People who help us: Sea and air rescue

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Find out about coastguards, lifeguards and air ambulance crew, and how they help people in danger

Sea & air rescue

1 Coastguard and the lifeboat

Create a floating lifeboat

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Designing and Making

Development matters: are curious and interested in making things happen (22-36 months); join construction pieces together to build and balance (30-50 months).

Early learning goal: select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Images and stories featuring coastguards such as ‘Colin the Coastguard’ – visit Colin the Coastguard and volunteer lifeboat crew members – visit RNLI – silver foil; plastic and polystyrene trays; card; paper; fabric; strong tape; glue; child-safe stapler; child scissors; permanent marker pens; water tray.

What to do

Explain to the children that if someone is in trouble at sea, the coastguard will call for a lifeboat to be launched to carry out a search and rescue.

Read the story about a friendly coastguard called Colin to the children, and show them the website for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Follow the links for ‘Education’, ‘Young People’, to find out how volunteer lifeboat crew members help people if they are in trouble at sea, and to view pictures of lifeboat crew members and their lifeboats. Have any of the children ever seen a lifeboat when they have visited a seaside resort? Be sensitive to individiual circumstances.

Provide the children with a wide range of tools and equipment and invite them to design and make a toy lifeboat.

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