Have you ever heard of community helpers in a preschool setting? It’s actually a neat concept that involves children learning about helpers in the community and then applying that concept to learning.
The idea is to have assigned tasks that benefit the classroom community, just like in our community. This responsibility can greatly benefit you as the teacher, but also the entire classroom.
During this time, it’s important to engage your little learners and help them discover responsibilities as community helpers in preschool.
Why are Community Helpers important in Preschool Education?
Community helpers are important in preschool education because they demonstrate to children how to be apart of something bigger than themselves.
Community helper activities help to engage young learners and teach teamwork. You can also have a lot of educational moments, as well as lasting memories for your community helpers!
Benefits of Including Community Helpers in the Curriculum
There are loads of benefits of including community helpers in the curriculum. Here is a break down of the benefits and why they are important!
Develop Social and Emotional Skills
Working with other children cohesively can be, well challenging at first. There are a lot of big emotions when you have to compromise or give up your plans all together!
The community helper theme helps to develop social and emotional skills for young learners.
Enhance Cognitive Development
With being part of a community comes thinking like a community. Community helpers challenge one another to think about things in a different way.
A lot of being a community helper means working and thinking as a team.
Foster a sense of belonging and community
Children need to learn how to belong and function as a group or community. Using the community helper theme can help to foster that.
Community helpers show that everyone has value and deserves a spot in the community.
Promote cultural diversity and empathy
Community helpers cultivate a place where people from all ethnicities, backgrounds and religions can belong and thrive. Community helpers help to love one another by servivng.
I can’t think of a better way to teach children how to belong.
Understanding Community Helpers
So…what exactly are community helpers? Well, community helpers are the VIP’s of the community.
Their job is to serve others in various different capacities. Here are just a few:
Teacher: Helps to teach young children academics and life skills
Nurse: Helps to take care of sick or elderly people in a hospital setting
EMT: Helps to take care of critically injured, sick or emergencies
Police Officer: Helps to keep citizens safe and enforce the laws
Librarian: Serves at the community library to keep books organized and easily found
Fire Fighter: Keeps the community safe by putting out fires
How do You Include Community Helpers in Preschool?
So now we know that community helpers in preschool are beneficial, but how do you incorporate them? I have a few ideas for you!
Decide on your learning objectives
Before jumping in head first, it is important to decide what it is that your objectives are going to be during this time of study. Here are a few ideas:
- Identifying jobs in a working community
- Cultivating a sense of belonging
- Tell about the jobs in the community and why they are important
- Share about what types of tools are needed for a job
- Discuss how a community functions together
Create hands-on and interactive experiences
Children learn best in a hands on setting. Creating hands on and interactive experiences is imperative to learning anything.
With community helpers, children can perform specific jobs which really helps with their memory.
Collaborate with parents and community members
Bring in parents and other people from your local community! Lots of parents are going to be community helpers and you can also reach out to different community helpers to come into the classroom.
Children love to have special classroom guests and they can ask real life community helpers tons of questions.
Tailor activities to different learning styles
We know that everyone learns differently. Some children are hands on learners, some are listeners or watchers.
By tailoring activities to these learning styles, you can guarantee that children will stay engaged and learning!
Encourage Preschoolers to ask Questions
If you have been around preschoolers very much, you know they love to ask questions! Encourage preschoolers to ask good and thoughtful questions.
You can start by leading a few questions, and then slowly having them take over.
Fun and Educational Activities Involving Community Helpers in Preschool
Get your littles involved in community helper activities! These activities can help children get out of their shell and use their imagination.
These types of activities help to inspire children to think of what they want to be when they grow up and how to work together as a community for something bigger.
Dramatic play is a fantastic way for children to learn. Engaging in dramatic play is a fantastic way for children to learn and everyone can be apart of the fun.
Here are some creative ideas:
How fun is this fire station set up! Everyone can be involved here!
You’ll need an operator and many fire fighters. Use stuffed animals as the victims that need rescued!
Special delivery! Show little ones what it’s like to work in a busy post office!
