Write & Count Fire Trucks

This week is fire prevention week and we’ve been sharing some of our fire truck and firefighter themed crafts on our Pinterest and Facebook now it’s time for something new on the blog. This fire truck math activity is really also a writing one although I only marketed it as a math one for my son. See he isn’t super keen on writing but he loves math. He is a bit of a perfectionist and writing takes practice and it’s hard. So to temper the frustration he feels with writing I added a fun theme and another appealing task , the math. There was still some frustration but there were a lot of smiles too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red paper, a black marker, a pencil, and scissors.
  2. Start by drawing the outline of a fire truck. This does NOT need to be perfect, as you can see mine wasn’t and this took we 3 tries. One tip is to draw on on scrap paper and when it’s just right cut it out and use that as a template. Cut out however many you want.
  3. Add some windows, tires and the most important part the ladder. The rungs on the ladder are what your child will count and then write on the body of the truck.
  4. I cut out 7 but only drew on 5 not knowing if my son would want more than 5 . Good thing I did as you will see.
  5. Count the ladder rungs.math for kids
  6. Write.  After a few he asked if these were all I had. I grabbed the 2 extra and filled them in.
  7. Keep going. Flip over and write on the back if they want more!

Books

Find this post and all 20 reviews here.

Milk Carton Fire Station

It’s no secret how much my son loves firetrucks and doing firetruck crafts. I won’t be shocked if I get a restraining order from the fire department in town for stalking, I am always driving by slowly to let my son see which trucks at at the station. Obsession is perhaps not a strong enough word. So during the bruhaha of becoming a big brother I have stockpiled some super fun ideas that I knew he’d be into and we could have some mama son time like before so there is some continuity in his life.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some milk cartons, plain paper, double sided tape , red paint, some black and white paper , glue and scissors.
  2. Start by taping the cartons together. You can use hot glue as well but double stick tape is easier with eager helping hands.
  3. Cut doors in each carton.
  4. Cover with paper. We used butcher paper ( find it at Walmart under the title “craft paper” for cheap), There is probably an easier way of doing this but I wrapped it then re cut the door holes.
  5. We colored with crayons first just because we wanted to but decorate it how you see fit.
  6. Paint with red paint. If your child wants to they can draw windows , signs, etc with permanent marker first before painting it.
  7. While they paint ask them what number station they want it to be and make a sign with the white and black paper. If they are able to write have them do this after painting.
  8. Add glue for the sign.
  9. Add the sign.
  10. Let dry and play… or if you are my son play with it before it’s dry. I couldn’t stop him!

Books

Clifford The Firehouse Dog by Norman Birdwell is not my favorite book. Generally speaking character books never are. They are formulaic, lacking in originality and in general poor quality. This book is no exception, but I have still read it 400 times. My son loves it. He loves anything about firetrucks or firefighters , saw it at the library and grabbed it.  I would rather him enjoy an ok book than no book at all. I am just not personally a fan of this franchise. If your child is into this character or theme I would get this from the library, but I wouldn’t waste your money on it unless you can’t get your child to read anything else. There are much much better books surrounding this theme to choose from ( the two below are fantastic).

Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell is a wonderful rhyming book all about the work firefighters do. After only reading it twice my son was rhyming along with the simple but well crafted text. I liked that there was a mix of male and female firefighters, that the text incorporates information about equipment as well as tasks the firefighters complete on a call. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book are the details in the illustrations by Viviana Garofoli, the soot on the faces of the rescued and firefighters, the unique angles used in the illustrations and the fun colors. Great book!

Firefighter Frank by Monica Wellington was a huge score at the library. My son and I both love this author/illustrator and have read many of her books , but this one has never been available, and I can see why. The author has a knack for sharing information with her readers in a fun, simple way that is perfect for preschoolers. This book is no exception to her other great books.  I particularly enjoy some of the vocabulary she uses in this book about Firefighter Frank, words like shrill, intense, and exhausted. They aren’t obscure words but they are not often seen in books geared to those as young as this one, and the context is supportive so that even a young child can help decipher the meaning of the words.  The book itself tells a simple( and common) story but between the author’s ability to tell the story better than other authors, and the bright and beautiful illustrations this books stands out from the firefighter crowd.

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Books About : Emergency Workers

Do your child’s ears perk up when they hear sirens? Do they ask to drive past fire stations just to see if the trucks are “at home” ? Have they ever dreamed about being a firefighter, doctor or police officer? If they have these books will be perfect for them.

Emergency

Emergency! by Gail Gibbons is a great compilation of all the different kinds of emergency responders in our community from police, ambulance , firefighters and and even utility workers. My son loved the simple illustrations and the descriptive but to the point text about all the different vehicles and people inside them.  We also both loved the look at the history of some of the different vehicles over time at the end of the book.

policeman small

Policeman Small was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Policeman Small is about a policeman in a simpler time, a time that is perfect for little readers not looking for the reality of what police work is, instead looking for something simple. A big hit with young toddlers, my son enjoyed this book well before he was 2 and still does years later.

Ambulances

Ambulances by Carol K. Lindeen is a simple non fiction book all about ambulances that uses simple questions and real photographs to inform and educate the reader. My son loved that the book uses real photographs , he studied each one asking questions about who each person , what happened to them etc…  The text is very brief but it does it’s job explaining the basics so that like my inquisitive little guy , your child can use that base knowledge and ask more specific questions after reading each page and studying the photographs. Good non fiction choice.

