Law and Order
September 2, 2014
Policeman / fireman / sheriff
Who gets to wear the badge or a star? Authority figures will figure into children’s imaginative play. Hopefully your children look up to our law enforcement officers and firefighters. They will take their cue from you. If you believe and talk about the social service that public servants perform, your children will respect them. If you refer to the police as “pigs” or with your radar detector are constantly on the lookout for the police then it’s likely your children will have a different view. The television news is likely to report police in a negative tone. In any case and especially if you have respect and gratitude for our public servants, policemen, firemen, or sheriff, think Marshal Dillon, are favorite heroes and characters for children.
Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians are the classic confrontations. Older children will identify with detectives, Crime Scene Investigators and other roles popularized on network television.
Skills/learning/benefits: drama, role play, social skills, language, exploration. Provides an opportunity to explore right and wrong, rules and laws and consequences for wrong-doing.
The props: The all important badge can be made from cardboard or heavy construction paper. In some ways a paper badge is better because it can be personalized with their name and bigger than a “real” badge. Metal badges are more authentic. Check them out, ideally in the store, for sharp edges and points that may make them unsafe. A fireman’s hat is a great find. (Why are they shaped like that?) A pair of rain boots adds some authenticity. A cardboard box can be a police car or fire truck. Maybe your fireman gets a turn with the water hose in the back yard!