When kids think of police officers, they often think of sirens, chases, and arrests. It’s exciting stuff, but it’s not all the police do.
Lucky for us, we have James Burd Brewster and his Glad to Do It series to teach our kids about another side of police work–the real hero stuff.
Officer Jack Underwater introduces Officer Jack and his partner, Officer Kate, and follows them as they save a woman trapped in a car that is slowly sinking into the river. The officers use brilliant team work to get the woman out of the car. Brewster uses sparse language to take the scary out of the story and build up the heroism in a non-frightening way.
Officer Jack Underwater Activities
I’m totally smitten with Brewster’s books. The reason I crush so hard on them is they’re full of heart. Just check out the dedication of this book:
This book is dedicated to police officers everywhere (Federal, State, County, and City) who daily place themselves in harm’s way in order to save lives, protect property, and preserve public safety.
If you want your littles to understand the truth about who police are and what they do, this book (and series) is perfect for that.
Coming up with activities for Officer Jack is, for me, an act of honoring Mr. Brewster for honoring our everyday heroes. So I’ve got some good stuff for you.
The simple text of this book uses adjectives and adverbs sparingly–the way writing should be. Here’s a free printable that allows your littles to practice these forms of speech using words pulled directly from the book.
Learn About Rivers Printable
Perfect for Officer Jack, this free printable will teach your littles all about rivers–where they come from, what they consist of, and how they help us. Plus there are some fun activities at the end!
Crumpled Watershed Project
What you need:
- 8.5 x 11 sheet copy or printer paper
- 8.5 x 11 sheet card stock
- Non-permanent markers in brown, blue, and green
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Scotch tape
What you do:
- Crumple the paper into a wad (the tighter you crumple, the more complex the model will be)
- Un-crumple the paper and set it on the sheet of card stock
- Tape edges of paper to card stock, leaving at least an inch of card stock around the perimeter of the paper (you don’t want to completely flatten the paper back out, but to leave the ridges caused by crumpling in it)
- Use the brown or green marker to gently shade the ‘ridges’ of their crumpled paper–that is, anything that sticks up and resembles a mountain or hill
- Use a blue marker to carefully draw in where rivers and lakes would be
- Use the spray bottle to simulate rain over your your model by lightly misting the paper
Discuss with your littles whether the blue of the rivers flow where they expected it to and look closely at where the most water collected. Was it surrounded by ‘mountains’? These are the areas that are watersheds.
You can’t be Officer Jack without your badge. This simple craft will have your kids pretending to be police officers in no time.
What you need:
- Lit Mama’s Police Badge Template
- 4×6 square thin cardboard
- 4×6 square clear contact paper
- 5×7 square aluminum foil
- Safety pin
- Hot glue gun (for mama or dada to use)
What you do:
- Trace badge template onto both cardboard and contact paper and cut out
- Wrap aluminum foil around cardboard badge (you might want to tape the foil to the back to hold it in place)
- Fill in the name and town on the badge name template with a dark marker
- Give it a minute to dry then color badge name template however you want
- Cut out the individual parts of the badge name template
- Remove backing from contact paper
- Place badge name parts face down on sticky side of contact paper (make sure you have them where you want them before you press them down–they do not come back off)
- Line contact paper badge up with foil badge and press down
- Hot glue safety pin to the back for attaching to little clothes (this job is for mama or dada)
You want to talk about yummy? This is yummy AND fun. Oreo riverbed, marshmallow rocks, chocolate pudding mud and vanilla pudding river? I mean…
What you need:
- 3.5 oz box instant chocolate pudding
- 3.5 oz box instant vanilla pudding
- 1/2 cup crushed Oreos
- 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 3-oz box Swedish Fish
- Blue food coloring
What you do:
- Prepare puddings according to directions on boxes
- Stir marshmallows into chocolate pudding
- Stir 10-12 drops blue food coloring into vanilla pudding
- Divide crushed Oreos into the bottoms of 4 clear dessert cups
- Divide chocolate pudding and marshmallows between cups over the Oreos
- Cover the chocolate pudding with a thin layer of blue vanilla
- Add a couple of Swedish Fish
O.M.G. These are so freaking cute! And yummier than I can describe.
Practice 911 Police Call
Practicing an imaginary script for contacting the police during an emergency is a good idea so that your littles know what to say and what will be expected of them if they ever have to make the call. This printable provides a short script you can add to in order to allow your children that practice.
This printable includes water safety tips and a Water Safety Plan for your littles to fill out to help them remember how to be safe around water.
Y’all, I’m telling you, you have got to get your hands on this book. In a world where daily media can have your kids confused about what it is police officers really do, this book is going to remind them that the cops are the good guys. And you can’t get any better than that.
Looking for more Story Time fun? Check out:
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