Welcome to 10 Days of Summer Reading Activities! Today kicks off 10 straight weekdays (come on, guys, I need my weekends!) of reading activities from your very own Lit Mama. And you gotta love it, because this series is part of the even larger 10 Days of Tips for Homeschool Moms series that includes tips from 16 other bloggers! So if you’re getting ready for the upcoming school year and you want to be in the know, make sure you check out all the amazing blogs at the bottom of this post and start the year off right. Also, scroll down to enter the $110 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!
Now. To kick things off.
I know you know it, but my favorite thing ever is discovering new books and authors to introduce to you.
Last month, I told you about Katie Spivey Brewster and her wonderful picture book, Aunt Louise Comes to Visit.
This month I want to tell you about Katie’s husband, James Burd Brewster, the main guy at J2B Publishing and writer/creator of the Glad to Do It series of picture books.
Because they rock. Hard.
I’m not making that up.
Glad to Do It
This post is sponsored by J2B LLC, but my opinions? Oh yeah, they’re my own.
James Brewster puts so much heart into these books that are about our true superheroes–firemen, policemen, and EMTs–and how they are glad to be helpful because it’s what they do. These are very well-written, action-packed stories that will peak the interest of any kiddo. Who doesn’t love fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and heroism? I’m not kidding when I say I can’t recommend them enough.
Rocky Hill Fireman-Fire! Activities
This first book in the Rocky Hill, Fireman series, Fire!, follows Rocky as he goes with his team to a fight a fire and ends up saving a baby. While never talking over kids’ heads, the book gives them all kinds of real information about firefighting and what firefighters do. Even better? It doesn’t talk down to them. I mean, I’m totally smitten.
Seriously. It goes through the steps of getting dressed for a fire, the steps of getting the fire truck going, the necessary tools for fighting a fire and entering a burning building… Your littles will know everything they need to know if they want a future in the fire business.
So let’s get on with some fun activities for this awesome picture book. Because yeah yeah.
Sequencing is such good practice for littles learning how to understand what they’re reading and preparing to write their own stories. This sequencing printable is all about getting dressed for a fire. And it’s totally fun.
Oh me. Oh my. Get your mommy gear on, because there is nothing we could do for science that better matches this book than making colored fire. It’s like fireworks but not in the sky.
It helps if you have a fire pit and can just build a small fire on a lovely summer evening. It doesn’t have to be a big flame to entrance your littles. In fact, the best results occur in flames about 1 foot high.
Make sure you wear safety glasses and fireproof gloves if you’re doing the chemical sprinkling, and don’t get too close to the flames. Safety first.
The cool thing here is you can talk about fire safety before you get started. Show your littles how to keep water or an extinguisher nearby when you start a fire and talk about the dangers of getting too close or neglecting the fire before it’s put out.
Then get ready to have some fun. Because this. is. so. cool.
You’ll need a few household products:
- Water Softener Salt
- Epsom Salt
- Table Salt
You’ll end up with these colors:
- Light green flame: Borax
- Purple flame: Water Softener Salt
- Orange flame: Table salt
- White flame: Epsom salt
Start with sprinkling a small amount onto the flames. If all goes well, keep adding the product until the color changes. That’s all there is to it, but it looks like magic.
You can also make your fire spark with these products:
- Sugar: sprinkle onto the fire for tiny sparks
- Powdered coffee creamer: Throw a handful onto the fire for sparkly flashes
I mean, can you even? This is so cool.
The History of Firefighting
If this book doesn’t make your kiddos want to be firefighters, then I don’t know what. Here’s a free printable for them to learn a little bit about the history of firefighting. There are some fun activities to do as well.
Make Your Own Fireman’s Helmet
What you need:
- Lit Mama’s Fireman’s Helmet Template
- Thin cardboard like a cereal box
- 1 yellow craft foam sheet
- Red craft paint
- Markers to decorate shield
What you do:
- Trace helmet’s outer ring onto cardboard and cut it out
- Paint the entire front of the oval red
- While the paint is drying, trace shield onto foam sheet and cut out
- Decorate shield however you want
- Cut out inner ring and trace onto painted ring, ensuring that the tip of inner ring is about 1 inch from the back of the oval (this will be the back of the helmet)
- Cut out the wavy lines of the inner ring, leaving the straight line at the bottom attached
- Fold the attached line forward
- Glue shield to front of inner ring
- Fit the cut-out circle over your littles’ head
Now your little can pretend to be Rocky!
Fire Truck Sugar Cookies with Homemade Buttercream Frosting
These disappeared almost before I got to take pictures. This frosting? A.maz.ing. Plus, fire trucks. I mean…
What you need:
For the cookies:
- 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
- 3//4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 TBSP heavy cream (you can use milk, but the cream makes them so much better!)
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
For the frosting:
- 4 TBSP butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
What you do:
- For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cream the butter
- Gradually add the sugar, beating as you go until light and fluffy
- Add the egg, vanilla, and cream and mix thoroughly
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and baking soda
- Add to butter mixture and blend well
- Refrigerate 1 hour or more
- Turn batter out on a flour-covered surface
- Roll out till about 1/4 inch thin
- Cut into 2×3 inch rectangles
- Arrange on cookie sheets
- Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly browned
- Allow to cool completely
For the frosting:
- Cream the butter
- Stir in egg yolk
- Continue to beat, adding sugar 2 TBSP at a time
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
- Divide in half
- Add 10-12 red food coloring to half the frosting (if it’s not red enough, add more until you’re happy)
For the decorations:
- Frost each cookie with red frosting
- With a small spatula, create windows near the top of cookie with un-colored frosting
- Use the edge of the spatula (or your fingers!) to make headlights near the bottom corners of each cookie with un-colored frosting
- Use a toothpick to trace uncolored frosting into 3 grill lines between headlights
My beautiful husband pointed out that I should have fashioned tires onto them, but that sounded like a lot of work for both me and you.
Keep it simple. That way it stays fun.
I know! This Story Time never ends!
But this book provides a great opportunity to practice emergency procedures with your littles.
Practice 9-1-1 Calls
We teach our kids to call 911 if a serious emergency happens, but have you ever let your kids practice making that call? Use this free printable script to help your littles practice.
Make a custom family fire escape plan
If you don’t already have a plan in place in case of a house fire, use this free printable that your kiddos can fill out for themselves!
Have fun with this one, my friends. It was a blast to put together and it will be a blast for your amazing family to enjoy.
Lots of other bloggers are offering you tips on a ton of homeschool subjects, so be sure to check them out! You’ll be able to reach all that yummy good stuff from right here!