Community Helper activities and lessons encourage preschoolers to think more closely and appreciate all of the people in their community who work to keep them safe, healthy, well-fed, and educated! Use these activity ideas during Circle Time, at play centers, and in small groups.
Everyone lives in a community. Some communities are large busy towns and others are small neighborhoods. Children love to learn all about the people who help in their own communities. Here are some ways to engage little learners investigating community helpers.
Circle Time Introduction to Community Helpers
What do you know about the people who help in your community?
It is really important that we don’t overwhelm preschool learners with too much information at once. Young students benefit from new information that is broken into digestible chunks. During the Community Helpers unit, introduce one group of helpers each day (or every other day).
- Neighborhood Community Helpers (garbage collectors, mail carriers, news reporters)
- Safety Community Helpers (lifeguard, military, firefighters, police officers)
- Builders and Fixers (painter, mechanic, construction worker, carpenter, plumber)
- Transportation Community Helpers (pilot, train conductor, bus driver, astronaut, flight attendant)
- Food Community Helpers (gardener, chef, farmer, baker)
- School Community Helpers (coach, teacher, crossing guard, librarian, janitor)
- Health Helpers (dentist, veterinarian, nurse, doctor)
Circle Time Lesson for Safety Community Helpers
In this Community Helper Circle Time unit, a complete lesson for each group of helpers is provided. On each day, show the poster to the students and encourage them to identify the community helpers in that group. Sing the song or play the game that is provided in the Unit.
Children learn best from doing and not just watching. Add props, puppets, trucks, and other real objects that the students can touch, see, and hear to make the most of the circle time lesson.
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This is such a cute way to practice rhyming, counting sets to 5, and learning more about safety community helpers. Print your Five Brave Firefighters poem HERE.
10 FREE Chip Clip Poems!
One of the main goals for preschool math is that students begin to understand computation. When it is presented in a natural, playful way through songs and fingerplays, the concept of computation (making sets by adding and subtracting objects) is both fun and appropriate for preschool students.
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Spotty Puppy Carpet Game
Carpet games are such a fun way for young students to practice essential pre-kindergarten skills, like number and letter recognition. In this firetruck-themed game, the teacher hides the spotty puppy behind one of the firetrucks. The students can take turns guessing where it is by calling out the number. This is just one of the Carpet Games included in this set of 18 games.
Tools of the Trade Puzzles
Every community helper needs a tool of the trade. Where does a doctor work? What should a teacher use to write? Make these “Tools of the Trade” puzzles on adhesive foam sheets. They are included in the Community Helpers Circle Time unit.
Beginning Sound Clip Cards
Use these cards to work on beginning sound identification. Children simply locate the letter of the picture shown and clip a clothespin to the letter. What a fun and easy way to identify the different community helpers!
Builders & Fixers at the Science Center
“I can fix it!”
Children love to use real tools. Screwdrivers and screws are such a simple and inexpensive activity to add to your classroom. These pre-made tinkering sets are available from Honey Do Products.
Children love to see real-world pictures in the classroom. This simple Community Helpers Bulletin Board allows children to identify the different community helpers that they may see in their own neighborhoods, the tools that they will need, and where to find them. Each tool, mode of transportation, and worker is on a separate piece of card with a paper clip at the top. Children work together to match each picture to the correct location.
“What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?” Bulletin Board
So many young children want to be a firefighter or a doctor when they grow up. Open their minds to different possibilities using this simple bulletin board. Attach a picture of each of your students to a craft stick for them to choose what they want to be when they grow up. It’s okay to choose a different job every day! This bulletin board is included in the Community Helpers Circle Time Unit.
Community Helper Books
Books are a great way to explore different topics and learn more about community helpers. Put books about builders and fixers in the block area and books about chefs and doctors in the dramatic play center.
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Everyone loves to curl up with a good book. Add some books in a quiet space for students to read individually or in a group. It looks so comfy.
List of Awesome Read-Aloud Community Books: (Afflinks included for your convenience. We receive a small commission when you click and purchase through these links.)
- Gus’s Garage by Leo Timmers
- Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling
- Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul
- Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty
- Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
- Pete the Cat Construction Destruction by James Dean
- Whose Tools Are These? by Sharon Katz Cooper
Community Helper Blocks
Add these accessories to the block area to encourage rich play all about community helpers:
- Make “road” blocks by sticking this road tape to the normal unit blocks
- Cars and community vehicles
- Wooden Community Helper People (by Discount School Supply)
- Floor puzzles – fire truck, school bus, transportation vehicles
- Street Signs
Community Helper Magnetic Dress Up Dolls
Sometimes the most simple activity can be the most successful. Add these cute magnetic Melissa and Doug dress-up dolls as a learning center. Students will spend a long time dressing up the dolls to be different community helpers. Working in small groups will also encourage language development and important social skills, like sharing.
Community Helper Word Wall
With each unit of study, reinforce the new vocabulary words that have been introduced during circle time. Add to the word wall after learning about each group of the community helpers. These word wall words are included in the Community Helper Unit.
Dramatic play is extremely important for preschoolers. Children will love writing, stamping and mailing their letters, and pretending to be neighborhood community helpers. This Post Office dramatic play set has everything needed to create a literacy-rich, exciting, organized pretend play center.
Other ideas for Community Helper Dramatic Play Centers:
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Community Helpers Preschool Unit$10.00
This Community Helpers Preschool Unit has everything you need to teach your preschool students about all of the people who work in their community. The unit includes 10 full days of lesson plans for circle time as well as additional literacy and math centers. Everything you need for a complete “Community Helpers” unit is done for you!
- 10 detailed Circle Time lessons
- 10 math, literacy, & fine motor centers
- 1 Emergent reader book
- Super safety certificates
- Book Recommendations