Transportation Week. Having already spent an entire week on Trains/Thomas & Friends back in 2012, I decided not to include the engines in this unit except for one activity I'll be presenting later this week. I kind of expected this unit to be more substantial but in the end, I could not come up with any more original ideas (what is wrong with me?) which worked out just fine since we had a short week anyway! :)
Maps + Left and Right
Ouch...Well that did not go too well. I was looking for a way to introduce maps into this transportation unit and figured introducing "left" and "right" would be great too. Turns out that even though those two concepts are great to present to preschoolers, introducing them at the same time is awfully confusing to them. The abstract of being the bus driver turning and such was a bit much for a 4.5 years old so it turned out to be more frustrating for Adrian than educative. That's ok. It made ME learn that my "maps" will have to be simpler and brought on on their own! :)
Airplane controller game
In this air controller game, each airplane is ready to land but to know which airplane gets to land first, the die will have to be rolled. The number rolled corresponds to the airplane that gets to land first, second and third, and so on (each airplane sports a number on its body). I thought it would be great to practice ordinal numbers.
Boomerang Airplane Origami
I actually did not mean to make it a boomerang airplane but to Adrian's delight, after I tested my plane, it came right back to me! :) I guess I lost my touch in basic origami airplane design, huh? Anyhow, prior to us making the planes, I had one set out and two sheets ready to fold. Adrian simply had to follow my folds by looking at where I was folding...which wasn't so simple in the end. It required some help but he was happy with the result. I still think it's too early to do anymore origami. It's not very rewarding for him when I help I think so from now on, I'll lay off the paper folding for a few months and get back to it later.
Land, Air, or Water?
This activity could have been done with actual cars, trains, airplanes and such but the variety of vehicles we have here is limited. I must also confess that Adrian loves DK's My First Touch and Feel Picture Cards. We have all 4 sets and so I thought I'd bring out "Things that Go" to do the "Land, Air, or Water" game. He loved it and did extremely well.
Yet another Melissa & Doug floor puzzle. Although we do not own them all, we certainly might at one point! :) This was the first M&D floor puzzle I bought. At that point, Adrian had never done any "jigsaw" puzzle; only peg puzzles so I wanted something small and this was great. Highly recommended. It fitted in our theme this week so I brought it out to his great delight.
Funneling radiator cooling
For this funneling activity, I purposely chose a cup in which the funnel would touch the bottom and one in which it wouldn't. The trick is that when it doesn't touch the bottom, the "cooling" goes down so much faster and empties itself completely whereas in the other cup, it drains much slower and a residual remains in the funnel. This made it particularly interesting to Adrian who repeated the pouring many, many times at different speeds, from one cup to the other and vice versa.
If the season allows where you live, here is one activity that my son loved relating to cars which I couldn't bring out again due to weather conditions in our area: the spray body painting of a car as seen below:
I prepared this special activity for Adrian's 4th birthday (under the theme Cars). He loved it and although it was messy it was well worth it. Simply draw a giant version of a car, prepare some water-thinned washable tempera paint and put it in a spray bottle. Tape the drawing to a wall that can be hosed down and let the fun begin!