Preschool Universe Theme: Automobiles

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Cars, buses and motorcycles are the focus of this fun theme all about things that go vrrooom!

Math & Science

Compare all your toy automobiles. How many wheels does each have? What are they used for? How many people can fit inside?

Map a road on the floor with old greeting cards, playing cards, even pieces of construction paper. Draw lanes on them and drive all your automobiles around “town.” For older preschoolers, draw your map on paper first, then let your child attempt to copy it on the floor.
Note: The Melissa & Doug set (right) is great because it comes with the signs and several wooden vehicles. Plus you can find it for under $20.

Race all your toy vehicles. I like to make a start and finish line on the floor with masking tape, and then race two at a time – the winner goes on in a sort of toy car tournament.

Language & Literature

Read some great books about automobiles.

Retell the story from one of the books. Ask your child to tell you what happened in a story – sequence is important, details aren’t. Use words like nextand then, and finally.

Invent your own story about automobiles. “There once was a little blue car that ran over a nail, and…..” You can continue this story for days and keep adding on to it when you are waiting in line or just have a quiet moment.

Arts & Crafts

Cut out automobile pictures from old magazines and glue them onto a large piece of paper to make an automobile collage.

Make some cardboard buildings, signs, and trees to go with the road from the “map” activity above.

Craft a traffic light out of a couple of tissue boxes, a cardboard tube, some tissue paper and a flashlight. Excellent instructions can be found here, from parents connect. Short on time? Glue red, yellow and green construction paper to some popsicle sticks. Your kids will likely be just as impressed.

Recycle a large cardboard box into a kid-size car. Check out these instructions for making a cardboard car and gas pump from Parents Magazine. You’ll have to do most of this craft yourself, but the end result should entertain your child for hours.

Reading & Writing

Construct some word roads. Use alphabet flashcards or just write letters on index cards and line them up to spell words. Sound out the words as you drive your toy cars over the letters.

Music & Movement

Play red light, green light. Using your lights from the arts and crafts activity, dance around to music on the green light, move slowly on the yellow, and freeze on red.

Move to “The Wheels on the Bus.” I love the jazzy version on the Baby Loves Jazz Greatest Hits Collection (it’s disc 1, track 1). The other songs are great, too.

Note: You can listen to an excerpt at Amazon. Or maybe you just want the lyrics?

Sing Drive, Drive, Drive Your Car to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” (from Kids World Exploration)

Cars, buses and motorcycles are the focus of this fun theme all about things that go vrrooom! Math & Science Compare all your toy automobiles. How many wheels does each have? What are they used for? How many people can fit inside? Map a road on the floor with old greeting cards, playing cards, even pieces of construction…

Cars, buses and motorcycles are the focus of this fun theme all about things that go vrrooom! Math & Science Compare all your toy automobiles. How many wheels does each have? What are they used for? How many people can fit inside? Map a road on the floor with old greeting cards, playing cards, even pieces of construction…

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