If your home has a fireplace or wood stove, you know just how important it is to keep the chimney cleaned out so that dangerous creosote cannot build up and catch fire. While you may be able to do this yourself, many people still call on chimney sweeps to handle this task. An occupation that was very common hundreds of years ago, chances are your kids may know very little about chimney sweeps in today’s modern world. If you want to teach your kids about chimney sweeps, here are some innovative methods you can use.
Visit Your Library
When you want to bring something to life for your kids, books are a great way to make it happen. By visiting your local library, you can find children’s books that tell all about chimney sweeps. Two popular books for kids on this subject are “Charlie the Chimney Sweep and Sooty” and “Dusty the Chimney Sweep.” If you’re not finding anything on your own, ask for a librarian’s help. They’ll be able to search the database for books and any other materials, such as documentaries, on chimney sweeps.
Watch a Movie
Since you and your kids love to sit down together and watch movies, make plans to have a family movie night on the couch and watch the classic “Mary Poppins.” While your kids may be mesmerized by Mary, chances are they will also love the character of Bert the Chimney Sweep, played brilliantly by iconic actor Dick Van Dyke. Before you know it, you and your kids will know the song “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee” by heart.
Yes, you can even buy flashcards that can help your kids learn all about chimney sweeps and the role they played in Victorian-era England. Whether you are a teacher wanting to use these in a classroom full of kids, are homeschooling your own children, or just want to have a fun activity to do with your kids on a rainy day, chimney sweep flash cards will be more popular than you ever imagined.
Visit a Chimney Sweep
Finally, you may want to see if you and your kids can visit a real-life chimney sweep in your town or city. As a teacher, you could turn this into a field trip for your students, or even have the chimney sweep visit your classroom. Whatever the case may be, a modern chimney sweep would probably be glad to tell your kids what they do during a typical day, show off some of their equipment, and maybe even sing along to “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee” before they leave.
Once you use each of these ideas with your kids, they will know anything and everything about early and modern chimney sweeps. It is important to expose children to a variety of jobs because it not only helps them consider future careers but it opens their eyes to how things work in the world. Next time they see a chimney, they’ll know about its care and the person responsible for upkeep!