How to Teach Preschoolers About Community Helpers

by Kathy Gleason

    Sometimes it's hard to explain to your kids things that just seem like automatic knowledge to you. After all, the concept of community helpers is probably something you've understood since you were a child yourself. Luckily, this is one of the easier lessons you can teach kids. You can save the Internet searching and lesson plans for more complex topics such as when your child demands to know what clouds are made of one night right before bed.

    Step 1

    Explain to children that community helpers are police officers, fire fighters, doctors and nurses. A community helper is basically everything the phrase implies, a person whose job is to take care of others and help people in any kind of need. If your preschooler seems to be grasping the concept, ask her to think of some other jobs that might be considered community helpers like lawyers, crossing guards or security guards.

    Step 2

    Invite community helpers to speak to your child if you know any. Got a brother that's a police officer or a friend who is a nurse? Invite them to dinner! Ask any community helpers you know to speak to your preschooler about what their job is and to describe the ways in which they help people. Another option is to take children to events where there will be community helpers and introduce your child there -- for instance, festivals that have security guards or health fairs where doctors and nurses may be in attendance.

    Step 3

    Make a game of spotting community helpers in everyday life. Ask your child to point out a community helper whenever he sees one such as a police officer parked on the side of the road or firefighters out washing their truck on a sunny afternoon.

    Step 4

    Read stories with your preschooler about community helpers. Doing a cursory dig through your tot's closet will probably yield a variety of books that feature one type of community helper or another. If not, hit the library and find books featuring healthcare workers, law enforcement or any other job where people serve and help others.

    Tip

    • Remember that you want your child to have a positive idea about community helpers. That means keeping your tongue in check long after the community helper lesson is over. For instance, there's no need to make disparaging remarks about police officers in front of your child even after getting what you're sure is a completely unfair speeding ticket.

    About the Author

    Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.

    Photo Credits

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