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Activity: Putting Out Fire Safely


to ask questions about what he/she is observing


1 small container of playdough  per whole group
2 baking sheets or pie pans  per whole group
1 lighter  per whole group
~ 5 birthday candles  per whole group
1 cup of water  per whole group
1 large glass container  per whole group
1 small glass container  per whole group
(Optional)  1 fire extinguisher  per whole group

Supporting Media:


  • Gather materials.
  • Set up demonstrations.


Warning: Never allow learners to touch a lighter or flame.  Also, educator should tie back long hair and pull up sleeves.

  1. Educator reviews the fire safety rules with the learners.  Emphasize that if there is a fire, the learner should leave immediately and call 9-1-1 from a safe place.  They should never try to put out a fire by themselves unless it is on their own clothes.  If they are on fire, they need to stop, drop, and roll.
  2. Discuss with learners the ways that adults put out a fire (blow it out, use water, use a fire extinguisher, cover it with a lid, etc.).
  3. Explain to learners that for a fire to burn, it needs air.  The more air that a fire has, the longer it can burn.  When we stop, drop, and roll, we are getting rid of the air that keeps the fire burning.
  4. Educator places a small ball of playdough on a fire-resistant surface (baking sheet or pie pan).  Then insert a candle and light it.  Try several ways to put out the flame (blow gently, sprinkle water on it, cover it with a glass jar).
  5. Educator places a second ball of playdough on a fire-resistant surface.  Insert a candle into the second ball of playdough.  Hold up two different sized jars.  Ask the learners, "Which jar holds the most air?"  Then ask the leaners, "Which candle will burn longer?"  Light the two candles.  Place the large jar over one candle and the small jar over the other candle simultaneously.  See which candle burns the longest.  Make sure the upside down jars touch the fire-resistant surfaces completely to prevent air from reentering the jar. Adding a small amount of water to the fire-resistant surfaces can help with sealing the jars.  
  6. Conclude by allowing learners to practice their stop, drop, and roll tecniques.


  • Try adding many candles together in the playdough.  See if the same methods work to extinguish the flames of a slightly larger fire.


  • I am able to ask questions about what I see.
  • I am able to search for more things to learn about.
  • I am able to make suggestions with confidence.



15-30 minutes
10-20 minutes
15-20 minutes


  • Indoors


Multiple Intelligence
Bloom Taxonomy
Instructional Strategy
Experiential Learning
Science and Technology

Did you try this activity ? How did it go ?