A Day in the Life of a Preschool Teacher
Here are some age-approprate Safety Theme ideas, great for preschool or at home:
Phone Number Practice/Communication Center
I like to work on phone numbers with my preschoolers. We made little ID Cards this year (I printed and laminated them) with a photo, address, and phone number just like a mini drivers license. The kids really enjoyed using these and got to take them home at the end of the week. We used them at our Communication Center. I gathered a bunch of old phones, put out some notebooks, and an old adding machine....and let the kids make emergency calls. My older fours and fives really did work on dialing actual phone numbers from the ID Cards. This was a cute, creative, and imaginative center that promoted "safety play" and phone number practice all in one!
The kids also worked on writing numbers and "information" down in our notebooks-great practice for any kids who are ready for that!
Another great thing is how social the communication center can be. The kids are having such in-depth conversations with each-other :)
Address Practice/Preschool Post Office
I set up a Post Office in my preschool, and it was used all day every day for our entire Safety Week. The kids got to work on their own address, on name recognition/writing of their friends (and themselves) as well as learn the mail process. I wrote a post about how I set it up HERE.
What I loved the most was how versatile this was across ages. My young kids drew pictures, put them in envelopes and stamped it...and I helped write names. My older kids sounded out words and added those to their pictures, and were able to address the envelopes themselves using our laminated photo/name sheets!
Safety Drills/Safety Plans
Safety Drills are required in my state. We learn the routine in October, and practice Fire and Earthquake Drills. At school this is mostly learning to stop what we are doing, put on shoes, and walk out the door in a quiet line for a fire drill, or to stop what we are doing and get underneath our large project table and cover our heads for an earthquake drill. I always recommend to parents to do the following at home: locate smoke detectors, listen to the sound they make, and set up a fire/earthquake routine for home (and practice it). It doesn't need to be scary at all, just practicing a routine to be safe :)
Firetruck Craft Project
There are all sorts of fun ways to make paper firetrucks. My preschoolers just finished shape week, so I decided to use shapes as our guide for making these cute trucks! We had circle wheels, large rectangle trucks, skinny rectangle ladders, and a square window. Relating to prior learning is always a great idea :)
Safety Play Activities
If you are a fan of Little People, you might have these in your play bins already like we did. I just dug out the Fire Station, and all the safety vehicles and people. I love the little fire dog!
Our Public Library has Preschool Kits available for checkout. Inside the Community Helpers kit were puppets and felt board people :) This was a great, and free, addition to our Safety Week play.
You can see the puppets a little better here-and that the kids always make up their own wonderful activities! This sweet gal matched up our cars to the puppets!
I am a HUGE fan of Melissa and Doug toys. They last so much longer than plastic toys, and are always fun for playing in a way that promotes early childhood skill building. Here we have their puzzle vehicles and their Whittle World fire truck set.
More Melissa and Doug sets! We have their Whittle World community building set, as well as their safety car and traffic signs sets. What I really love is that these are compatible with our wooden trains, so we can use them together :)
These wooden firetrucks and safety guys were a new brand to our school this year. They are part of Plan Toys, and I really really like them. They remind me a lot of Melissa and Doug.
These are just matchbox cars. We have a mail truck, a bus, a police car, a fire truck, an ambulance, and a "fast car". I added our Fall trees to the set and some traffic signs/cones and together they all made a great safety activity.
I have used the Melissa and Doug dress up outfits for four years now and they still look brand new :) Together with our doctor kits and fire hats, we were able to play all sorts of imaginative, role-play, and community helper themed games.
Each year at my preschool we work on learning our addresses. It is one of my safety goals :) I try to help the kids understand what an "address" is, and when we might use it. A fun way to expose the kids is to set up a post office in your school! Super fun and super cute!
Read Some Good Books!
I think it is a good idea to do a whole group project and discuss both the terms: address and post office. We enjoyed the book Jobs People Do by Christopher Maynard because it had a Mail Carrier page!
Make Preschool "ID Cards"
I made the kids at my school "ID cards" with their photo, name, phone number, and address :) I printed and laminated them so they looked like little drivers licenses. We will use them all week. Together we read their address as they looked at it on their ID card.
Mail Letters From School To Home
The kids got to make a picture (or write a letter if they are already doing word-blending and writing...many of the kids who are back at my school for a second year wrote actual letters!) to send home in the mail. I addressed envelopes for them and then we worked on folding our papers to fit in our envelopes, how to seal the envelope, and where to put the stamp. We did this together as a group.
The kids then walked their letter to our school mailbox for the mailman to pick up! How fun! Earlier in the year I mailed all the kids a letter thanking them for a wonderful first week of school. I think it will be a great experience to actually mail a letter and see it show up at their houses.
Setting It Up