One of the most common topics in the preschool classroom is community helpers. Whether you do a theme week about them, or regularly rotate community helper costumes through your dramatic play area, you’ve probably covered them at some point throughout the year. There’s good reason for this; we want our children to know who they can turn to when they need help, and we want them to recognize that we all play a role in making our community run successfully.
My favorite way to introduce this topic to preschoolers is with a discussion. I ask them to name adults that help them, to which they typically reply with family members – Mom, Dad, Grandma, you get the picture. Then I encourage them to think about the places they like to go and the people that work there.
After we answer those questions I try to broaden their thinking with questions that inspire them to think about other types of helpers:
- Who can help us when we’re in trouble?
- Who takes care of us when we’re sick?
- Who keeps our community clean?
- Who keeps us safe?
- Who takes care of animals?
- Who sells us the things that we need?