When my son, Taylor, turned 16 this past year, we were reminiscing about his favorite birthday parties. Much to my surprise, one of his favorite ones was when he turned 6 years old. We invited some neighborhood friends and went on an educational trip to the local Fire Department.
The children had a great time getting the tour of the fire station. They got to see where the firefighters spent their day waiting for an emergency. They saw the office where all the radios and maps were located, the “bunks” where they slept, and the kitchen where they prepared “healthy” meals. The fire fighters even presented basic fire safety tips to the children. In addition, the kids got a detailed tour of the fire trucks. They saw (up close) all the tools, hoses, and emergency equipment. Their favorite part of the trip was being able to put on a real firefighter helmet, sit in the driver’s seat and hear the siren (with ears plugged, of course!). When we got back to the party for refreshments, my husband dressed in his jump gear (Scott is a volunteer firefighter) and delivered Taylor’s birthday cake. It was a hot April day, so after the kids filled up on refreshments, they were ready to have some more fun. I got a couple of garden hoses and squirted the kids with cool water as they ran around. The Kidney Brothers would have loved being apart of the water fun! They got messy, wet, and dirty but they had a fun-filled (educational) day.
Birthday parties can get very expensive and redundant as the years fly by. Local fire departments often offer fire safety sessions to promote fire prevention. The tour was free and the kids also came home with plastic helmets and badges of their own, not to mention safety tips. Contact your local fire department’s fire safety and public relations page online to schedule your fun, educational and inexpensive outing that may just turn out to be a favorite birthday memory for your kid, too!