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Dress Up Jobs: Plumbers

Yesterday my group learned about plumbers. Now I know *very little* about plumbing, but when it comes to preschoolers, they need the very basics anyway. We talked about what a plumber fixes, what kinds of tools they use and how important our plumbing is. We looked at wrenches, plungers and a plumbing snake.  We talked about what to do if a toilet becomes clogged. This is always very distressing to the kids when the water rises.  I liked this idea from the Mother Goose Time curriculum:
Flushing & Plunging

  • What would you do if the toilet was clogged?
  • What should you never put in a toilet (toys, shoes, etc)
  • Explain that part of a plumber’s job is to find out why a toilet doesn’t flush and fix it.
  • Invite children to hold hands and turn in a clockwise circle.
  • Explain that when the toilets flushing properly, the water swirls around like this.
  • Repeat by turning counter-clockwise. Explain that some people believe that water swirls the opposite direction on the other side of the world (we’re learning about Australia).
  • Invite children to stop and raise hands up in the sky as though the water is about to overflow. 
  • Push hands down and pretend to plunge.
  • Hold hands again and pretend to flush as children run in a circle.
  • Optional: visit the bathroom, flush the toilet and observe the movement of the water.
We did all of this and the children were very attentive. In the bathroom we talked about the plumber working on the pipes in the bathroom. We looked at the pipes under the sink and talked about the pipes running under the floor and in the walls to the shower. We had an opportunity to use a real plunger (for real, we did).

Next we went down to the basement to see the pipes that come from the bathroom. There’s big pipes and little pipes. Copper pipes and PVC pipes. Pipes that are warm and pipes that are cold. Pipes that carry fresh water and pipes that carry dirty water. We talked about the “machine” that heats the water and the other machine that softens the water. We’ve gone to the basement before and looked at the pipes – the kids find this so interesting and continue to talk about the “pipes in the basement”.

We talked about how important plumbing is in our everyday lives – we need the showers, sinks, toilets everyday. It’s a problem if they don’t work. This comes at a good time. Recently *someone* (I really don’t know who but one has a history of doing it at home) must have flushed *something*. Damon had to use the plumbing snake to push it through.  So while in the midst of our little lesson about water flushing, I told them about this problem we had. 

It was very lucky we didn’t have to call a plumber because plumber’s services are expensive, especially when they need to come fix a problem quickly! I told them “Stacy would rather spend money on new toys than having the potty fixed” and they agreed that would be better! Then on the spur of the moment because I don’t plan ahead as well as I’d like to most days I had them raise their hand and say after me “I promise … to never flush…anything down the potty…besides tissue paper and potty.” They all went home with a certificate stating their new pledge. Their parents were so proud and mostly tickled!
certificate printed from Lakeshore Learning Awards (free!)
So learning about plumbers is fun!