Teach Through Games: The Little Firefighters

Teach Through Games: The Little Firefighters

Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary

Description: I discovered this game while at the 2014 American International Toy Fair and could not wait to try it out with my students. (It was on my list of Toy Fair games I was most excited about.) This collaborative game for young learners has all players working together as firefighters to make sure a house doesn’t catch fire. It’s easy to learn and practices lots of early skills. 

Skills & Modifications: I have not modified this game for any of my learners. In order to play, the learner must be able to move a pawn a specified number of spaces on a gameboard. 

photo 1 (28)Counting – The Little Firefighters is fantastic for practicing early counting skills. It provides multiple trials of counting by 1, 2, and 3. 

Peer Play/Taking Turns – Because each player is invested in the same goal, I’ve found that with some of my students they are more attentive to the game during other player’s turns and more aware of when it is their turn.

Color recognition/Matching by color – Each card is associated with a particular firefighter, so it shows a blue, light blue, or yellow card outline to match the path of that firefighter. Players practice color matching by looking at the card they picked and moving the correct firefighter.

Pros: I love that this is a simple collaborative game. I also love that the game can be played with up to six player, making it possible for the whole family or a small peer group to join in the fun.

Cons: Sometimes the game lasts a bit too long for my learners. In those instances, I may “stack the deck” and remove a few of the fire photo 2 (36)cards to avoid playing past my student’s frustration tolerance.

Ideas for extending the lesson: It’s a great idea to utilize this game to discuss fire safety. I love that all of the game tiles have illustrations related to firefighters (pictured at right.)Fire safety is especially important to teach and practice with individuals of all ages who have autism or other developmental delays. For more information about fire safety and other safety issues, click here

You can also introduce it as a matching/memory game without the gameboard. Spread the tiles facedown across the playing surface. Players take turns flipping over two cards. They get to keep a match if the two cards show the same image or the same number of images. For example, a card showing one fire hydrant would match a card showing three fire hydrants and a card showing one fire hydrant would match a card showing one fire engine.

firefightersCost: $19.95 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking opportunities to work on social skills with young learners, you are looking for games for siblings to enjoy together, or you are searching for motivating games for learners who are fixated on being the winner of each game.

ABLLS: B5, K15, L4, L7, R5

VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 5, Math 13

**The Little Firefighters was provided to me for free by the company FoxMind to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the game. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.

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