Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Community Helpers

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

clothesline-cluesStory: Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook.  I like books that start with a little guessing element.  It gets everyone involved.  One of the kids noticed that the postal carrier was showing up in the other pictures, which got us guessing about what might happen at the end.  I’m totally a text person, not an image person, so I don’t think I had even noticed that before he pointed it out.

Song: “The Community Helpers Song”  More proof that any topic can be squished into the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.”  I took the kids’ suggestions, and we did many of the occupations mentioned in Clothesline Clues plus librarian.  And ended with “The kids sit and listen” because, you know, if they sit during a song it all goes so much better.

bug-patrolStory: Bug Patrol by Denise Dowling Mortensen.  Bugs.  Being policemen.  Also, fun sounds and a great rhythm/rhyme.  I cut short some of the text because it was a little bit too long.

Song: “Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck”.  I did this one with bells.  Again this week I got mostly preschool aged kids, so I didn’t have to go to the box of baby instruments.  I had them on hand anyway from Babytime, but it was nice not to need them.  The kids enjoyed being firefighters.  One suggested a round of “Hurry, hurry, break the windows!” to get into the house.  Can you tell we’ve been cooped up a lot this winter?

trashy-townStory: Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman.  Yes, it’s a young story, but I was losing them at this point (Long. Cold. Winter.)  As soon as we started, they totally got into it, so I was glad I did it.  Sometimes I think we’re losing it and go bravely forward and it doesn’t work, so this was a pleasant surprise.  (I had also considered Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, featuring our favorite community helper – the librarian!)

Ending Song: “See You Later”

dr_kit_closed dr_kit

Craft: Doctor bag craft – I saw several of these on the internet, like this one from kiboomu .  The kids enjoyed making them (especially sticking on the Band-Aids) although we had to take out tape for the q-tips, which turned out to be hard to glue.  On the way out, I asked each child who they were going to help with their kit, so I hope some of them took them home and did some pretend play.


Note: I did this theme again in fall 2017.  I started with Clothesline Clues and “The Community Helper Song” again.  Then I read Police Officers on Patrol and read/danced Spunky Little Monkey.  We finished up with Millie and the Big Rescue, which might have been a tiny bit long for the last story; maybe it would be better in the middle.  We also made the doctor bags, which were, again, fun.


Other Possible Titles:

Whose Hands Are These?  A Community Helper Guessing Book by Miranda Paul

Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin, Jr.  (doctor)

Bark, George! by Jules Feiffer (vet)

Millie and the Big Rescue by Alexander Steffensmeier (farmer, mail carrier, fire fighter)

Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten Hamilton

Don’t Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! by Judy Cox (teacher)

Dot the Fire Dog by Lisa Desimini

A Letter for Leo by Sergio Ruzzier (mail carrier)


“The Community Helpers Song”

(to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” – add verses as you’d like)

The teachers teach the kids,

The teachers teach the kids,

Heigh-ho, they help us so,

The teachers teach the kids.

The firefighters put out the fires….

The crossing guards help us cross…

The librarians find us books….

The barbers cut our hair…

The dentists check our teeth…

The doctors keep us well…

The grocers sell us food…

The bakers bake us bread…

The farmers grow our food…

The garbagemen take the trash…

The mail carriers deliver the mail…

Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck”

Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck

Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck

Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! (Ring bell)

Hurry, hurry, turn the corner

Hurry, hurry, climb the ladder

Hurry, hurry, squirt the water…

Now that the fire is out, repeat in reverse, using “slowly, slowly” instead of “hurry, hurry”


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