Last year I took the kids to the local fire station open house. Little Man was too small (not even a year old at the time), so he just stayed in my arms the whole time. Miss Magoo thought it was awesome, but she was a little bit afraid, still. Sparky the Fire Dog kept asking if she’d give him a high five, but she was just a little bit too scared. However, she wanted to stand and look at him, just not too closely.
I’ve since come to realize that Miss Magoo takes a lot of time to process things, but once she does, she’s fearless- so if I can spend the time beforehand letting her know what to expect in a new situation, she does great. If I try to spring something brand new on her without warning, she gets very quiet and seems withdrawn- but she’s really just busy processing and taking it all in.
So after we went to the Fire Station Open House last year, every day for weeks Miss Magoo asked me when she could go back again and give Sparky a hug.
When we got there this year, Sparky wasn’t out yet, so Dan told her to ask where Sparky was. She marched up to one of the firefighters and asked. He sent the rookie to “find” Sparky (to dress up in the costume), and a few moments later, Miss Magoo finally got to give him a hug. It was so adorable!
I’m glad I was able to capture her expression right after hugging him- she was so ecstatic! (Oh, and I should probably mention that she had fallen at Little Man’s birthday party and hurt her nose, but picked the scab off, so that’s what is on her nose).
Little Man wasn’t so sure about Sparky, although he finally did give him a high five towards the end- and of course I didn’t get a picture of that. Mostly, Little Man was thrilled to sit in the different fire engines. Miss Magoo would get into one and immediately move to the passenger side and tell Little Man that she needed him to drive her to help people at an emergency.
This was such a great experience for the kids. I think it’s great for kids to have a chance to meet emergency workers, such as fire fighters, EMTs, and police officers, so that way if there is ever an emergency, they aren’t afraid of these people. Additionally, at this open house we were able to take the kids in an educational trailer, where a fire fighter talked about fire safety, what smoke means and how the kids should stay towards the floor, to touch the door before opening it, and how to stop, drop, and roll. A lot of it was too advanced for my kids, but it was good to start exposing them to it.
Overall, it was a really fun time for the kids, and I think they would have stayed there all day if we would have let them. It helped that they got hotdogs and ice cream bars!
Does your local fire station do anything like this? If so, have you gone? If they don’t, you should consider calling and asking if they would do a tour for your kids, or if they ever host any educational classes. This event will definitely be a part of our summer every year!
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