1 year old
Emergency Services Small World Play07:30
Sometimes there are things that are too difficult to explain to our children in words, and so we deal with things the only way that we now, playing our way through to learn and discover and begin to understand. I've seen this quote a few times recently and find it quite comforting:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." -- Fred Rogers
I set out our WOW Toys playmat and a selection of our emergency vehicles for the children to play with, we have a fire truck, police car, police plane and ambulance as well as the Sylvanian Families Clinic. I let the children make up their own little scenarios for a little while, and sometimes made suggestions of what might be happening. My main goal was to show them that in any situation there would be the emergency services there to help people.
For the most part since Ethan and Ivy are still quite young I try to shield them from any devastating news. I'm sure that anyone with older children or when the news is closer to home doesn't have that option, so it is worth considering the option of playing through the scenarios with small world play to help the children to understand.
When Ivy had a choking incident we did some First Aid Pretend Play which was a big help for both children to understand what we do to help people when they are hurt or sick. Now we're thinking about how the emergency services help us. Seeing the ambulance arrive at our house was frightening and confusing for Ethan, so being able to go through everything that happened to Ivy using our small world people and vehicles really has helped him to understand.