This set up is so cute! It would be fun to write letters to one another and then deliver them.
Playing dental office is a good way to ease that dental office anxiety. Everyone can have a patient if you use dolls or stuffed animals!
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Recycling is important for our environment.
Lots of good discussions about recycling can happen during this time of dramatic play!
Everyone goes to the grocery store! Learn about stocking, money, customer service and much more with this dramatic play set up!
Community Helper Arts and Craft Projects for Preschool
Check out these cute and engaging arts, crafts and activities for preschoolers!
How cute are these community helper hats? Each preschooler can color their own and wear them during dramatic play!
I loved playing with paper dolls growing up and these ones are too cute to pass up! There are tons of different options.
Help the garbage truck sort the colors! This is a great way to help refresh on colors with preschoolers!
This activity is quick and painless (haha get it) Grab some cheap boxes of bandaids and a person cut out.
Have your preschooler draw some boo boos and then fix them!
Every doctor needs a kit! Help your preschoolers create their own doctor tool kit!
Community Helper Field Trip Ideas for Preschool
Here are a few fun places to consider for a community helper field trip!
- Police Station
- Fire Station
- City Hall
- Food Pantry
- Veterinarian’s Office
Guest Speaker Ideas
Having a guest community helper come in and speak to the class can be inspiring and exciting for preschoolers. Before your speaker gets there help them to come up with questions to ask.
Here are a few examples of people you might consider to come talk to the class:
- Fire Fighter
- Police Office
- Sanitation Specialist
- Construction Worker
- Bus Driver
Worksheet Ideas for Community Helper Unit in Preschool
I love that there are 2 versions of this connect the dots sheet. One is easier for beginners and the other is more challenging
Help the painter get to his paint can! This sheet is great for hand eye coordination and strengthening those writing skills.
Each worker needs help getting to their vehicle. Match the worker with their vehicle or tool.
This sheet comes in black and white or color!
Cut this puzzle into strips and then rearrange the strips. Have your preschoolers arrange their number puzzle in the correct order.
Community helpers have tough jobs. A simple and sweet thank you card can go a long way in showing appreciation.
Community Helper Book Ideas
These community helper books are great for circle or story time. Check them out!
A fun, interactive book to familiarize kids with the community helpers. The lift-the-flap feature attracts the young learners and gives them hours of learning fun. Beautiful illustrations improves the child’s observation skills, build vocabulary, and encourage reading.
Young readers learn about the importance of cooperation and the people who lead the way in our communities. Perfect for beginning readers, National Geographic Pre-readers include simple, expert-vetted text and large, engaging photos on every page.
This book introduces children to the important people who make our communities cleaner, safer, and better.
An illustrated picture book about careers within a community. This book gets kids thinking about which career they would like to do. It asks them, “Do you want to be a …?” questions with an answer explaining the career.
Myrtle and Erytle are twins who don’t look alike or act the same, but they do share one common love…SHOES! Their father uses their love of shoes to encourage the young twins to start thinking about future careers early.
Community Helper Song Ideas
Baby John, Jack and Jill are playing dress up in the backyard as community workers and robbers! When Jack gets a boo boo, Doctor Jill and Doctor Baby John help Jack feel better!
Learn the alphabet and phonics sounds with the Alphabet Occupations song! What do you want to be when you grow up? Maybe an astronaut, a firefighter or an engineer? Learn your ABCs with these jobs and careers.
This is an occupations, community helpers, professions, jobs, careers and my neighborhood song for children. #1 best kids songs for children! Children will learn the words for occupations, community helpers, professions, jobs and careers in this popular kid’s song!
Jobs Song! What do you do? Sing, teach and learn about jobs in this very fun animated kids music video! Which one of our characters would you like to be, the teacher, doctor, dentist, carpenter or pilot?
Community helpers provide so many fun learning opportunities for young learners. As we know, community helpers are vital to our community.
What do you think about learning community helpers? How do you like to teach them?
Let me know in the comments below!