Tag Archives: cars

Fun with Toddlers: Transportation Theme

transportThis month’s theme was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Always a favorite theme, especially with the boys! Here are some ideas for transportation activities that toddlers and preschoolers love.

Activities to Do at Home

Sorting Cars. Make cardboard garages (or colored “parking spaces”) for your child to sort cars into by color. Sorting into categories is a great foundational skill for later learning.

Train Car Sort. Make colored train cars, and have your child sort objects by color into the right car.

Draw a City. Use a big box your child can climb into, or flatten out a smaller box. Draw roads and buildings on it. You can also build cardboard tunnels to drive through and bridges to go over.

Ramps. Take a flat piece of cardboard. Tilt it by propping on a piece of furniture. Race cars down it. Even better, put a tower of blocks at the bottom to crash the cars into. You can play with angles – the steeper the inclined plane, the faster the car goes.

Magnet Car. Draw a road on a paper plate. Make a paper car with a magnet on it. Use a magnet wand under the paper plate to drive the car around.

An Activity for Outside the Home

Counting Cars. Any time you find yourself with time to kill, count the cars going by. (Great counting practice!) Label them: blue car, red truck, gray car, delivery truck, and so on. (Great for building vocabulary and the idea of categories!)

Songs to Sing

The Wheels on the Bus. https://kcls.org/content/wheels-on-the-bus/
(Also, search on YouTube for lots of fun videos of this song!)
The wheels on the bus go round and round, Round and round, round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round, All through the town.

Down by the Station https://kcls.org/content/down-by-the-station/
Down by the station early in the morning. See the little puffer bellies all in a row.
See the engine driver, pull his little lever. Puff puff! Toot toot! Off we go!

Drive the Fire Truck. https://kcls.org/content/hurry-hurry-drive-the-fire-truck/
Hurry, hurry! Drive the fire truck! Hurry, hurry! Drive the fire truck!
Hurry, hurry! Drive the fire truck! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

Motorboat.  https://kcls.org/content/motorboat-motorboat/
Motorboat, Motorboat go so slow (set your child in front of you, their feet against yours… hold their hands, and rock back and forth as you sing)
Motorboat, Motorboat go so fast (rock faster!)
Motorboat, Motorboat step on the gas! (go really fast!)
(Repeat, but this time, end it with “run out of gas” and putter to a stop.)

Games to Play

Red Light, Green Light. When you say green light, they can walk. When you say red light, they need to stop. (Advanced version: when you say yellow light, they can keep walking, but need to slow down.) This is a fun game, but also great safety training. When your child is headed out into the street, you say “red light” and they know to stop!

Sensory Activities

Tire Tracks. Drive toy cars on play-dough to make tire tracks. Or, squirt paint on a big piece of paper, and drive cars around. Or, drive them in a sensory bin full of dried rice, grains, or beans.


Books to Read

Freight Train by Donald Crews. Teaches colors and names of train cars.

My CarTrucks, Planes, Boats, Machines at Work by Byron Barton.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. by Mo Willems. Very silly. Best for 3 years and up.

More ideas (and source citations) at: www.pinterest.com/bcparented and https://gooddayswithkids.com/songs-and-activities/fun-with-toddlers/