October is Fire Prevention Month and a great time to teach children about fire safety with a preschool fire station in the dramatic play area. Create a fire truck with a steering wheel and switches, and break out the pool noodle hoses for some firefighter fun!
Firefighters dressed in heavy coats, masks, and oxygen tanks can seem scary to children. During a fire, young children tend to hide because of this. Giving children the opportunity to get familiar with the gear is vital in helping alleviate their fears. This preschool fire station allows children to discover all aspects of firefighting, such as getting dressed in the equipment, driving a firetruck, and answering phones in the 911 Call Center. Create this center by assembling some materials to create a center that the children will love!
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Fire Station Dramatic Play$5.00
Children are the heroes in this Fire Station Dramatic Play Center. Set up a fire truck with chairs and red-painted cardboard boxes and strap on a jacket and boots! No fire is safe with these heroes on call!
Teachers Helping Teachers
Teachers are some of the most creative people. We teach better when we can work together to create an engaging classroom learning environment. Here are some great ideas from other teachers:
- use empty 2-liter bottles for air tanks -Jennifer C.
- goggles with a little grey smudging inside to look like smoke when looking through them -Lynnet H.
- use pool noodles as fire hoses -Suzanne B.
- place blue streamers in the hose to look like water -Jessica R.
- time how fast it takes the children to get into their fire gear -Suzanne B.
- after students “spray” out the fire, trade out flames for “water puddles” (blue felt circles) -Jacqueline W.
- use red, orange, and yellow cellophane cut flames for building fire – Suzanne B.
- go “old time” and use water buckets instead of hoses to put the fires out -Rhonda P.
How to Build a Classroom Fire Truck
Some of the most fun in a preschool fire station dramatic play area is on the fire truck! Jodi G. gave a lot of inspiration to transform the versatile Create-It-Station furniture from Construction Playthings to make an interactive fire truck. Children will spend hours living out their dreams of being a firefighter. Start a truck dashboard with some supplies like:
- steering wheel (from an old playset or cut from cardboard)
- light switches (found at Dollar Tree)
- battery-operated red siren lights (similar to these)
- CB radio handset (thrifted)
- board base for the props
- touch-operated “puck” lights
Paint a board black and attach the accessories to fit the space. Use some labels from the Fire Station Dramatic Play for literacy opportunities. The more switches, the more interaction! Children will love the glowing lights and the click of the switches.
Assemble the front of the fire truck with a piece of red poster board and black and grey cardstock to look like the front grill of a fire truck. Adhere tap lights from Dollar Tree for headlights, and it’s ready to roll!
Preschool Fire Station – Better with a Backdrop!
Themed backdrops are a great way to level up any bare wall. From birthday parties to outer space backdrops, Amazon has some great choices. This fire station garage bay backdrop adds a realistic touch to the fire station!
Ding, Ding, Ding, Put the Fire Out!
Now all that is needed is a fire to put out! Create a building on fire by wrapping a big box with brick bulletin board paper. Make some windows with black and white construction paper and add red, orange, and yellow paper flames.
Other ways to make pretend flames for the little firefighters to put out:
- tissue paper clipped in binder clips (pictured above)
- make felt windows with removable felt flames
- use red, orange, and yellow cellophane in place of tissue paper
- once the fire is out, replace the flames with blue felt or paper to represent puddles of water
Build a Fire Hydrant
Get creative with a “do-it-yourself” fire hydrant. The one pictured below is made with an old break rotor (which weighs the hydrant down), thick cardstock, a round reusable plastic container, and mesh tubing (found at Dollar Tree) as the hose. Two-liter bottles or oatmeal canisters can be used to create a fire hydrant or water pumps as well.
911 Call Center
Creating a “call center” is a great way to insert some literacy opportunities in the classroom. Find a clear tabletop and stock it with a keyboard, screen, telephone, and pencils. Add paper and recording sheets (found in the Fire Station DP) for note-taking. Maps are a fun addition as well! Students can answer the phone, take emergency information, and send the firefighters to the scene.
Read All About Fire Fighters and Fire Safety
Set up the class library with cozy pillows, a flashlight, and some engaging books about firefighting and fire safety. Here a just a few favorites. Find more charming titles in the Fire Safety Mini Unit.
- The Firefighter by Jenny Goebel
- Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty
- Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by Jammie Harper
- A Day in the Life of a Firefighter by Linda Hayward
- My Mom is a Firefighter by Lois Grambling
- Firefighters A-Z by Chris L. Demarest
Pair the preschool Fire Station Dramatic Play with the Fire Safety Mini Unit and watch future firefighting heroes grow in the classroom!
Additional Resources for Fire Safety Prevention
The Fire Prevention Week Association (NFPA) educates the public through safety tips, activities, and more.
Smokey the Bear helps teach ways to prevent wildfires.
Fire & Life Safety Kids Corner has some great games, activities, and other resources to teach children and their families about fire safety.