Preschoolers are naturally drawn to pretend play and firefighters, so it's natural to combine the two. While she's busy putting out pretend fires and dressing up as her favorite hero, she's also learning fire safety skills. Making the most of the firefighter dramatic play center comes down to creative costumes, props and activities to guide the play.
Firefighter costumes allow your child to jump into the role during dramatic play activities. If you don't have a firefighter costume, you can make one with a few items you may already own. A raincoat works well as the firefighter's jacket. His boots add to the firefighter look. Most party and dollar stores sell firefighter hats for a reasonable price to round out the costume. An axe cut from cardboard and a short section of garden hose both work well as props for the firefighter dramatic play session.
A backdrop sets the stage for your child's firefighter dramatic play activities. For a simple background, draw or paint buildings on large sheets of paper that you tape to the walls. Paper flames taped to the paper buildings give your junior firefighter a target for her hose. For a more interactive scene, use large cardboard boxes to make buildings in the city. The same paper flames work well on the cardboard buildings.
A set of blocks allows her to set up pretend scenarios related to firefighters. A block city creates the scene for a fire. Use a toy fire truck or any toy vehicle to drive the firefighters to the scene. Your child plays the role of the firefighters by moving the toy characters around the block city. If she needs a little help imagining a situation for firefighters, cut out some paper flames that she can tape to the block buildings.
Mock fire drills at home engage your child's imagination and prepare her in case of a real fire. The more she goes through the drill, the more likely she'll remember what to do. Talk about the best route out of the home so she knows where to go. Practice the fire drill from different spots in the home to replicate different potential scenarios. For example, you might sound the pretend fire alarm while she's playing in her bedroom one time and while she's eating a snack in the kitchen the next.
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