One of the Kindergarten (and 1st grade in some places) standards is learning about communities and community helpers. My boys are both super interested in this topic right now (I mean what’s cooler to a 2-4 year old than a giant fire or garbage truck!?) so I knew this theme would be a hit with them, even though it’s a little early standards wise. I tried to do all the activities that tied together on the same day (ie. we did the firefighter story, math activity and craft all on Monday) and wrote my plans that way too. So hop in your police cruiser/ambulance/firetruck, come along with us and lets explore the communities we live in!
-ABC letter practice: We did this on the same day we made mailboxes (and read about mail carriers) so my little could use his mailbox. If you’ve been following me since Valentine’s Day 2021 you should have little laminated “envelopes” with upper and lowercase letters on them in dots for your little to identify and trace. If you don’t you can make a set now! Have your little practice identifying and writing each letter- then have them “mail” it in their mailbox!
-Community helper picture and word match: I printed this community helper picture match from Teachers Pay Teachers, then laminated and cut out the cards. I had my little sound out each word then find the matching helper.
–Community helper/tool picture and word match: This is similar to the above activity, but for this one I gave each of my littles a helper, had them identify it, find the tool they use, then use their knowledge of beginning sounds to find the matching word (for my younger little, I asked him to find the word that started with the first letter of his helper…ie. “You have a police officer…ppp…ppp…police officer starts with P- can you find the word that starts with P?”)
-Community helper thank you card: Have your little make a thank you card for a community helper of their choice. My little chose to write to the construction worker who’s been helping build an add on to our house.
-Community helper story: This year I’m starting the full writing process with my little… or at least the planning and writing parts! For planning I’m having him draw pictures of what’s happening in the beginning, middle and end of his story using these kindergarten writing pages. Then each day, I’m going to help him sound out each part of his story (so plan Monday, beginning Tuesday, middle Wednesday, end Thursday). This week I asked him to write a story about a community helper- he chose to write about a police boat who rescues a person from the water.
-Community helper poem: Each day we said this poem during calendar time.
-Community helper book list:
-Shape firetruck: I cut out all the shapes used to make a firetruck then gave my littles instructions out loud using shape, color and location (top, bottom, etc.) to have them put the trucks together.
-Librarian book match: Draw some shelves on a brown piece of paper and label them with the numbers 1-20. Cut out various colored rectangles for “books”, write the numbers 1-20 on them and have your little be the librarian- ie. put the books back on the correct shelves by matching the number. (We did this on the same day we read our librarian book in social studies). I had my little glue the books down, but you could also just have them match the books and save the activity to do again later.
-Garbage collector counting: I threw pieces of (clean) trash all over our house and had my littles gather them up. Then we put all the garbage in a pile and counted how many pieces we collected.
-Community helper vehicle count and match: I printed these community helper count and match cards from Modern Preschool, laminated them, then had my little count each vehicle and mark the matching number with a Smartie (which he was allowed to eat once he’d finished the activity).
-Count the houses on your street: This is a fun activity to do while getting some fresh air and exercise! We walked to the end of our street and counted all the houses until we got to the end.
-Community helpers: Each day we read a book about a different community helper. I chose firefighters, mail carriers, doctors, and librarians.
-Community map: As a culminating activity, I had my littles make community maps. I printed out pictures of community buildings from Teachers Pay Teachers, had my 4 year old cut his out (I cut out my 2 year old’s for him), then had them glue the buildings down where they wanted them on a large sheet of paper (I cut it from our easel paper roll) and give their community a name. As a finishing touch they added roads to their maps.
-Firefighter handprint craft: I cut out the head and hats to make firefighters and had my littles glue them to the top of a large piece of paper then add faces (they also added hair before gluing the hats on). Next, I let them choose a glove color- black, red or yellow- and I painted their hands to make handprints for the firefighter’s gloves. I wrote “F is for firefighter” at the bottom as a finishing touch!
-Mail carrier mailbox craft: I had my littles decorate a sheet of construction paper (they chose the color). Then I added flags using brad fasteners and held the paper they’d colored to the edge of a half sheet and let them tape it in place to make mailboxes.
-Neighborhood name craft: I cut out squares for houses and triangles/trapezoids for roofs then had my littles glue down a row of enough houses to spell their name (my 4 year old wrote his own name in the houses, and I wrote the letters before gluing for my 2 year old then asked him to find each one in turn.) We glued them to black paper to make a neighborhood at night, then I had my littles add details to their picture with yellow and white crayons. I got this idea from Mrs. Plemon’s Kindergarten.
-Doctor’s bag craft: After reading the book on doctors (in the literacy section above) I printed this page of doctor supplies, had my littles color them and cut them out then glue them to a sheet of construction paper folded in half to make doctor bags.
-Decorate a police badge: I gave my littles each a sheet of tin foil and some sharpie markers and had them decorate the foil how they liked. Then I had my 4 year old cut out a police badge template (I cut out the tin foil around it so that they’d match…I did all the cutting for my 2 year old). Then I had them glue their tin foil badges to the template. I got this from Preschool Plan It.
-Crossing guard sign craft: I traced a bowl on green and red half sheets of construction paper and had my 4 year old cut his out (I cut my 2 year old’s for him). Then I helped my 2 year old write a large S for stop and G for go on his circles (we talked about the sound/letter we hear at the beginning of each word first). For my 4 year old’s I helped him sound out the words “stop” and “go” while he wrote the letters himself. Then they glued each circle to opposite sides of a toilet paper tube to make their signs.
-Veterinarian imaginary play: I made my littles a play vet bag with gloves, gauze, q-tips, Bandaids, alcohol wipes, a thermometer, “medicine” bottles (ie. old spice containers), a medicine syringe, their old nose frida and some toilet paper for bandaging then let them use the kit to fix up their stuffed animals.
-Community helper guessing game: My littles and I took turns acting out community helpers of our choosing and guessing which helper each person was pretending to be.
-Letter of the week: Aa, each day we do a different activity focused on our letter- introduction/have your little practice it on the chalkboard (or white board), think of words that start with the letter and make a list, workbook letter writing practice, workbook word writing practice (I got this writing practice book because it includes letter practice and words for each letter). I had my younger little do this A practice page.
-Word of the week: in, each day we do a different activity focused on our word- introduction/sound the word out/have your little practice writing it on the chalkboard or whiteboard, word family list- think of other words that rhyme with your word of the week, use the word in a sentence (have your little come up with the sentence and write it for them) then have your little illustrate the sentence, writing practice (I downloaded and printed these sight word pages from Teachers Pay Teachers…it costed $6.50, but it has 200 pages of practice. I printed one for each word we’ll be studying this year.)
-Bible verse: This month’s Bible verse is “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 I write each word in the verse on a post-it, stick them to the wall then have my little point to each word and read it each day all month.
-Character trait of the month: Responsibility…this word is reviewed and posted at the start of the month then each time one of my littles freely demonstrates responsibility I use the word to specifically praise what they’re doing and encourage the trait in them. (ie. “Oh wow! You put your plate in the sink and all of your trash in the trash can without being asked! That is SO responsible!”)
- 20+ clean recyclables
- community helper books (at least 4)
- tin foil
- Dr. or Vet kit supplies (syringe, Band-Aids, bandages, thermometer, q-tips, cotton balls, alcohol wipes)
- sharpie markers (colored)
- brad fasteners
- toilet paper tube