Saturday, March 05, 2011

Police Officer and Fire Fighter Storytimes

One of my favorite things to do at storytime is to have a "celebrity guest." I've noticed that attendance starts to fall off a little in spring when the weather gets nicer, so I've found that one way to guarantee a good sized-crowd is to have a special storytime. Having a police officer or firefighter drop by storytime is a lot of fun!

I know I had a hard time finding books that appealed to this age group so I thought I would share what has worked for me. Don't forget to check your nonfiction section as well as looking through the catalog for picture books. I found some great nonfiction books that explained in simple language what community helpers do.

Another advantage of hosting these storytimes for me is to get to know the police officers in our community better. We are all public servants. Don't forget that police officers and fire fighters are taxpayers and voters too--just like us!

Police Officer Storytime
A Day with Police Officers by Jan Kottke A good preschool nonfiction overview
The Police Cloud by Christoph Niemann You could also use this for firefighter storytime
Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten Hamilton; illustrated by R.W. Alley Rhyming text. The kids loved to yell "Go, Mike, Go!" with me.
Shhhh! Everybody's Sleeping by Julie Markes; illustrated by David ParkinsAlso a great source for ideas for other community helpers you could invite to come read  (doctors, bakers, farmers, etc.). The kids were very excited to go outside and check out the patrol car, so I used this one to settle them down a little so we could get through the stories.

For a craft, we made badges out of a coloring sheet and taped them to the kids' shirts. This was a big hit.

Firefighter Storytime
Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre I love Ted, but this might be a little long for your group
The Trucker by Barbara Samuels I love this book. Lola reminds me of my cat.
Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving by Patricia Hubbell; illustrated by Viviana Garfoli 
If I Were a Firefighter by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Fire Fighter Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox

For a craft, we made fire fighter helmets out of construction paper. Adorable.