Any time is a good time to review fire safety with your children. In Canada and the United States Fire Prevention Week begins on the first Sunday of October and ends on the following Saturday. This theme day is a great way to review or teach your child about fire safety/prevention and is perfect for building a family plan in case of emergency.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
In my son’s swimming classes he learned the song “Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck” (to the tune of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Teddy Bears). Check here for lyrics and for the actions: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/h027.html
From the same site as above I found two other Fire related songs: “The Firefighter” (I have no idea of the tune though) - http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/f051.html and “Firefighters” (which does have a sample of the tune) - http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/f064.html
For two other Fire related songs (which really have nothing to do with fire safety) try U2’s “Fire” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Into the Fire.”
You can find many free coloring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Fire Safety Coloring Pages” or print out my Fire Truck Coloring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What do firefighters do? What are some ways to prevent fires? What do you know about fire safety? What would you do in case of fire emergency? Where is your family’s outside meeting place in case of a fire?
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about fire safety.
Print out Fire Safety Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about fire safety or firefighters.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about fire safety or firefighters.
Go to the library on your own to find books about firefighters or fire safety from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (search for “Fire Safety”, “Fire Fighters” or “Fire Engines” under “Children’s Books). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Here are some nonfiction/learning titles about Fire Safety:
· Safe Kids: Fire Safety, by Dana Meachen Rau, Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2010—This small book uses full page photographs and simple text to teach fire safety.
· Safety Around Fire, by Lucia Raatma, Bridgestone Books, 1999—This is a good beginners safety book to read to your children.
Here are some nonfiction/learning titles about Firefighters:
· Firefighters to the Rescue!, created by Bobbie Calman, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2005—This is a thorough book with many photographs and lots of interesting detail about Firefighters.
· Fire in Their Eyes: Wildfires and the People Who Fight Them, by Karen Magnuson Beil, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999—Older readers may like this detailed book about fighting wildfires.
· If You Were A...Firefighter, by Virginia Schomp, Benchmark Books, 1998—This offers a good summary of what firefighters do with plenty of photographs.
· I Want to Be...A Firefighter, created by Stephanie Maze, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999—This book gives a lot of detail on what people training to be firefighters have to do plus it includes the history of firefighting among other interesting facts.
· Ms. Murphy Fights Fires, written by Alice K. Flanagan and photographs by Christine Osinski, Children’s Press, 1997—Simple text and photographs tell children what a firefighter does while also relaying the message that girls can do anything they set their minds on.
Here are some picture books about fire safety and Firefighters:
· Contain the Flame: Outdoor Fire Safety, by Jill urban Donahue and illustrated by Bob Masheris, Picture Window Books, 2009—This brightly illustrated book has both a simple story of campers story and safety tips.
· Firebears: The Rescue Team, by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Dan Andreasen, Henry Holt and Company, 2005—This rhyming picture book features cute firefighting bears as suggested by the title.
· Fire Drill, by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender and illustrated by Huy Voun Lee, Henry Holt and Company, 2010—Using cut-paper collage for illustrations this book features very simple text and is a good way to introduce the concept of fire drills to small children.
· No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons), written by Jean Pendziwol and illustrated by Marine Gourbault, Kids Can Press, 1999 – A little girl befriends a dragon and invites him over to her house for tea but when pepper makes the dragon sneeze and a fire starts they must remember the fire safety rules.
· Spark the Firefighter, by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Amanda Haley, Dutton Children’s Books, 2008—This is the tale of a dragon who is afraid of fire so he joins the fire department to over come his fear.
· Stop, Drop and Roll, by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Arthur Howard, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001—when Jessica’s class studies fire safety she begins to worry about all sorts of things but with the help of her family she conquers her fears and learns about fire safety.
Here is a nonfiction/learning book about Fire Trucks:
· To the Rescue: Fire Trucks Then and Now, by Steve Otfinoski, Benchmark Books, 1997—This is an interesting book about the history of fire trucks with fairly easy text.
FIRE FIGHTER STICKER COLLAGE:
Materials: Coloured paper, stickers of various fire fighting pictures, markers and crayons (optional).
· Step 1: Give your child the stickers and paper and have him/her either make a scene or a collage with them.
· Step 2 (Optional): See if your child wants to embellish the picture with markers or crayons by drawing a setting or additional details.
