This week in storytime, we are discussing police officers and how they can help us. I have to be honest, this is a dry and challenging subject to keep kids interested in. It’s actually harder than you would think to find quality books that will entertain and educate kids on the subject of police officers. However, I think they kids enjoyed these stories, as well as our educational activity at the end.
- Policeman Small by Lois Lenski (lots of examples as to how police officers help us)
- Meet the Policeman by Joyce Jeffries (great pictures–clear and easy to understand for toddlers)
- What Does a Police Officer Do? by Felicia Loewnstein (We flipped through this to get a real world understanding of what police officers do to help people)
- Police Cat by Enid Hinkes (Kids find the fact that a cat cares enough about the rules to become a cop hilarious)
- Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman (Again, a funny approach to a serious topic–and kids enjoy the dog)
Police Bags: First, the kids decorated the outside of a paper bag with blue markers, paint dabbers and tissue paper. Inside they placed three pieces of clip art. All of these pictures are reminder to the children about what a police officer looks like and how to get in touch with a police officer. We discussed the importance of each item–badge: police officers always have a badge; police car: if you need help, approaching a police car is safe as that is what the police officer drives; 9-1-1: this is the number you call if you need help but a police officer is not with you. I also reminded them that we do not call 9-1-1 just to say, “Hi.” That is a number for emergencies only–then we talked a bit about what an emergency is. I also encouraged the parents to practice going through the bag at home while talking about safety tips.
As a prop for the “Five Police Officers” poem, I cut out five of these police hats and mounted them on popsicle sticks. I then let five volunteers come up and help act out each section. It was so popular, we had to do it multiple times so each child had a turn!
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