Dr. Meows Big Emergency

Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd was taken out of the library late last week and has been read at least twice a day since, we both know it off my heart.  In the book readers meet Dr. Meow and her trusty ambulance driver Woof as they care for patience and rush to the aid of Tom Cat who has been injured falling out of a tree. Really it’s a story about being kind to others and forgiving, as Tom Cat learns not to pick on little Mr. Bird and in turn Mr. Bird forgives Tom Cat for his mistakes.  Both my son and I loved the little cheeky details, humor and fun little world that the author illustrator created in this book.


Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my moneys worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!

Fire Truck Craft

fire truck craft

It is no secret my son loves fire trucks. We often have to drive by the local station on the way home to see if the trucks are in or busy rescuing people. This fire truck craft does take some prep work but is a great lesson in shapes and as your child gets older you can simply give them the pieces and let them put them together like a puzzle. I was very hands off today and glad I was, he needed very little help. All I did was ask him where he thought each piece should go and what shape each was.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red, yellow, orange, white and black paper, scissors , a black marker and glue. fire truck craft
  2. Start by pre cutting the shapes. I started with a building with rectangle windows – this is not necessary I did this per my son’s request for something on fire. The picture of this is lost – I made it by cutting a black rectangle then folding it and making rectangle window cut outs.
  3. Next I cut out a ladder, a main rectangle for the truck, a square for the ab, a tiny square for the siren, 3 circles for the wheels and yellow and orange triangles for the flames coming out of the burning building.  If your child is able simply draw the shapes and have them cut them out!fire truck craft
  4. Time for your little learner to join you.  Add glue for the shapes. fire truck craft
  5. Start piecing them together- we started with the main part of the truck then the ladder.fire truck craft
  6. The cab and wheels.fire truck craft
  7. Don’t forget to ask your child what all these shapes are! Next we added the small square for a siren.
  8. fire truck craftHe added the building fire truck craft
  9. Next he channeled his toddler self and pretended to eat the glue ” No I am not eating it mama, I am playing with the air puffs.” That didn’t make me feel better ! fire truck craft
  10. And the triangle flames. fire truck craft
  11. Let dry.

Books

Flashing Fire Engines

Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton is a favorite at our house. Normally even after my son and I read the books we review I grab them to do the write up , this is on my son’s shelf where it always is I know the whole thing off by heart as does my son , so no need to grab it for reference. The book is a rhyming masterpiece, somehow keeping up the rhyming pace as it explains how firefighters fight fires and rescue people! Details like what gear they wear, and how hoses and hydrants work are included as well as ladders and sirens. My son loves this book and as an adult who has  read it hundreds of times it’s fun to read,  even over and over again.

All Aboard Fire Trucks

All Aboard Fire Trucks by Teddy Slater is never where i expect it to be in my house, because my son carries it around to read all by himself. No at 3 he isn’t reading yet instead he’s memorized much of this text and likes to sit and go over the many types of fire vehicles that are discussed in this very detailed book.  I have learned a lot from this book. It covers the basics but also goes into the more specialized fire vehicles like airport firetrucks, foam units for chemical fires and bulldozers used in forest fires.  If your child gasps every time they see a firetruck, can tell a pumper from a ladder and dreams of fighting fires, they will love this informative book!

tonka fire trucks

Tonka: Fire Trucks by Melissa A Torres is another favorite of my son. This is a Tonka book and has wheels that really roll which has served us well while traveling. It serves a double duty as a book and toy. The book itself isn’t bad either- which surprised me because usually novelty books like this usually underwhelm me. This book covers all the major types of vehicles used to fight fires, a pumper, an aerial ladder truck, fire chief’s truck, rescue truck and fire boat. Just the right amount of info is given for each and the illustrations support the text well. If your child isn’t into fire trucks I wouldn’t go searching out this book but if they are it’s a a worthy  addition to your library of firetruck books.

Letter of The Week f

Fire f

letter of the week craft

I know I am only part way through the lowercase alphabet and I am repeating f, but true to what I preach I wanted to make something that was relevant to my little man. He is very into firefighters right now and he has had me read the books below countless times so I thought it more important to focus on his interests than if we’re repeating a letter or not.  Also he is not in the pictures today because he was out with his grandparents for a birthday treat.  We will be making this in the morning .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need red and yellow tissue paper, one piece of orange construction paper, one piece of black construction paper , glue , a marker and scissors.letter of the week craft
  2. Start by writing a lowercase f on the orange paper.letter of the week craft
  3. Cut your tissue paper into rough strips. letter of the week craft
  4. Add glueletter of the week craft
  5. Add your flames ( tissue paper)letter of the week craft
  6. Let dry
  7. Cut outletter of the week craft
  8. Glue to the black paper. letter of the week craft

Books

firefighters A to Z

Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest is an alphabet book that teaches about fire safety and the danger firefighters face every time the alarm sounds. My son is fascinated with firefighters right now, he loves to dress up as one at preschool and we often take the long way home to swing past the station and see if the engines are in or not.  He loves this book but I don’t think your child needs to have the level of obsession mine does to enjoy it.


The Little Fire Engine by Lois Lenski is a simple little book about a fire engine that goes to put out fires. Nothing special but every time my son sees it at the library he won’t let it go. In 6 months we’ve taken it out 4 times. I think the bright retro illustrations ( it was originally published in 1946) and the simple text is what makes it so appealing.
Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my moneys worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!