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Mixed Age Program

I was asked to create a program geared for very young children, but with components that would include parents and other members of the family.  This program could easily become one in a series of library programs focused on community servants.   


Fabulous Firefighters!

A Family Program


Since the number of people who can tour a fire truck at one time is limited, this program is run in four stations of fifteen to twenty minutes each.  If possible, consider separating participants into groups based on age and match materials as appropriate.


Station 1: Visit with a Firefighter


Invite your local fire station to visit with the children and give a brief talk and demonstration.  This is generally a free service, but must be scheduled.  Fire departments usually will bring equipment to demonstrate to the children and even allow them to handle and try on.  Many are also willing to bring a fire truck to allow the children to tour.  Divide children/families into small groups and have them travel to different “stations” of the program.  This will move participants through the fire truck/equipment tours without a lot of wait time, and permit latecomers to join in.


Station 2: Games and Puzzles

This station can be run outdoors, possibly with a firefighter’s assistance.


  • Use old phones or non-charged cell phones to practice calling 9-1-1.  Include emphasis on the number being ONLY for emergencies.
  • Learn and practice Stop-Drop-Roll (preferably with firefighter)
  • OPTIONAL: The above can be combined in this obstacle course activity: Use a refrigerator box for the house -- cut a door. When children hear the smoke alarm they must feel the door, then proceed depending on whether or not you tell them it is hot. If hot, they proceed to a window.  If cold, they come out the door, and crawl under a table with black streamers hanging from it to represent smoke.  Or hang sheets about two feet above the floor for them to crawl under.  Next place a felt flame on their clothing and they must stop, drop and roll. After getting "outside" they run to a neighbor's house and call 911, then proceed to their designated meeting place.
  • Draw red, orange, and yellow flames with sidewalk chalk.  Use hoses or spray bottles of water to “put the fire out.” Some firefighters will allow assisted play with their fire hoses.
  • Smoke, Smoke, FIRE – played like Duck, Duck, Goose.
  • Giant Fire Truck Floor Puzzle from Melissa & Doug
  • Firefighters may have other roleplay scenarios and fire safety activities that should take precedence during this time.


Station 3: Video


  • Fireman Sam: Hero Next Door. “A Real Live Wire” episode. HiT entertainment.


  • My Community: Fire Station. Schlessinger Media.


If the firefighters have brought both equipment and a truck, this station can be substituted with equipment demonstrations.


Snack (Optional)

Make fire truck sandwiches with graham cracker rectangles and frosting.  Use Oreo halves or Gummi-Savers attached with frosting as wheels and gumdrops for sirens.


Station 4: Books and Songs

This station is directed by the librarian and takes the form of a shortened story time

Due to the flexibility needed for this program, several stories and songs have been included in order to suit the program to your individual library’s needs.


Books: 0-3 years

Hubbell, Patricia. 2007. Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Use bells or shakers and perform the poem as a firefighter rap.

Klingel, Cynthia and Robert B. Noyed. 2002. Firefighters. Chanhassen, MN: The Child’s World.

Marzollo, Jean. 1996. I Am Fire. New York: Scholastic.

Simon, Charnan. 2007. Firefighter Tom to the Rescue! Chanhassen, MN: The Child’s World.


Books: 3-5 years

Kunhardt, Edith. 1989. I’m Going to Be a Fire Fighter.  New York: Scholastic.

Teague, Mark. 2010. Firehouse! New York: Orchard Books.

Horowitz, Jordan. 1993. Tonka: Working Hard with the Busy Fire Truck. New York: Scholastic.

Whitling, Sue. 2008. The Firefighters. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press.


Songs and Fingerplays



Tune: I’m a Little Teapot

I'm a little firefighter on the go
Here is my helmet; here is my hose
When I see a fire hear me shout
Turn on the water and put the fire out



Tune: This Old Man

9-1-1, 9-1-1
Press the buttons, 9-1-1
If you’re hurt and scared and you don’t know what to do

9-1-1 sends help to you.

Firefighter Finger Play

Five brave fire-fighters, Sleeping so,
(hold up a hand with fingers flat across palm)

The fire bell rings, Down the pole they go,
(open the hand and make a downward motion)

Jump in the fire truck, Hurry down the street. Climb up the ladder, (make the fingers climb)

Feel the fire's heat. (wipe sweat from your brow)

Five brave fire-fighters (hold up five fingers)

Put the fire out. (make a wiping motion)

Hip! Hip! Hooray! All the people shout!
(shout “Yay!”)


Narrated Play

Children make sound effects

Everything is quiet. The fire truck is ready to go. The fire fighters are asleep at the station. (Sound effect: Snores)
Suddenly the fire alarm rings. (Sound effect: briiiiiinnnnnnggggg)
The fire fighters jump out of bed and run to the truck. (Sound effect: stamp, stamp, stamp of feet)
The truck races away to the fire. (Sound effect: vrooooom, vroooom)
The siren wails all the way. (Sound effect: oooooh oooooh oooooh of siren)
When they reach the fire, the truck screeches to a stop. (Sound effect: tires screeching)
The fire fighters spray water on the fire.
(Sound effect: hissssssssssss)
At last the fire is out. The fire fighters are tired. (Sound effect: yawns)
They climb on the truck and drive back to the station. (Sound effect: vrooooooom)
They put away the truck. Everything is quiet. The fire truck and the fire fighters are ready for the next fire. (Sound effect: snores)


April 1st is National Firefighter Day

The week of October 9th is National Fire Prevention Week




Alphabet Soup. 2011. “Don’t Play with Fire.”

Child’s Play Family Daycare. 2003. “Fire Safety Theme.”

Hummingbird Educational Resources. 2010. “Community Helpers.”

KidsSoup. 2009. “Free Firefighter and Fire Safety Printables, Lesson Ideas, and Rhymes.”

NSW Government. 2007. “Fire and Rescue NSW.”

Preschool Fire Safety Songs and Music.” Everything Preschool. Retrieved March 16, 2011 from