Fire station field trip with our preschool co-op group.
Last week, we joined a local co-op for preschool-aged homeschoolers. It’s nothing too formal. Just a group of awesome moms who get together and plan fun activities for their kids!
Our first field trip was to the fire station.
I gathered all the fire truck books in our house the day before our big field trip. We read, read, read, and played with our toy fire trucks!
The visit to the fire station was an experience I think every toddler should have. Not just for fun, but for safety. It’s worth giving your local fire station a call and planning a visit.
Perhaps the most valuable part of the field trip was when the firefighters demonstrated their equipment. One firefighter got in full rescue gear while the other explained what he was doing. When he was fully clothed in boots, helmet, gloves, goggles, hood, etc., he got down on the floor (as he would be in a rescue scenario) and greeted the children.
The children were encouraged to talk to him, touch him, and get used to his presence. He was wearing a smoke mask and sounded a lot like Darth Vader, which was intimidating to many of the children. It was beneficial for them to be exposed to what a real firefighter would look like so that they’d know in an emergency situation that this seemingly scary person was actually a friend there to help.
After the demonstration, we went on a grand tour of the fire station. Then the kids got to check out the fire engine firsthand!
Rocket hanging out in the fire truck. He was most interested in those axes!
Before we left, the kids were given gift bags with toys, a coloring book, and a fire hat. Rocket was so exhausted from the adventure that when we got home, he passed out on the living room floor (a first)!
Rocket was actually disappointed that we went to the fire station and didn’t get to see a real fire.
As the firefighters were explaining what to do in case of an emergency, Rocket kept saying (too loudly), “Mom, let’s see a fire now!”
You see, his memories of fire are all fond ones- we light up the fire place on cold winter days, we spark up the outdoor fire pit in the summer time, and he blows out candles on his birthday. With his frame of reference, it’s hard to imagine a fire being a dangerous or out-of-control experience. So this field trip gave us a lot to talk about.
Our fire safety learning theme continued over the next few days. We spent the week on all kinds of fire safety activities for kids. I pulled up YouTube videos of wildfires to show him what firefighters do.
And of course, Rocket dived into his goody bag from the fire station.
These simple erasers led to many hours of small world play! Rocket pretended various things around our house caught on fire. He drove the little red fire trucks to the fire hydrants to fill up with water and put out all the fires.
Even Songbird got in on the action!
This hat was on his head for much of the week!
The firefighters we’d met at the fire station had given us two important homework assignments:
- to check our fire alarms
- to determine a “safe spot” to meet in case of a fire
So we had a big family meeting and did both. Rocket wanted us to check the smoke detector twice, just to make sure!
Then we took him outside to show him our “safe spot” at the lamp post. As we did, he reminded Dad to crawl like a baby if there is smoke in the air.
Before we went back into the house, Rocket asked, “Is there a fire in there?”
We assured him that there was no reason to think there would be a fire. All of this fire safety stuff was to be prepared with a plan just in case.
With all the talk of fire, we wanted to make sure he didn’t start to feel uneasy. So we decided we’d better cap off all our fire talk with a fire pit in the backyard!
Helping with the fire wood.
Our talk about fire safety ended on a very positive note- with a warm, controlled fire in our backyard!
Rocket even put out the fire himself- with a garden hose and his fireman hat atop his head!