Sanity Savers: Community Helpers need YOUR help

Presented by M&T Bank

Written by: Amelia Schrader
Senior Manager of Learning and Education

Materials

Firefighter: Shallow, large bin, Squirt bottle, Small paper or plastic cups
Police Officer: Paper, drawing material (crayons, markers etc.)
Garbage Collector: Colored rice, Tweezers, Storage bin, Small bin labeled “Garbage”, Small toys or pieces of paper

 Length:

Set up time: 20 minutes
Play Time: Unlimited   

Academic Subject(s):

Arts, Social Studies  

Happy Census Day! The decennial census only occurs once every ten years and it is critical to accurately count every member of your household help influence billions of dollars in federal funding that goes to schools, hospitals and other critical community resources. These resources provided much needed resources to our community helpers!  

These activities will help your child understand the important roles of different community helpers and how YOU can help them by participating in the 2020 Decennial Census!  

Directions:

Step 1: What is a community helper? A community helper is someone who works in our community to improve the overall health and well being of the community. Ask your child for some examples of community helpers. Examples include: firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, construction workers, mail carriers, bus drivers, soldiers, dentists, librarians, and grocery store workers. Each of the next steps look a little closer at a few of our community helpers that need you to accurately complete your 2020 Census to receive the resources they need to keep our community safe!  

Step 2 (Firefighter): Firefighters help members of our community during an emergency. In addition to putting out fires, they also help rescue people during car accidents or when assist with an animal is in distress. This activity allows children to explore one of the jobs of a firefighter through sensory play.
1.    Fill the squirt bottle with water.
2.    Stack the paper/plastic cups into a pyramid inside the shallow bin. Aim the squirt bottle and attempt to knock down the paper cups.
3.    Re-stack as many times as you want to continue the fun! 4.    You can add some number recognition practice by numbering each cup and encouraging children to aim at a specific number, aim at the cups in numerical order, aim at the cups in reverse numerical order and/or skip count! You will need a permanent marker to label the cups.

Sanity Savers: Community Helpers need YOUR help

While your child is playing, discuss the other important activities that firefighters perform to help keep our community safe! If our community is accurately counted in the 2020 Census, Firefighters will be able to access valuable resources like new equipment, more jobs and enhancements to vehicles.

Step 3 (Police Officer): Police officers also help our community during emergencies. They are here to protect us from criminals, respond to accidents, locate lost people and control traffic when needed. This activity allows children an opportunity to thank a police officer for all of their hard work protecting our community!
1.    Use a piece of paper to draw a picture of one of the many jobs a police officer does to help keep our community safe! 2.    Write “Thank you for serving our community” on the top of the paper. You can copy these letters or ask your grown up for help!
3.    Drop off the card or mail it to your local precinct. You can also give this card to an officer in person! (Please be mindful of social distancing practices in place for Spring 2020)

Sanity Savers: Community Helpers need YOUR help

Step 4 (Garbage Collector): Garbage collectors are vital to our community. Through this sensory play activity, children will develop fine motor skills while understanding the important role of garbage collectors.
1.    Set up sensory bin by filling the large storage bin with colored rice (you can also use plain rice, water beads, sand or other filler material you have around the house).
2.    Place small toys in the colored rice carefully burying some of them beneath the top layer. Be careful to use appropriate size toys to prevent choking hazards. You can also use cut up paper squares if you do not have appropriate sized toys.
3.    Explain to your child that the small toys are actually “garbage” and they need to be sorted out from the rest of the bin. Give your child the tweezers and show them how to use this tool. Have your child practice using the tweezers to sort the “garbage” out of the sensory bin and dropping it into the small bin on the side. Garbage collectors will benefit from an accurate 2020 Census count though proper distribution of resources to help them do their jobs and keep our planet clean! 

Working through these various projects together helps your child understand that YOU can help our important community helpers by participating in the 2020 Census.  

Vocabulary Words

· Census – The process by which the government counts people. The data collected in the 2020 Census will be used to assess state and local voting districts and influence how $800 billion in federal funds are distributed throughout the country.
· Community Helper – A community helper is someone who works in our community to improve the overall health and well being of the community. Examples include: firefighters, police officers, teachers, doctors, construction workers, mail carriers, bus drivers, soldiers, dentists, librarians, and grocery store workers. 

For more Sanity Savers projects click here!