Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Transportation for Preschoolers - Part 2

Transportation Week sure went by fast. If you do decide to opt for one yourself, do take the time to include a chat on road safety. Although I didn't take any pictures of that part, I did revise the rules of street crossing with Adrian and the importance of wearing a seat belt / sitting in a car seat in the car. And now, for the "fun part"...

Parking Lot Game

After seeing this activity on My Montessori Journey, I just had to "bring it home" in my own way. As such, I prepared my "parking lot" with a black construction paper sheet and looked at the transportation related items I had and chose a few with different beginning letters. Here's what I came up with:


I placed all the items in a basket for Adrian to sort appropriately in the right parking space according to their first letter sound. He had no trouble whatsover and loved the idea.

Tire Roll & Measuring in Car Unit

Tire rolling? Why not! For gross motor, tire tossing into a bin is great. For fine motor, tire rolling is! It takes quite a bit of dexterity to manipulate a car wheel into rolling.  For this activity, I asked Adrian to roll the car wheel from a marked spot on the floor (masking tape works great). Once it stopped rolling or fell to its side, he had to line up "matchbox/hot wheels" cars from the starting line to the stopped tire and count how many cars were lined up. The number was then recorded on a chalkboard. We did this 10 times to his great delight. I'm not sure which part he liked best actually; he seemed as excited by the rolling as he was by the lining up of the cars. When the 10 times were up, we looked at the chalkboard and discussed a bit about the furthest his wheel went (11 cars' length), the closest it stayed (1 car's length) and so on.

Car Tire Tracks Art

Here's a nice art activity we did on Adrian's birthday that was well liked. In fact, it was so liked I thought we'd repeat it this week. I purposely chose three cars with different types of tires and chose  colors displayed on signals. Adrian rolled the cars in the paint and made tracks. As usual, we used washable tempera paint.

Sink or Float?

Water activities are always a big hit in our home. I haven't brought out a "Sink or float" tub in a while and I thought that with the transportation theme, it would kind of fit nicely, especially if I took the time to select objects that would stay within the thematic. This activity kept Adrian's interest for a long time, even after he classified which floated and which sank. Part of it was due to me asking him if he could try to sink the boat for example. I also asked him if if could make the rubber wheel float and so on.

Close Up of the Sink or Float? Objects

Here is what we used for our Sink or Float? Transportation activity:

A plastic bath toy boat
A wooden train
A crepe airplane
A metal screw with washers, nut, wing
A rubber wheel
A plastic and metal "matchbox" car

Train Ticket Hole Punching
Train Ticket Hole Punching

Sadly, this was a bit of a toughie. I thought it might be and was hesitant to put it out but Adrian saw me punching holes and seemed so interested that I thought we'd give it a try. Although it did make an indent he he tried to punch holes, it didn't punch through to his disappointment. If you would like to give this activity a try, I printed these train tickets by visiting The Spaghetti Westerner.

Going Down the Ramp - Velocity Experiment

I've been wanting to do this activity for a while and originally had planned on doing it during our Train/Thomas&Friends week. Unfortunately, I could not find a plank of wood suitable for a makeshift ramp and as such had to let go of the idea. While re-organized the storage room last week-end, I saw this unused bathroom vanity shelf and just knew what to do with it! :) It's not as long as I would have liked but it worked just fine. I elevated it with a Fisher-Price mountain so it'd have a nice angle and provided a "matchbox car". Also provided was a basket of different "fabrics" to test out our car and ramp. How fast and how far does the car go on the wood? How far and fast does it go when bubble wrap covers the ramp? Why is that? What happens if we switch to sandpaper? Well, you get the idea. Adrian sure did and LOVED it. He repeated the activity over and over again.  

Stuck in Tape

The tape material was the one we finished with as help was needed to roll it up and put it on the plank.  Needless to say, Adrian thought it was hilarious when the car got stuck!

Basket of Materials to Cover up the Ramp

The basket includes:

-Bubble Wrap
-Silk nightgown
-Fluffy cotton Towel
-Masking Tape

All materials were wide and long enough to cover our ramp (aka small bathroom vanity shelf).

I'm linking up to Montessori Monday today...
Montessori Monday
as well as Living Life Intentionally
and, Discover and Explore and No Time for Flashcards!


  1. I love the idea of using school as a time to talk about the practical -- and what a great way to incorporate safety around roads and make it fun! These are great ideas.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment Nicole! I initially had planned on using a cars and "little people" to review road crossing but ended up with just doing the real thing instead...:)

  2. Holy smokes! I love this unit! I particularly love the ticket hole punching and the sticky road. I recommend using super thin paper for the hole punching. Stating the obvious? Probably. Anyway, so happy I found you. Looking forward to connecting. We're doing a transportation week but more on "how things" work by taking a series of excursions around our area. Lucky us!

    1. Hi Marnie! I am so glad you stopped by and took the time to leave a comment. Excursions? That sounds exciting. We're a bit far from airports but very close to a somewhat busy train station so my train lover is VERY happy to ride by. :) I'll definitely be trying hole punching again. We tried with regular paper this time so I may just put out a thin vellum or wax paper, even foil. I really think it's just a strength problem though. This puncher is tough even for me! ;)

  3. Great list! Pinning this to my Train-Themed Activities board, and I'm going to check out that link to your Train Week for sure!

    We had the same problem with the hole punch (wrote about it in conjunction with our other Big Engine pretend play stuff:, and my solution has been to get the craft kind that makes shapes. It's still a fine motor challenge for my 3-year-old, but it doesn't take the same kind of hand strength.

    1. Thanks for pinning Jessica! You know, I thought of getting these craft punch too but they are not so cheap! :( And on top of that, they are hard to find over here sadly but I would think they work rather well. Maybe I'll splurge and get some basic ones. I do have a younger one after all and she'll benefit from these activities later too! :)

  4. So many great ideas! My 3 year old is going to love this. Sharing on Playdough to Plato's Facebook page. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing Malia! Have fun exploring transportation with your little one!

  5. What a fun unit! Love the tape on the ramp - so fun! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I will be sharing this post with my Facebook readers here:

    Have a great week,
    Beth =-)

    1. Thank you so very much Beth; both for sharing and for your kind comments! The tape on the ramp was of course... a major hit! I don't think my son expected the car to get stuck so it made him laugh hysterically and he just kept on trying to make the car go through it to see if maybe speed would help! :)

  6. These are some wonderful ideas. My kids would love to learn with these ideas!! I would like to invite you to link up at our Share It Saturday linky party. we have lots of creative bloggers linking up each week and your ideas would fit right in!

    We also have a Share It Saturday Pinterest board and we are inviting everyone who links up to the party, to join us as collaborators on the group Pinterest board. It is a wonderful way to allow your posts to be seen by new readers. I hope to see you at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts

    1. Hi Colleen! Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you found me and like my ideas. I'll definitely hop by your blog and link up. Thanks for the invite. I've been very shy about this whole linking up thing and just started doing it 2 or 3 weeks ago. :) Off to see this Share it Saturday Pinterest and Linky Party.