Friday, December 5, 2014

Going, Going, Gone : Transportation Part 1

I'm not gonna lie: a big part of me associates the transportation theme with little boys! I know, it's shameful. Extremely sexist but once against, my daughter set the clocks right for me at least! :) A lot of our activities were actually "borrowed" from my son's when he did a similar week back in preschool and I received no protests from my girly girl. I also brought it some new ones of course! :)

Matching letters using cars and parking spaces
Vroom, vroom, vroom. Or is it zoom, zoom, zoom? No matter what kind of noise your cars make, this activity is a win-win! Tape each car with a letter and make a "parking lot" with the same letters. The child now has to match car and parking space. I personally chose the letters we've been working on : s, m, a, t, c, r, i, p, h, j, u, l. It helps with letter recognition and is fun at the same time. Original idea? My Montessori Journey

Fine motors at work: hole punching train tickets
All aboard! But wait! Has the conductor punched your ticket yet? This activity was so beloved that I had to re-print tickets! I was more than happy to oblige. Hole punching seems very simple but it's actually very hard for little hands. It helps develop the small muscles needed to write so I highly encourage it. Make it harder by providing construction paper or cardstock. Make it easier by replacing with foil using a scrapbooking type of puncher. Tickets needed? I grabbed mine at The Spaghetti Westerner.

Out of coolant? Time to refill!
Oh no! The car is out of coolant! Time to re-fill! Thanks to colored water, a funnel and glass, the job is "easy" first. Re-filling the tiny bottle was quite challenging and demanded great care and attention.

Tire tracks can differ: use paint to prove it!
Does every car has the same tires? Do you think they will make the same tracks? Let's find out! With some paint and a few cars, nothing's easier! Zahavah enjoyed making straight lines in yellow, green and red. She noticed how going slow versus fast also produced a different effect on the paper. Matching the tracks with the cars once her piece of art was finished was also fun.

Indoor car wash for "Matchbox cars"
Well now that the cars were dirty with paint, we had better give them a wash down, right? And we did!  During the summer, we did a car wash but now that it's much cooler, it had to be an indoor one. I provided shaving cream for the soap, a cube sponge (extra work for fine motors), a small pitcher of clean water for rinse-off, a cloth for drying and some sponges for polishing. The tray was a hit. Zahavah washed all the cars...several times. 

How many Puffs of Smoke?
Puffing along! Steam trains puff smoke so using cotton balls and trains from my son's collection, I asked my daughter to put a certain amount of puffs of smoke over each train. She is not at the stage when she recognizes written numbers above 5 so we did it orally since she can go well above 10 in that department! :)

Do a Dot Fun
Do a Dot sheets are all the rage here so I couldn't resist printing a few from the Gift of Curiosity's transportation pack. Each was unique, some even had counting or associations so it was fun AND educational!

Day versus Night: let's sort it out!
During the week, we also did "regular stuff". We practiced our sandpaper letters tracing and sounds and we added a new element of history to our activity time: day and night distinction. Now my daughter has known about day and night for quite a while but it was great to see her sort the day and night cards so fast. She felt so proud of herself for doing this work perfectly the first time! :)

Transportation play dough mats
Yes, play dough is still very much popular in our house; usually, a lot more when it's home made dough and creative challenges. Play dough mats, as I found out, are not all that! :( In case your preschooler wants to give these a try (I thought the ideas were most clever!), head over the Sparklebox for your freebies.

Making a car
Family Fun Crafts had the cutest craft made out of a toilet paper roll, paints and brads. Had to give it a try with my 3 year old. I prepared the car pieces of course. Her job was to paint, assemble the wheels and glue the stickers on. It was ok. Better for older kids. When the adult prepares most of the craft, it's not fun...

Trying out the car on a long cardboard ramp!

Engineering a bridge
Providing only two wooden blocks and straw, I asked my preschooler if she could build a bridge that would support 4lbs of sugar. She examined the straws, weighed the sugar and seemed to think I was challenging her to something impossible. At first, she put the straws down and it didn't look like a bridge at all so I had to remind her that boats should be able to go under AND cars over. Then she started putting several straws on and the sugar went on and held. She was awfully proud. I asked her why she didn't put only one straw and she told me the sugar would be too heavy for it. I also asked her why she put all the straws closely and not far apart and she told me the sugar would fall through. We tried those options and of course, she was right in both cases. The Imagination Tree did a similar activity which greatly inspired this one. Their straws were smaller than ours and the flexi kind so it took more straws and tape was also involved I believe.

Ordinal numbers and a boat race
Although our "pond" was very small, my daughter still had a lot of fun blowing on all three boats to see which would come first, second and third. Older children could easily graph the activity too and see which boat is the fastest.

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