Fantastic fire fighters-lessons in safety and stereotypes

Last year, while we were at her grandparents’, we had a surprisingly long long power outage. On enquiring, we were told that it was due to a fire in the neighbourhood. Until then, the only fire that V was used to was the one that helps us cook food and the one that lights our diyas. This was something new and no wonder she found it fascinating.

She made us relate the whole incident from the moment the fire broke out until it was contained. So much so that it became her favourite bed time story, and we had to narrate it atleast 3-5 times a day. I have never given any thought to fire trucks and fighters and this was a great opportunity for me to learn with her.

Community helpers

The fact that anybody could call the fire station when needed, and they would rush to help was new and a wonderful introduction to community helpers and occupations. We went on to learn about different occupations, as well.
And you know what? I learnt something about my self that day. While narrating the story, I have no idea why I called them only fire fighter uncles (inbuilt stereotyping, much?). I’ve ever since made it a point to mention that there are both uncles and aunties who work at the fire-station and help us. I would highly recommend the Alphabet Dress-up book by the Fun Ok Please for a non-biased take on occupations.

This lift-out puzzle from Goki was the only one that had female fire-fighters and I could procure easily


This DIY firefighter booklet from Measuredmom is a great way to introduce toddlers to the uniform and equipment used, and their use. Their uniform, boots, and coats are all resistant. The helmet is protective in function.
The gear they carry-like the hose pipe, shields, flash lights have different functions,too.

A DIY booklet on gears and eqipment

Fire Safety

This also happened to be the perfect time to talk to her about safety. She has seen extinguishers, sand and smoke alarms in our apartment and malls, and knows their uses. The topic also lends some fabulous role-play opportunities to improve imagination and vocabulary. We love watching V put on her imaginary uniform and hose down fire with her water-bottle.

Flashing Fire engines is a bomb of a book for toddlers!

Causes of fire

Recently there was a case of forest fires in Australia. I was discussing the same with my husband and V eavesdropped on us and got intrigued. We researched causes of wildfires and were surprised to learn that lightning causes them. We also spent a few days thinking up scenarios where fires could originate and spread within a house. V came up with some fantastic examples- 1. Appa is cooking and forgets to switch off the stove. 2. We There is too much of breeze and the lamps are lighted. 3. A baby plays with matchsticks and lights up books.

This also gave us reason to talk about why some things burn easier than others, and why security checks are required in flights. Not only that, we have also spoken about what are the precious items she would save if there was a fire, and the answers she comes up with every time is downright beautiful.

Sometimes, I worry that I influence her tastes and likes, unconsciously, because we spend too much time together. So when she obsesses over topics like this one, or dinosaurs, that I don’t particularly care about, I feel pretty accomplished. We are also awaiting the summer vacation, where we plan to make a field trip out of visiting the nearest fire station.


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