting-and-folding craft is simpler than the police station and police car craft from last month's Montessori-Inspired Police Activities Using Free Printables.
For a child with very advanced cutting and assembly skills, there are two advanced fire safety crafts in my Free Fire Safety Printables and Montessori-Inspired Fire Safety Activities post at Living Montessori Now. One of these could even be a gift that an older child could prepare for younger siblings.
More Free Printables
Go to my post at Living Montessori Now for links to LOTS of fire safety freebies from around the blogosphere: Free Fire Safety Printables and Montessori-Inspired Fire Safety Activities.
Deb Chitwood is a certified Montessori teacher with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in Sheffield, England. Deb taught in Montessori schools in Iowa and Arizona before becoming owner/director/teacher of her own Montessori school in South Dakota. Later, she homeschooled her two children through high school. Deb is now a Montessori writer who lives in Colorado Springs with her husband of 38 years and their cat of 12 years. She blogs at Living Montessori Now.
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