This weekend we attended a birthday party. I am blessed to have many great and talented friends, many of them being slightly more experienced mommies that I can go to for advice or tips. One of my mommy friends in particular is the birthday party ninja. There are no bounce houses or paid entertainment at her childrens' parties, not that I don't love a good bounce house! At these birthday parties, we have gone on a backyard lion hunt (safari theme), created individual mini pizzas (chef party), and even had an entire party dedicated to the color orange!
Well, this time it was a fireman party. Seems simple enough, but we started the event with a tour of a real fire house. We watched a safety video, talked to firemen, and learned some valuable information on preventing fires, and what to do if there is a fire. One key tip for all of the parents: firemen are scary to small children! Who knew? They came into the room dressed in their gear, hats, masks, boots, tools, and the children were terrified. Imagine being very small and your house is on fire and you are so scared. Then this big, noisy, strange, monstery thing comes in and tries to get you! It was so important to learn how to talk to our children about firemen and what they actually look like on the job. We have met firemen before but it has always been in their regular uniforms, not with all of their gear and the "Darth Vader" sounding mask. It was great to be made aware of this and to have the children get a little more familiar with what a fireman in full gear actually looks and sounds like.
So, after the demonstration, it was on to the fun stuff: checking out the fire house and of course, the truck! You know it's all about the truck! Every child got to look at, touch, climb on, and explore the truck. They rang the bell, and they got to go on a real ride in the truck, with lights and sirens of course! What fun! Every child learned a lot, had fun, and came away with books, crayons, and stickers all courtesy of the Norman Fire Department. The guys were so great with the kids and adults, they answered questions, shook hands, and really took time out of their day to make sure everyone was having a good time. So, thank you firemen! And thank you birthday ninja!
Apparently touring a fire department is as easy as calling them up and asking. It's amazing what you get when you ask, isn't it? What a fun and important activity for a birthday party, pre-school, daycare, or playgroup. Get out, and get to know your local fire department!