PAPER TOWEL ROLL FIREFIGHTER’S POLE:
Materials: paper towel roll, yarn, coloured paper and white paper, markers or crayons, child-safe scissors
· Step 1: Have your child draw a fire man on the white paper and colour it with markers or crayons. You can use stickers to embellish the picture (to give the paper fire fighter a hat for instance).
· Step 2: Help your child cut the paper fire fighter out.
· Step 3: (Parent Step) Cut two slits in the middle of the paper fire fighter (for the yarn to be threaded through).
· Step 4: Thread yarn through the paper towel roll and loop around to thread through the two slits in the paper fire fighter.
· Step 5: Tie the yarn into a knot, keeping the yarn close to the paper towel (not loose).
· Step 6: Show your child how to move the paper fire fighter down the paper towel (along the yarn) as if sliding down a fire fighter’s pole at a fire station.
FIRE TRUCK PICTURE:
Materials: Coloured paper (red, white, yellow, and black), markers or crayons, glue stick, child safe scissors, damp cloth for sticky fingers.
· Step 1: Help your child cut out one large red rectangle, one large red square, two black circles, one thin white rectangle (the length of the red rectangle), one white square, one small yellow square (see photograph on the right if you need help on the size of each shape).
· Step 2: Have your child pick a colour of paper for the background.
· Step 3: Help your child glue the red rectangle and square side by side to make the body of the fire engine.
· Step 4: Glue the two black circles as tires on the truck.
· Step 5: Glue the white square as a window for the driver.
· Step 6: Glue the yellow square on top as the siren.
· Step 7: Display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
Materials: Coloured paper (white and black and other colours of choice), markers or crayons, glue stick, a pencil with an eraser on the end, ink pad or black paint, child safe scissors, damp cloth for sticky and messy fingers.
· Step 1: Help your child cut out one large white oval, one large white circle, one small white oval and a black oval the same size, four smaller white circles (for the dog’s legs), one rectangle (or the dog’s collar) in any colour (see photograph on the right if you need help on the size of each shape).
· Step 2: Have your child pick a colour of paper for the background.
· Step 3: Help your child glue the large white oval and circle together to form the body and head of the Dalmatian dog.
· Step 4: Have your child glue the four circle legs onto the dog.
· Step 5: Have your child glue the two ovals (white and black) as the dog’s ears.
· Step 6: Have your child glue the coloured rectangle onto the dog as the collar.
· Step 7: Have your child draw the eyes, nose and mouth of the dog with a marker or crayon.
· Step 8: Show your child how to press the pencil eraser onto the ink pad and then press it on the Dalmatian picture to make dots on the dog. Let your child make as many dots as he/she wants. If you don’t have an ink pad you can use black paint.
· Step 9: Display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.
Serve some corn chips and salsa to represent the heat of fire for this theme day.
Fiery Soda Pop:
Ingredients: Any type of red juice or fruit punch, clear lemon lime soda
Step 1: Pour the red juice into an empty ice cube tray and freeze.
Step 2: When the ice cubes are frozen, pour some lemon lime soda into a clear glass.
Step 3: Put frozen juice cubes into the soda. When the ice begins to melt it will make fiery streaks in the clear pop.
Serve anything red for lunch for this theme day (like tomato soup).
Make some Dalmatian Hot Dogs: Wrap wieners with refrigerated dough for Pigs in a Blanket. Mix as many different food colourings as you have together in a small bowl to create a black and paint spots on the dough using a Q-tip. Bake the hot dogs in the oven according to the package instructions.
Fire Alarm (or not ) Chili: Make your favourite chili recipe hot like a fire or not as your children may prefer.
Dalmatian Cookies or Cup Cakes: Bake your favourite cup cakes or sugar cookies and then ice with white icing. After they are iced put chocolate chips in them as Dalmatian dots.
Print out my Fire Safety: Family Brainstorm Worksheet and as a family discuss fire prevention writing the ideas on the worksheet.
ESCAPE ROUTE PLAN:
Print out my Fire Safety: Escape Plan Worksheet (printing out a page for each level of your house if necessary) and together draw a floor plan of your house/apartment. Be sure to mark where doors and windows are as well as fire detectors. Then discuss and draw arrows representing two ways out of each room in your home. Lastly, fill in the space at the bottom that asks where your outside meeting place is. Afterwards you can go to each room and practice your escape plan.
