Are you wondering why the kids just ran into the living room wearing tissue boxes on their heads? Probably not. Moms of preschoolers see this stuff all the time. If the kids are dressed in raincoats and last year's boots while climbing on the couch and pretending to drive to a three-alarm fire, you may have some serious little fans of the fire truck on your hands. Once hours are spent putting out pretend fires and rescuing imaginary, tree-stranded kitties, you'd think they would be ready for a nap. If not, keep the fire truck fun going with crafts.
1. Graham Cracker Fire Truck
After a few hours of playing "firefighter," gather the kids around the table to put together an edible fire truck craft. Give each child one rectangular graham cracker, four chocolate sandwich cookies and two saltine crackers. Eat some of the cookies -- you know, to be sure they are fresh. Let the kids use dabs of frosting as "glue" to stick the cookies to the lower half of the graham cracker as wheels. Attach the saltines, with frosting, near the top on both sides, as the front window. Use pretzel sticks, attached with more yummy frosting, to make a ladder on the side of the graham cracker fire truck. If you have red jelly beans or gumdrops, stick one to the top of each fire truck. Eat the fire trucks. After all that sugar, call Grandma immediately. Ask her to watch them for two or three hours, while you go shopping.
2. Fire Truck Shape Collage
Preschool paper-collage crafts serve you in a couple of ways. Kids love the no-rules creativity collage projects offer. Also, if your judgmental neighbor makes a snide comment about your child's art, you can sniff back, "He is a budding Picasso; you wouldn't understand." Actually, that comeback will come in handy through elementary school and beyond, so keep it in mind. To make the crafts, pre-cut geometric shapes from sheets of red, yellow and black construction paper. For inspiration, flip through the pages of a fire truck picture book before turning the kids loose with the glue sticks to create a fire truck collage by gluing the shapes to a sheet of white construction paper.
3. Box Fire Truck
In order to make box fire truck crafts from shoe boxes, someone needs to go to the shoe store to buy new shoes. That person is you, Mom. Good thing you needed them anyway! Remove your new shoes from the boxes, then let the kids paint the boxes and lids red. After the paint is dry, glue black construction paper circles on the box for wheels. Position the wheels above the bottom of the box, because the firetrucks will scoot along, pushed by children, instead of rolling on wheels. Glue silver paper "windows" to the truck. Use plastic drinking straws, cut to size, to glue a ladder to the top of the truck. If the kids wish to make more fire trucks when they are finished, and you are out of boxes, reassure them that Mommy will need more shoes again very, very soon.
4. Fire Truck Paintings
Since you've been promising the little firefighters forever that you would let them get out the watercolors, but just haven't had the urge to deal with it, now is the perfect time. Doesn't it seem like red and black are the only two colors kids use when you break open the watercolor box anyway? If you are feeling super creative, draw simple fire truck shapes on paper, so the kids have a guide to use while painting. If not, just let them paint whatever looks like a fire truck to them. Once the fire truck paintings are dry, use a permanent marker to write the words, "Fire Truck" on each one, to avoid confusion.
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