Community Helpers Theme

Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about our community: community helpers and places

Books

Click here for a complete list of Books about Community Helpers!

Rhymes

Nursery rhymes that go well with a community helpers theme:

  • Rub a Dub Dub
  • Doctor Foster

Look for a printable poster of Rub a Dub Dub on the Nursery Rhymes Page.

rub a dub dub

Doctor Foster Nursery Rhyme

Doctor Foster
Went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again!
Note: Gloucester is a two-syllable word (Glouce-ster), and is pronounced “Gloster”, rhyming with Foster.

Songs

  • Doughnut Shop: traditional song
  • Brush Your Teeth, by Raffi on the “Singable Songs” CD: Download on Amazon
  • World Family, by Dr. Jean on the “Kiss Your Brain” CD
  • Doin’ Good in the Neighborhood, by Jack Hartmann on the “Colors All Around” CD

Printables

Grid Games

On the Grid Game page, look for the Tool grid game for math skills.


Community Helper Cards

Community Helper Cards: There is a photographic set and an illustrated set.


Community Helper Bingo

Community Helper Bingo: There is a photographic set and an illustrated set.


Fire Truck Bingo

Look for the Firetruck Bingo printable on the Bingo games page.

Construction Activities


community helpers theme

Play Dough Construction

[Fine Motor Skills]
Wooden craft sticks can be added to the play dough for children to construct houses and other buildings.


community helpers theme

Block-Building Art

[Literacy]
Children glue pieces of paper “blocks” onto their page to build something (house, school, skyscraper, church, etc.) The children’s names and what they built are written on each page.


community helpers theme

Block Game

[Math]
Children take turns rolling the die, and counting out that amount of blocks from the pile. As they take the blocks from the pile, they construct a tower. After all the blocks are gone, we compare the towers to see whose is the tallest.


Construction Worker Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Tools, Belt, Hat, Toolbox, Orange vests, Blueprints, Safety glasses


Doctors/ Health Care Activities

Doctor Foster Nursery Rhyme

Doctor Foster
Went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again!
Note: Gloucester is a two-syllable word (Glouce-ster), and is pronounced “Gloster”, rhyming with Foster.


Stethoscope

[Science]
We use a paper cup with the bottom cut out. Children press the big end of the cup to the heart area of a friend’s chest, and press an ear against the small end. (Works best if you don’t hold onto the cup.)


Health Care Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Doctor’s or Nurse’s Coat, Scrub shirt, Stethoscope, Cloth bandage wraps, X-rays, Empty medicine bottles, Shot syringes (without needle), Bandaids


Post Office Activities


community helpers theme

Post Office

[Literacy, Social Skills]
A small post office is set up at the table with paper, envelopes, and stickers. A poster shows the cost of each item (pennies taped beside each item). Children have to count out the correct amount of pennies to “buy” the materials they want to use. Children “write” a letter to someone using the materials they buy.


Post Office Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
All size envelopes, Bubble mailers, Stamps (canceled), Priority mail envelopes, Cardboard boxes, Packaging tape, Tube mailer, Mailbox, Paper, Pens


Firefighter Activities


community helpers theme

Stop, Drop & Roll

[Safety, Large Motor]
Paint red “flames” onto an adult size (Large or X-Large) white T-shirt. Choose a child to put on the T-shirt over their clothing and have the child practice “stop, drop, and roll”. When they have gotten the pretend flames out, they take off the shirt to show that the flames are gone. Make sure each child has a turn.


Stay Low & Go

[Safety, Large Motor]
A white sheet is used for the pretend smoke. My assistant and I hold the sheet low near the floor, and the children practice “stay low and go” by crawling underneath the sheet.


community helpers theme

Firetruck Stamping Game

[Math, Literacy]
Write a letter or numeral on each firetruck, and make a copy for each child. Children will draw a number or letter card from a stack (or roll a die), find that letter/numeral on their mat, and stamp it out. You can use rubber stamps or bingo dot markers. As an alternative, you can have children draw an “X” over the firetruck if stamps or bingo dot markers are not available.

