People who help us: Emergency, 999!

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Use these fun ideas to introduce the children to the important roles played by the main emergency service helpers

Emergency, 999!

1 Cops and robbers

Investigate a robbery carried out by a story character

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Exploration and Investigation

Development matters: show an interest in why things happen (22-36 months); show an awareness of change (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Copies of Burglar Bill and Cops and Robbers both by Allan and Janet Ahlberg (Picture Puffin); role-play area set up as a ‘homely’ scene; props such as computer gadgets, ornaments and jewellery; ‘Cops and robbers (1)’ and ‘Cops and robbers (2)’ activity sheets; ‘cops’ and ‘robbers’ dressing-up clothes.

What to do

Read Burglar Bill and Cops and Robbers with the children. Discuss the different characters illustrated in the books.

Help the children to make a set of humorous masks using the ‘Cops and robbers’ activity sheets. Then, invite them to take turns to dress up as ‘cops’ and ‘robbers’ for role play based on the story characters.

Place four to six items, such as gadgets and ornaments on a table in the home area. Invite a ‘robber’ to remove one or two items. Suggest that they also move the position of other items to set the scene.

Encourage the ‘cops’ to investigate the ‘robbery’ by looking for clues, for example, ‘Has anything changed?’, ‘Does anything look different?’, ‘Is anything missing?’.

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