One of the things we’re doing this year for Kindergarten is a Community Helper Theme each week. We started off learning about Fire Fighters, fires, and fire safety.
We talked about firemen and the equipment they use, and what to expect if they are ever in a fire. After our little schpeel on safety we did an experiment to show how fire works.
Since this is an important topic we did it as a group. Our first activity was a lesson on fire itself.
There are three things that fire needs to burn:
As a demonstration, we lit 3 small birthday candles to show the 3 things that fire needs to burn and how to put out a fire safely. For this demonstration you will need:
- 3 small candles
- 1 spray bottle filled with water
- 1 metal tray
- 3 clumps of play-doh or clay
- 1 drinking glass or jar
- Matches or a lighter
- A fire extinguisher (We did NOT use the fire extinguisher, I just showed it to them so they know how it works, and to check them regularly)
Demonstration 1: Heat
We sprayed the first one with a water bottle to show that if we remove the heat, the flame went out. We also discussed how if there is a fire on the stove top that involves oil, water will not work but will instead create larger flames. We talked about fire fighters, hoses, and hydrants. I also told them how we do not to park near a fire hydrant in the event a fire crew needs access to it.
Demonstration 2: Air
Next we placed a glass over the top of the 2nd candle to show that if you take away the air the flame will also go out. Again, I used the fire on the stove top with oil example to show that the best way to put out an oil fire is to cover it with a metal lid.
The kids were excited to see that after just a few seconds the flame indeed went out!
Demonstration 3: Fuel
Finally, the 3rd candle was allowed to burn until the wax was all gone to show that if you remove the ‘fuel’ the fire will go out. I didn’t actually let this burn down as we were out of clay and had to use our Educational Insights Play Foam. I wasn’t sure about the fire-proof capabilities of this so just to be safe we blew it out.
One of the most well known fire safety actions is the “Stop-Drop-Roll”. We practiced this several times, rolling around to put out our pretend flames.
Once we were done with our fire demonstration, we drew up an evacuation plan for our home and made a meeting spot. Since everyone’s house is different, you’ll need to draw up your own plan. Make it simple, too many rules will complicate it for little guys. We showed them how to check their door for heat before opening it, then discussed how smoke rises. When evacuating your home, they should cover their mouths with a damp rag and crawl out if necessary.
Once we went over our evacuation plan a few times, I sent all the kids to their rooms to play. I set off the fire alarm in the house and they were all instructed on how to get out of the house and to their meeting spot safely.
We repeated the fire drill a couple times that day, then again later when Dad got home. We’ll do these randomly from here on out so the kids can practice. My oldest doesn’t like the sound, but I explained that practice is what will save her life if there is a fire.
Tip from the trenches: Make sure you have some extra 9-volt batteries on hand before you do this, apparently setting off your fire alarm several times in one day really takes the juice out of your alarms, we replace batteries in 3 of them the next day!
Visit a fire station:
If possible, take a trip to your local Fire Station. It’s great for the kids to see a firefighter, their equipment, and the station. The firefighters will normally show the kids how they get dressed in all their gear which is great. This helps get rid of some of the fear kids can experience if they see a fully dressed firefighter come into their house. Some kids are so afraid of the scary man that they don’t scream for help.
Hope you enjoy our Kindergarten Fire Safety Unit!