Let’s zoom to new places with these fun, hands-on transportation preschool activities! From here to there, but how can we get there? There are so many different ways to travel: cars, boats, trains, planes, trucks, bikes, scooters, and the list goes on. Here’s a look at our week of transportation:
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Transportation: Books We Love
We started off this week by first listing as many ways we could think of to get us or materials from here to there on our whiteboard. Then, we read Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson. This vibrant book describes a vehicle or road sign for every letter of the alphabet. There were so many new ideas to add to our list of transportation!
On Tuesday, we read The Airport Book by Lisa Brown, which follows a family through the complex airport system, from checking in to security, to waiting at the gate, and finally picking up bags at baggage claim. I love how informative this book was and showed how everything worked. Perfect for learning about the different jobs at the airport for our airport dramatic play!
Next up we read Brilliant Boats by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker. Not only does this book introduce a variety of different boats such as rowing boats, ferries, sailboats, and more, but it explains how they work. The rhymes and animal characters just make it so much fun to learn about this method of transportation.
Here to There and Me to You by Cheryl Keely was my favorite book of the week! I just love the message that bridges not only connect places but people, too! Plus, this was the perfect lead in to our building bridges activity!
Our transportation reading list was wrapped up with Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing! by Patricia Hubbell. This book is full of the perfect verbs and adjectives to describe all sorts of trains. Chugging, hissing, pulling, huffing, puffing, and moving along the railroad tracks. Excellent read!
Transportation: Literacy Activities & Centers
Syllables Car Race
Start your engines! Let’s race along the track by counting the syllables in each transportation-themed word and moving your car along! This engaging game will not only help students practice syllabication, but they will also gain exposure to a variety of transportation vocabulary words.
Gate / Ticket Match
Grab your boarding pass at the airport and match it to the same lettered gate! I left the bottom half of the page blank, so I could fold it up to make pockets to slide the boarding passes in. Love it! Great way to practice letter matching with a little bit of dramatic play!
Cloud Search & Trace
Search through the “clouds” to find the letters of the alphabet among these helicopters and airplanes. Just add some shaving cream inside of large plastic bags and tape them shut. We placed our “clouds” on top of the sky scenes and moved the clouds around to hunt for letters. Then, we traced the letters found on the recording sheet. A sensory experience wrapped up with some letter formation practice!
Note: The shaving cream in bags only lasts for about a day. Just keep that in mind when prepping!
All aboard! Practice some letter sounds by matching magnetic letters or play dough stamps to this Alphabet Train. This also comes with a train with uppercase and lowercase letters for students just working on letter matching.
Transportation: Math Activities & Centers
While this Transportation Measure is non-standard measurement practice, it gets the kids practicing real life skills by measuring, marking, and cutting. The strips of paper coordinate to the type of vehicle (white clouds for airplanes, blue water for boats, black roads for cars, and brown railroad tracks for trains). Line up the number of transportation counters printed on the card, mark the strip of paper, and cut.
Wondering what to do with all those strips of paper? We made a land, water, and air collage for our transportation theme!
We pretended to travel the world one country at a time with our passports. Then, we counted the tally marks for each country, stamped the numeral with dot stampers, and stamped the ten frame to match. So cute and fun! I also love that my little one knew nothing about passports before, so it was really neat to show her a passport and explain how it works.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Do your students love containers? They will sure love placing the people counters inside of these hot air balloons for a ride high in the sky! I just cut the basket portion off of the printable and taped it to the front of an ice cream cup (found at Target for $1 but here are some cute reusable ones). Then, I taped the balloon on the back. We pretended the people had to stand in line to get their tickets (made with numerals and ten frames to easily differentiate) before climbing into the hot air balloon with the matching number.
Fill Up Station
All vehicles need power to move – whether it be muscles on a bike, wind in the sails of a boat, or fuel in a gas tank. These vehicles were running low until we topped them off at our water table. I cut large holes in the gas tanks before laminating, then smaller holes afterward. We used droppers to add the “gas” into the different vehicles’ tanks. Grab your Fill Up Station here!
Train Car Math
I know how important it is to build number sense, so I designed these trains to do just that. We built different trains with Magna-Tiles (you could also use blocks or linking chains). Then, we found the caboose with matching tally marks.
Transportation: Sensory Bins & Dramatic Play
For one activity this week, we explored what ramps could do! We started with a slight incline and increased it to see what would happen to the cars. Vroom! Then, we tested the ramp with a non-slip mat to see what effect it would have on the cars and discussed friction.
Airport Dramatic Play
Dramatic play is our favorite! We made a giant airplane using poster board from the dollar store. I taped the nose of the plane to the table, which became our cockpit, and I taped the end of the plane to the chairs. We did cloud paintings on airplane windows for a craft this week, and then added it to our airplane wall. To add in some literacy, all of the boarding passes are labeled A-Z. To add in some math, we have the Snack Menu for ordering food on the plane. We even pretended to pack our backpacks to take through security. This set comes with lots of different things to bring your dramatic play center to life! Grab yours Airport Dramatic Play here!
These colorful tunnels were simply created using folded paper and tape. Great gross motor practice because the kids had to aim and shoot the car through the tunnels, especially the longer one!
We learned about the main types of bridges this week through books and videos of bridges around the world. Then, we tried to build different bridges ourselves using various materials: cups, popsicle sticks, Magna-Tiles, paper, cardboard, play dough, pipe cleaners, blocks, etc. We used this recording sheet to draw a picture of our bridge, measure the length, and circle the type of bridge we created in this STEM activity.
Train Ticket Punch
All aboard! Tickets, please! Pretend to be the train conductor as your students punch holes in these numbered tickets. My little one is obsessed with hole punches, so this was the perfect activity for her. Add in some fine motor skills and math to your dramatic play! These tickets are available with numbers 1-20.
All of these transportation activities sure got us zooming with excitement! Hope you and your students enjoy them, too! As always, if you have any questions or can think of something you’d like added, please feel free to email me here.