CHECK YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS:
Walk around your home with your child and test to see that each smoke detector is working properly. Change the batteries if you need to as well.
FIRE SAFETY POSTER:
Using your Fire Safety Family Brainstorm Worksheet from above have your child choose one idea to draw a poster for. Help your child write out a message on the poster if he/she needs the assistance. Some ideas to consider could include: Never Play With Matches, Stop Drop and Roll, Test Smoke Detectors, Fall and Crawl, Don’t Hide Go Outside, Put Out Your Camp Fire, Get Low and Go, 9-11 For a Fire Emergency.
Every wonder why Dalmatians are popular firehouse dogs? Check here to find out: http://www.livescience.com/33293-dalmatians-official-firehouse-dogs.html
This site has some simple online games and activities: http://www.firesafetyforkids.org/
This is an excellent site with lots to explore including info on fire trucks and Dalmatians: http://www.sparky.org/
For info on Wildfire Prevention check out this website: http://www.smokeybear.com/
I’ve had a lot of emails from great people all over the USA who have recommended many super sites for my Fire Safety Theme Day. I love hearing from everyone! Thanks!
Thank you to Reese and Keri from Houston, Texas who recommended this link with home fire safety guides and educational resources: https://usinsuranceagents.com/home-fire-safety
Thanks to Ethan from Atlanta, Georgia for suggesting this great website for kids, parents and educators to learn about fire safety: http://www.firefacts.org/ and also for this link about hazards in the home: http://www.budgetdirect.com.au/homehazards/
Thanks to Adam from North Dakota for these safety links: http://www.aclsmedicaltraining.com/hey-mom-dad-know-basic-life-support/ and http://www.aclsmedicaltraining.com/cpr-for-everyone/
Thank you to Bri from Vermont, USA, for recommending this site for more Fire Safety Basics: http://www.kanetix.ca/insure-your-home-fire-safety-basics
As well, thanks to Brenda from Washington State, whose after school program found this webpage with “A Parents Guide to First Aid” - https://www.acls.net/a-parents-guide-to-first-aid.htm
Thank you to Karen from Chapel Hill, NC for recommending this article on Keeping Your Family Safe: http://www.aclsrecertification.com/keep-your-family-safe-learn-first-aid/
MUSICAL FIRE SAFETY:
Play some music for your children and when you stop the music they must STOP DROP AND ROLL. You can do a variation as well have your children CRAWL LOW AND GO when the music stops.
If your child has any toy fire trucks this theme day would be the perfect time to take them out and play together.
Q: Why is a Dalmatian easily found during a game of hide and seek?
A: Because he’s always spotted.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Who’s there? Who’s there?
Doughnut who? Carl who?
Doughnut play with matches. Carl 9-11 in case of emergency.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a fire safety theme .
Here are some Fire Safety Titles to consider:
· Barney: Let’s Go to the Fire House—Hit Entertainment, 2007.
· Billy Blue Hair: Why Are Fire Trucks Red? - Kayo Media, 2009.
· Fireman Sam: Saves the Day—Hit Entertainment, 2009.
· Sesame Street: Elmo Visits the Firehouse— Sesame Workshop, 2002.
· Timon and Pumbaa: Safety Smart About Fire! - Disney Educational Production, 2009.
Water Brigade: if the weather is nice make your own water brigade by giving each family member a bucket and then pass the water from bucket to bucket until a larger bucket/barrel/tub is full. How long does it take your family to fill it up? If you have a large group you can compete and see whose fire brigade fills up their bucket/barrel/tub first.
Obstacle Course: Fire Fighters need to keep fit and often go through elaborate obstacle courses in full uniform. You don’t need the uniform or an elaborate obstacle course though, you can make your own with chairs and stools, or hoops and ropes and time your children. Then invite them to make up their own course to challenge their siblings or friends.
Visit your local Fire Station. Many Fire Houses offer tours or demonstrations; call or drop in to find out what your local station offers.
A Firefighting demonstration
Photo: C Wright
Fire Fighting Stickers
Paper Towel Roll Fire Fighter’s Pole
Fire Truck Picture
Dalmatian Spotted Cookies
Visit your local Fire Station to see
a Fire Truck up close
911 Reminder Poster to be
posted by the phone
Dalmatian Hot Dog
Photo: C Wright