Fire Truck Bingo

Firetruck Game Printable


Firefighter Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Fire hats, Black boots, Oxygen tanks (made from 2 liter bottles), Raincoat, Short pieces of hose, Hand bell, First Aid kit

Police Officer Activities

Police Officers: License Plate Game

[Literacy]
Each child has a turn to be the “driver”. A piece of paper with a letter written on it is clipped to the driver’s back (we used the beginning letters of the children’s names). The child drives around the table, and parks in his seat. Children find the letter among a small set of foam letters (only the necessary letters, not the whole alphabet).


community helpers theme

Police Officers: Fingerprints

[Science]
Each child’s hand is traced on a sheet of paper. Children color heavily with a pencil on an index card to make a layer of graphite; they rub a fingertip on the graphite; stick clear tape on that fingertip and press; pull the tape off and stick to the finger on the hand outline. We look at the fingerprints with a magnifying glass, and talk about ways police detectives use fingerprints.


Police Officer Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Walkie-talkies, Blue shirts, Notepads, Pens, Badge, Hat


Bakery and Restaurant Activities


community helpers theme

Restaurant Menus

[Fine Motor Skills]
Children make a restaurant menu by cutting pictures of food from grocery store sale folders from the newspaper and glue the pictures onto file folders. Each child makes up a name for their restaurant, which is written on the front of the menu. These menus are used in the children’s pretend play restaurants.


community helpers theme

Creating a Bakery

[Fine Motor Skills, Art]
Children made their own bakery in the classroom by making cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bread, cinnamon rolls, and other bakery foods with Model Magic. The Model Magic was painted after it dries, and the children’s bakery foods were placed on display using trays. Children also made a sign for the bakery, and had a cash register with paper for writing receipts, and small bakery bags for their purchases.


community helpers theme

Play Dough Bakery

[Fine Motor Skills]
Add bowls, spoons, plastic knives, cookie cutters, muffin tins, mini bread loaf pans, small cookie sheets, spatulas, rolling pins, and pots and pans to the play dough area. I also have a George Foreman playdough grill and a baking rack from a real toaster that were donated to me.


Play Dough Cookies

[Math, Fine Motor Skills]
Write numbers on paper circles and attach them to a cookie sheet with clear contact paper. Children make cookies with play dough, count out the correct amount of chocolate chips (brown beads), and place them on a number on the cookie sheet.


community helpers theme

Lemon Pie

[Cooking]
Children pretend to be chefs. Ingredients/Materials: Mini graham cracker pie crust, whipped topping, frozen lemonade concentrate, sweetened condensed milk, spoons, disposable bowls Put one spoonful of whipped topping, one spoon of frozen lemonade concentrate, one spoon of sweetened condensed milk into a bowl, and mix. Scoop the mixture into the piecrust.


community helpers theme

Mini Pizzas

[Cooking]
These are made by spreading Ragu Pizza Quick sauce on an English muffin half, then adding shredded mozarella cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (or less). You can also use a toaster.


community helpers theme

Cake Decorating

[Cooking]
Children can help mix the cake batter and scoop the batter into individual cake baking pans. Bake them according to the directions on the package. Children choose a color for their icing and stir a few drops of food coloring into the icing. They decorate their own cake with icing, sprinkles, and squeeze tubes of decorating frosting.


Bakery Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Rolling pins, Aprons, Oven mitts, Cupcake tins, Cake pans, Mixing bowls, Hand held manual mixers, Measuring cups, Cookie sheets, Paper cupcake cups, Measuring spoons, Spatulas, Wooden mixing spoons, Dishcloths, Towels, Empty food containers, Empty milk cartons


community helpers theme

Restaurant Prop Box

[Dramatic Play Center]
Menus, Table cloth, Serving plate, Cloth napkins, Silverware, Dishes, Aprons, Play food, Notepads, Pens, Silk flower centerpieces, Play credit cards, Play checks, Chef hat, Place mats, Serving tray


More Activities


community helpers theme

Our Town Class Book

[Literacy]
We make a list of places in our community. Each child chooses one place to draw and tell about. (Examples: zoo, art museum, fire station, gas station, mall, grocery store.) I include photos whenever possible. The pages are put together to make a class book. To make our class books, I use “presentation book covers” from an office supply store or Walmart. It has a sturdy plastic cover with a clear insert, and the pages are also clear inserts. I just slip in a page for the front cover, and slip in the children’s pages inside. These can be reused.


Story Retelling

This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling

Links

Resources

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