Garbage Day !

Shape Garbage Truck

These simple shape activities have been a favorite of my son for a while now, so it was only fitting to match it up with his other favorite thing- a garbage truck. I don’t know about your child but my son is nuts about these wonders of public sanitation. Luckily if we sleep in on garbage day there are hundreds of garbage truck videos on youtube. Did you know that garbage trucks in Japan play music, I know because I have seen them on youtube, many many times!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain construction paper or cardboard ( such as a cereal box) , some green markers or paint, some black and brown construction paper, scissors and glue.
  2. Draw one large square, one small square and an obtuse triangle on your cardboard.
  3. Have your child color or paint the shapes green, point out the shapes and label them for your child. We used markers because we were taking a break from paint eating .. *Side note – all parents get frustrated with their kids at times, if you know your patience isn’t at your all time best, or even good take steps to make the craft or lesson less stressful for everyone involved. My son really wanted to make this before his dad got home so instead of getting frustrated at the paint eating, I offered him markers. It worked well for everyone and we had a peaceful time making the garbage truck.
  4. While they are coloring the shapes, cut out 3 large circles from the black paper.
  5. Cut out the truck shapes
  6. Grab the brown piece of construction paper and the glue!
  7. Add the large square, small one and triangle, so the triangle is only touching at the top.
  8. The glue for the wheels- you can add the glue as a guide for your child.
  9. Pop the wheels on and let dry.


Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha is my favorite garbage truck book , and yes I have read a lot. Mr. Gilly is a hard working garbage man with one task, to clean up Trashy town. The text is so melodic I find myself singing while reading ” Dump it in, Smash it down, drive around the trashy town” . It’s not all trashy time for Mr. Gilly though, after a hard days work cleaning up Trashy town he gets into his bubble bath ! My son loves that this big garbage collector has a bath just like him. Super sweet and colorful book that explains garbage collection is a nice way.

” I Stink” by Kate and Jim McMullen was the bain of my existence in my Pre-K class, the kids loved this book and I really liked most of it, but there are some gross things in it like puppy poo, dirty diapers and kitty litter but we put all those things in the garbage so they are totally appropriate. Just know that they will also get a group of 4 and 5 year olds giggling and repeating the words for days on end. Overall though the book is effective and I own a well read copy. The garbage truck is sarcastic and rough, and the alphabet of garbage is creative.

“I Am A Garbage Truck” by Ace Landers is my son’s favorite toy right now, he kisses it good night and it’s the first thing he asks for when he gets up in the morning. The book itself is okay, the story is a little disjointed, when my husband read it to him for the first time he looked over at me in my son’s bed and said ” Am I reading this the right way? It seems like I should have started from the last page?” my son didn’t care, he loves the illustrations and the way the book is in the shape of a garbage truck. I like that it covers both garbage and recycling!

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  1. Batavier says

    Ha, great stuff! My son (2+ now) has been nuts about garbage trucks as well. And yes, youtube is great for watching trucks, tractors, cars, fire engines, police cars, etc. etc.

    I cannot even grab my laptop for some serious work, without him asking to watch youtube… 🙂

  2. Darius and Kelly Miknaitis says

    My son (19 months) is obsessed with the Garbage Truck too! I look forward to garbage pick up on Mondays because he gets so excited about it. I’m definitely going to have to do this activity with him!

  3. Amy says

    Oh my. We’ll have to make this. The arrival of the garbage truck often seems to be the highlight of my boys’ week! (I’m not going to tell them about the youtube videos… even though the Japanese musical garbage truck sounds awfully cool.)

  4. jas says

    omg you are so creative I have bookmarked your site so that i can get the ideas from you and use them for my son every now and then he loves what he gets to do and its so much fun thanks a ton

  5. Andrea says

    We’re glad you like Trashy Town!
    Has your son seen the video? (It’s packaged together with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on dvd–look for it at your library system.)
    Happy Reading,
    Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

  6. Allie says

    Andrea ,

    Yes, we got it for Christmas and my son ONLY wanted to watch Trashy Town, so I have seen it many many times.

    I have suggested the video to a few parents of reluctant readers as a way to “prime the pump” and it’s worked.

    Thank you so much for a great book!


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