How to Teach Kids About Ambulances

Display a picture of an ambulance for children to study.
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Ambulances can be scary to young children, especially kindergarteners. Focus on the positive aspects of emergency services when teaching kindergarteners about ambulances. Explain that ambulances are driven by emergency helpers in the community. Ambulances come to rescue injured or sick people and quickly transport them to a medical facility for care. Talk to children about the phone number 911. Tell them that people call 911 when there is a serious medical problem or other emergency and they need immediate help. An ambulance will then come.

1 Guided Discussion

Introduce the topic of ambulances by showing pictures and using words like "emergency vehicle," "911" and "rescue." Talk about the meaning of an emergency. An emergency is a serious, unexpected situation, usually requiring professional help. An emergency vehicle may be a fire truck or ambulance that comes to the scene of the emergency to rescue -- or save -- someone in need. Open the floor to discussion. Invite children to talk about what they already know about ambulances. They can describe what an ambulance looks like, what it sounds like or where they've seen one. Some children may know someone who has been in an ambulance or may have been in an ambulance themselves. They can share their experiences.

2 Books, Songs and Activities

Share a book that involves an ambulance. Pre-screen the book beforehand to ensure age-appropriateness. Engage the class in an ambulance-related activity such as a song, coloring activity or role play. At the end of the lesson, lead a closing circle and assess whether children understand what an ambulance is for and when calling 911 is necessary. If possible, schedule a field trip to a place where children might be able to see an actual ambulance, or invite a paramedic who works on an ambulance to visit the classroom and talk to the children.

Rachel Pancare taught elementary school for seven years before moving into the K-12 publishing industry. Pancare holds a Master of Science in childhood education from Bank Street College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College.