Community Helpers or Heroes as they are being called here in our home due to the school’s topic is a fabulous topic for kids to learn about and this week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids Theme is just that. This fun FREE printable activity helps you and your toddlers and preschoolers work on beginning letter sounds with the community helper cards.
*As we are British some of the initial sounds for the community helpers we have used may not be what you expect there are a few helpers that have very different titles in the UK so if some of the letters that are matched in this activity look very off to you it’s because of the titles that we give these heroes of our communities*
It amazes me how quickly children start to pick up letter names and sounds, just a few weeks ago T (3 and a half) had no clue about letters and was struggling to recognise her name, now we can talk about letters and some of the sounds that they produce as she is starting to learn phonics. Using this knowledge I wanted to work further to get the basic sounds and using a combination of magnetic letters and a free printable to work on this area of knowledge.
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Cut out the people from the community helpers resource – I also printed off the objects so that we could play a snap/matching game with those up at a later date but only printed off the community helpers without words. Gather up magnetic letters for the first letter of each of the worker’s name – we have a large tube with duplicates.
- Work on initial sounds
- Recognise and name community helpers
Initial Sounds and Community Helpers
I set up our letters and a pile of the community helpers and we first reviewed the community helpers talking about their roles and what they did to help others in the community.
Included in the set are –
- lunchtime supervisor (which we have called Cook)
- fireman – fire fighter
- lollipop people – school crossing guard
- builder – construction worker
- paramedic – first responder
- caretaker – cleaner
- bus driver
- dustbin man – refuse collector, garbage man
- milk man
- postman – mail carrier
- road worker – road crew
With the pile of community helpers, we talked about what they did and then named them – when working with initial sounds I emphasise the first sound in the word.
We’re still working on letter recognition but T is getting really good at hearing that first sound – so the d in doctor and she would repeat it back to me. At the level that she is working at we then hunted through the letters to find the matching letter sound, if you child has letter recognition you could let them search through to find the matching letter themselves.
Whilst we’re working on letters and sounds I make sure to introduce both but start with the phonetic sound of the letter that will help to identify it in words and with spelling and reading the future.
My eldest J wanted to join in – at 5 he’s making fantastic progress with his letter sounds but wanted to work on the cards like T had with me – instead of matching the initial sounds we worked on writing out the names of the community helpers – as he’s learning phonics with some high-frequency words he spells a lot of the words phonetically and hasn’t learnt all of his diagraphs and trigraphs yet so words like teacher – he spelt teecher because the ee and ea make the same sound – As it’s great that he’s attempting and wanting to spell the word and write them, I then write the correct spelling on the card and talk about the difference between the word that he’s written and how the word is actually spelt.
Why not do some firefighter crafts and activities for preschoolers once you finish playing this game.
Book Ideas for Community Helpers
Here are some fantastic book suggestions for Community Helpers including this week’s featured book of Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman
- Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman
- Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrock
- Whose Hat is this? by Sharon Katz Cooper
- The Jolly Postman and other people’s letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
More Community Helper Activities
Check out these other fantastic learning and creative posts for this week’s theme of Community Helpers. Don’t forget you can follow along and join in with our Virtual Book Club for Kids Themes each week with our Book Based Activities Newsletter as well as joining our Weekly Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook Group.
Rescue the Alphabet Game by Mom Inspired Life
Making and Delivering Mail by Growing Book by Book
Community Helpers Starting Sounds by YOU ARE HERE!
Map Activity for a Community Helpers Preschool Theme by Fun-A-Day!
Road Construction Pretend Play: The Importance of Stop & Go Games for Kids by Still Playing School
Doctor or Nurse Community Helper Center: Band-Aid Games by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Crossing Guard-Learning and Imaginative Play by Capri + 3
Teach About Community Helpers with Role Playing by The Educators’ Spin On It
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.