by Julie A. Daymut, M.A., CCC-SLP
Community helpers are people who live and work in our communities. They
do many different things to help us every day. They provide us with goods (products
we use) and services (things they do for us). Some examples of community helpers
are: doctors, nurses, chefs, bakers, astronauts, soldiers, teachers, dentists, mail
carriers, bus drivers, coaches, babysitters, fishermen, plumbers, firefighters,
farmers, librarians, and volunteers. Think of all the people in your community who
do these jobs. Talk about these different jobs with your children. Your children
can learn a lot from community helpers!
In school, teachers use themes—or certain topics—to help students learn. Community
helpers is a theme. Children often learn about community helpers in preschool
or elementary school. To learn about these workers and their jobs, teachers may
show a video in class, have a community helper visit to talk about his/her job,
or take students on a field trip to see community helpers in the places they work.
What Can Community Helpers Teach Children?
Community helpers are part of children’s everyday lives. When children interact
with community helpers, they communicate and socialize. They learn new vocabulary,
ask and answer questions, and gain knowledge about the world around them. In school,
they look at books, sing songs, color pages, make crafts, and play dress up to learn
about these workers. You can help your children learn about community helpers too.
Here are some activities to do with your children at home.
- Name all the tools a community helper needs to complete the job.
- Draw pictures of community helpers at work.
- Ask questions like “What does he do?” “Where does he work?” “Who else works there?”
- Talk about what your children want to be when they grow up.
- Make lists of ways community helpers help, then list ways your children help others.
- Create a story about a community helper and help your children write it down.
- Pretend you are community helpers and role-play what to say and do.
- List all the community helpers your children know and talk about them and how they help.
- Read books about community helpers.
- Talk about what different community helpers have in common with each other.
- Make a map of your community and mark the places that have community helpers.
- Play dress up and act out community helpers’ jobs.
- Put on a play with community helper dolls or puppets.
- Visit community helpers and have them tell your children what they do and what they like about their job.
- Group community workers by category, such as medical workers or outdoor workers, to practice sorting skills.