How to Introduce Your Preschoolers to Community Helpers

November 23, 2022

How can child care businesses connect with the community at large to strengthen relationships and learning? Aside from the novelty of exploring a real-life ambulance or garbage truck, how is learning about community helpers beneficial to kids? We’ll dive into all of the details in the post below.

Engage Your Preschoolers with Local Community Heroes

By being a director of family child care or preschool you are in fact a big community helper and service provider yourself. Your program and its services are part of the fabric of the neighborhood.

It is important that your community know about the work you do and the services you provide, so as much as you can make your program visible to the community, you probably should. People love to see young children out in their community too.

Here are some ideas to boost your community visibility and create local bonds while engaging young children.

Leave thank you notes and signs to service people

Send cards to community helpers

Visit local fire stations

Schedule an arts and crafts event with senior citizens at the park

Ask parents whose kids attend your program that are community helpers professionally to do a special talk

If you go to local parks and businesses, make sure to post and tag the location. It's likely these programs will reciprocate and share your story too.

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Exploring and being a part of the community is a win-win for child care business owners and children's learning experiences. If there is one thing that all community helpers teach us, it is that as humans, big and small, we do not live in bubble and caring for one another is essential.

Discover the Roles of Community Helpers in Preschool

Community helpers aren’t as black and white as numbers or ABCs when it comes to their purpose in the preschool classroom. Here are some concrete ways they help young children grow.

Answering the question “What do community helpers do?” in preschool can:

  • Show kids that they belong to a greater community.
  • Teach them that there are grown-ups to help them in every situation.
  • Help them learn to ask for assistance when needed.
  • Teach common safety rules for home and school.
  • Inspire future career choices.
  • Encourage exciting and educational dramatic play.
  • And more!

The Impact of Learning About Community Helpers on Preschool Curriculum

Along with the points above, community helpers in preschool serve as a theme. You may notice that your child’s caregiver provides themes often, whether they’re related to upcoming holidays or seemingly random subjects like this one.

Community helpers and other themes help children engage in learning. Printables with new tracing activities, for example, are much more fun for police-loving kids if they’re filled with siren colors and squad cars. Literacy lessons can be based on the theme with the help of books about doctors and dentists. 

Themes like community helpers in preschool keep learning new and exciting. They bring in new tools and subjects. They entice kids to engage when their favorite subjects are covered. And last but not least, they make learning fun at an age that should be largely based on play.

Creative Ways to Introduce Community Helpers to Preschoolers

Whether you run your own in-home childcare or you’re looking for ways to teach your preschooler from home, the following activities are a great place to start.

Seek Out Community Helpers in Everyday Life

This could include police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances racing by you on the street, but it could also be simpler. Make sure your child knows the importance of the mailman who stops by your house each day. Remind them that you wouldn’t be able to buy their favorite snacks at the grocery store without the stockers and cashiers. Talk about doctors and dentists keeping you healthy.

Other community helpers to mention when you see them include:

  • Teachers
  • Garbage and recycling truck drivers
  • Post office workders
  • Librarians
  • Bus drivers
  • Construction workers
  • Farmers
  • Bakers
  • Military service members
  • And more
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Dramatic Play and Real-Life Scenarios with Community Helpers

Dramatic play is one of the easiest ways to teach children about real-life things that don’t happen at home every day. This is because it allows kids to immerse themselves in imaginative experiences, consequently informing them and reducing fear and anxiety over potential future events.

For example, playing “doctor” at home can not only teach kids how much doctors, nurses, and all other hospital workers help us, but it can also show them that they don’t have to be afraid the next time they visit a clinic.

Offering dramatic play related to firefighters can teach children fire safety and help them respond confidently instead of fearfully in the event that they see real flames.

Setting up a pretend “classroom” can show them how cool teachers are while also letting them know they don’t need to feel anxious about their first day of school.

Practical Lessons from Community Helpers for Young Learners

While many lessons are well-taught through dramatic play, others may need to be shared in a more realistic fashion. Making a fire escape plan for your home, for example, is best taught through real-life lessons.

How to make a fire safety plan successfully with preschoolers:

  • Draw a map together, including more than one way to leave your home in case of a fire.
  • Practice the route together.
  • Hang the map in a familiar place.
  • Look at pictures of firefighters together in their gear, so your child knows what to expect of this community helper. Their masks may look scary at first, but we need to trust them when they come to help!

Another real-life lesson could include learning about “911.” 

  • Play a game with “help” questions to determine when and when not to call 911.
  • Practice writing, saying, and dialing “911” together, so your child has the necessary skills and memory if they ever were to need it.
  • Talk about police officers, EMS, firefighters, and dispatch personnel.

So, what do community helpers in preschool do? They offer a solid theme and learning opportunity for preschoolers. Use the tips above to teach your own little ones from home or from your home childcare.

If you ever need help growing your child care community, feel free to reach out to Wonderschool for consistent, experienced support in marketing, early childhood education, and much more.

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