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| Child's Play Home | Preschool Themes | Transportation

Transportation Theme

Crafts & Activities
Songs, Finger Plays & Nursery Rhymes
Books, Videos, Music 

Also see:  Train Theme

Crafts & Activities

Lacing Cards
Cut car shapes out of heavy cardboard; laminate or apply clear contact paper.  Punch holes around outside edge of car shape; make more holes inside the shape where a window might be.  Use colorful shoe laces or heavy yarn (dip ends in glue and allow to dry for easier lacing) for lacing.

Add small cars & trucks to the sand box.  Along with the tools to dig roads, build bridges....

Make Tracks
Dip or roll small cars & trucks into paint so that only the wheels have paint on them.  Let the children make "tracks" all over their paper. 

Dramatic Play - Mechanic
Clipboard, telephone book, pieces of coated wire, measuring tape, rulers, pencils, tools: vice grip, wrench, screwdrivers, hammer, pliers, oil can, plastic goggles, plastic hard hats, penlights, aprons or coveralls, nuts and bolts, gloves, telephone, toolbox, workbench or table, posters or pictures of mechanics at work 

Dramatic Play - Ice Cream Truck
Paint a large box (with a lid that can be opened like a freezer door) white and attach to the inside of a child size wheelbarrow.  Attach a bell to the handle - to create the sound of the ice cream truck.  As a project for the kids have them make "popsicles & fudgsicles" out of heavy cardboard and paint and attach to a popsicle stick!  Make cones out of heavy paper or use the dispenser type cone shaped paper cups.  For "scoops" of ice cream purchase colorful large pompoms.  Other items to include:  ice cream scoop, money, white jacket, hat/visor, coin changer/fannypack.

Dramatic Play - Airport, Train or Bus
small chairs, hats , tickets, a hole punch, rubber stamps, ink pads, table, old suitcases (small), and pictures of airplanes, buses, and trains, conductors hat and vest,  dress up clothes for travellers, train whistle.

Dramatic Play - Travel
maps, travel books and pictures, car keys, tickets, money, suitcase, clothes, grooming items, pajamas and sunglasses, travel brochures from local travel agent.

Box Cars
Using large boxes, make one or more "box" cars.  Let the kids decorate as they wish.  Add cardboard wheels.

Make a Bus
Pick up refrigerator box from an appliance store (they will usually give for free if for a daycare) and cut out doors and bus.  Use clear cellophane for the windows.  Let the children help paint & decorate.  Add a name to the side of your bus.  Small chairs could be added inside for seating. 

Play Cars
Using duct tape or wide masking tape make road ways on the floor, cement patio or driveway.  Make steering wheels using paper plate. Make a stop sign..and let the kids take turns holding up a stop sign at the cross road.
You could also use streamers and make them on the grass in the back yard (use rocks to hold the streamers in place on the ground).

Let's Roll
Attach a 6-8' length of PVC pipe to the wall or along a fence, at a slight angle.  The kids can have fun running the cars thru the pipe. 

Things That Go Collage
Look through magazines or catalogs to find pictures of things that go on land, things that go in water, things that go in the air. Make a big poster of each group.

Make drivers licenses for the kids.  Draw or glue a picture the child to the license.

Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes

My Little Red Wagon (makes a cute felt story or finger play)
  (tune on Raffi's Singable Songs for the Very Young cassette)
   All sit in a circle, legs stretched in toward center.  Bounce up and down on bottoms. 

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon.
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon.
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon.
Won't you be my darlin!

One wheel's off and the axle's broken...
Freddie's gonna fix it with his hammer...
Laura's gonna fix it it with her pliers...
Bumping up an down in my little red wagon...

You can change names to suit; and add different tools so that each child is mentioned in the song.

Ring Around the Rocket Ship (Game)
   Play this version of "Ring Around the Rosie".  All join hands in a circle and slide to the right.  Reach up high for a star, and fall to the floor.  Repeat verse sliding to the left.

Ring around the rocket ship,
Reach for a star,
Stardust, stardust,
Fall where you are.

The Airplane
The airplane has great big wings (arms outstretched)
Its propeller spins around and sings, (make one arm go around)
The airplane goes up; (lift arms)
The airplane goes down; (lower arms)
The airplane flies high
All over our town!  (arms outstretched, turn body around)

Flying-Man, Flying-Man (Nursery Rhyme)
Flying-man, Flying-man,
Up in the sky,
Where are you going to,
Flying so high?
Over the mountains
And over the sea,
Flying-man, Flying-man,
Can't you take me?

My Bicycle
One wheel, two wheels on the ground; (revolve hand in forward circle to form each wheel)
My feet make the pedals go round and round.  (move feet in pedaling motion)
Handle bars help me steer so straight, (pretend to steer)
Down the sidewalk, through the gate.

   Suit actions to words.
Riding in a train I go,
Rocking, rocking, to and fro,
Side to side and to and fro,
Riding in a train I go.

In an airplane I fly,
Up, up, up, into the sky,
Up, up, up, so very high,
In an airplane I fly.

Riding on my bike today,
Pedal, pedal, all the way,
Pedal fast and pedal slow,
Riding on my bike I go.

Helping Mommy Drive (or Daddy, Grandpa or Grandma or ......)
   Suit actions to words.
Open the car door.  Climb inside.
I get to help my mommy drive.
Fasten the seat belt.  Shut the door.
Start the motor.  Hear it roar.
Brr! Brr! Brr! Turn the corner, step on the gas.
If the road is clear we may pass.

Here Is A Car
Here is a car, shiny and bright. (cup one hand and place on other palm)
This is the windshield that lets in the light. (hands open, fingertips touching)
Here are wheels that go round and round. (two fists)
I sit in the back seat a make not a sound. (sit quietly with hands in lap)

I'm A Little Airplane
   (Tune: I'm A Little Teapot)

I'm a little airplane: (raise arms to side at shoulder height)
I can fly, (turn right arm in front of you for propeller)
Here is my throt-tle; (reach hand out to instrument panel)
Give me a try. (push throttle in)
When I get all revved up (make engine noises)
Then I fly (keep moving forward)
Off the run-way (keep moving forward)
To the sky! (go up on tiptoe running forward)

Books, Videos, Music

Books to Read Aloud

Mr. Gumpy's Motor Car by John Burningham (Also see: Mr. Gumpy's Outing)
The Bus Stop by Nancy Hellen
Regards to the Man in the Moon by Ezra Jack Keats
The Wheels on the Bus by Maryann Kovalski
The Train by David McPhail
Angela's Airplane by Robert Munsch (Also see: Johathan Cleaned Up)
Tooth-Gnasher, Superflasher by Daniel Pinkwater
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky

Non Fiction:
Airport by Byron Barton
Dinosaurs Travel: A Guide for Families by Laurene Krasny Brown
Flying by Donald Crews (Also see:  Carousel; Freight Train; Harbor; Truck Books)
Cars and How They Go by Joanne Cole
Flying by Gail Gibbons (also see:  New Road!; Fill It Up!; Trucks; Trains and Boat Books)
Boats by Ken Robbins
Boats by Anne Rockwell (also see: Planes)

*Beary* special thanks to
for the wonderful graphics for this page.

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