15 Books About Cars and Trucks with Crafts To Match!

car and truck ideas for preschool We love cars and trucks and everything else that goes with them at our house. My son was obsessed with garbage trucks first, then moved to firetrucks, and my daughter loves bulldozers so much she had a bulldozer themed birthday party. Needless to say we have read a lot of truck themed books and created many fun car and truck crafts and learning activities. I have matched 15 of our favorite transportation themed books with activities and crafts that match them. I hope this post and all our other Read & Make` posts help you find simple activities to do with your kids or students.

The book link takes you to amazon and is an affiliate link while the craft link will take you to the full tutorial for the craft or activity.

 

Read and Make cars and trucks 15

 

Read I Love Trucks! by Philoemen Sturges and explore tire tracks with small transportation toys. This is great for toddlers.

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Learn all about emergency vehicles  in  Emergency! by Gail Gibbons that race to fires and then work on fine motor development with this ripping and gluing letter f activity. Read and Make cars and trucks 13

 

The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore is the perfect match for this fun school bus craft. Read and Make cars and trucks 12

 

Read  Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha and then work on shape recognition with this simple shape garbage truck craft.

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See all the different kinds of trucks on the road in I’m a Truck by Dennis Shealy then pop outside and give all your different kinds of trucks a good wash!Read and Make cars and trucks 10

 

Read about Firefighter Frank in this great book by Monica Wellington and then make him a shape firetruck. Read and Make cars and trucks 9

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis is a funny book and after reading about this stuck truck you can help your child develop fine motor skills with this cool straw truck craft.

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Truck Driver Tom by Monica Wellington is another great book by one of our favorite author illustrators and after reading you can create your own town and drive Tom all over it with this upcyled doormat roadway. Read and Make cars and trucks 7

 

Read Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton  and then work on number recognition and number writing with these count and write fire trucks! Read and Make Cars & Trucks 6

 

Read Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson a great alphabet book and then work on sorting letters into upper and lowercase with this alphabet road activity. Read and Make Cars & Trucks 5

 

Curl up and read Sputter, Sputter, Sput! by Babs Bell and then make your own traffic light craft that is also a color matching activity!

 

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Learn all about how roads are made in Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy then make your own roads with construction vehicles with this truck track art activity!

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Count all the construction vehicles in Construction Countdown by K.C Olson then create your own construction site with this construction themed sensory activity. 

 

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Race to read The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain and then use car makes for a literacy activity. This car alphabet is perfect for your car obsessed kiddo!

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Last but far from least is this perfect pair. Read Machines at Work by Byron Barton then create this fun bulldozer craft using all sorts of shapes.

Alphabet Road – Letter Sorting

letter craftby Allison McDonald

Last week we played with our Alphabet Garden and a commenter asked how I could make it for children who loved cars and trucks. This is the letter sorting game that I came up with for cars and trucks. You could do it as a magnet activity like we did or put it all on a sheet of contact paper like our alphabet garden, whatever best fits your child. This activity is part of our Alphabet for Starters series that is focused on making playing with letters fun and dynamic. This can be adapted to any level. For children just beginning to notice letters they can simply put the letters on the road. Don’t worry about sorting into cases. For older children use the letters to spell. Write words with a missing letter and have your older child fill in the blank. Here is what we did for my daughter who is familiar with both upper and lowercase letters and enjoys sorting them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some black construction paper, green construction paper ( scraps would work great), clear contact paper , pictures of cars and trucks ( mine come from wrapping paper) , self adhesive magnetic sheets, a white crayon, scissors, a marker and a cookie sheet from the dollar store.alphabet sorting with cars and trucks
  2. Start by making your cars and trucks. Cut the cars out.alphabet sorting for preschool with cars and trucks Add the letters. I didn’t do every letter in both upper and lowercase. I chose letters that my daughter has trouble with mixed in with some sure fire bets so she would be challenged but confident in her ability.alphabet uppercase and lowercase sorting with car theme
  3. Lay a large sheet of contact paper down sticky side up and lay the cars face down.alphabet letter sorting for preschool Place another sheet on top to sandwich the cars inside. Or laminate if you have access to a laminator. I am very jealous if you do. Nothing gets a teacher ( even a former teacher) more excited than laminating something. Cut into individual cars and trucks. alphabet for starters car theme
  4. Add the magnets. alphabet activity car lettersNow if you have a child who is well past the putting things in their mouth stage cut little squares and stick them on the back of the cars. If you want you could also lay the whole laminated car on the sticky back magnet sheet and then cut .alphabet magnet This will make it harder for the to peel any small piece off. Please always remember that all our activities are designed for children to do with a parent within arms reach and only if they are ready for the activity. You don’t have to make the pieces magnetic for the kids to have fun, it’s just a bonus.
  5. Make a simple road and some signs saying UPPERCASE ROAD and lowercase road . These give visual cues even for kids that aren’t reading independently . You can add magnets to these if you want too. Painter’s tape is a great choice if you are skipping the magnets but want these pieces to stay in place temporarily.car and truck alphabet activity
  6. Ready to play! This is what it would look like if I handed it to my 6 year old.alphabet game For my almost 3 year old it looked like this. She ended up sorting all the letters but I gave  them to her in bite size pieces so she wasn’t overwhelmed.alphabet game for kids
  7. She loves cars and trucks right now ( well really bulldozers are the best) so she was all into it. After the first few were put on she asked me for more. Remember to label what your child is doing and to sit back. If they ask for help be ready to support but don’t take over.alphabet game for preschool
  8. The trickiest part for her were letters like w and o.alphabet activity kids She thought for a long time before placing them down. She just kept piling them on. alphabet activity with cars and trucksAnd was insistent that she show it off at the end. I was impressed with how many magnets piled together still stayed in place.alphabet road activity

Alphabet Book

alphabeep

Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson is a great book for older toddlers and preschoolers. The transportation themed book uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to go from A to Z. The text was a bit long for my young toddler but I shortened it and he was able to enjoy the book , children 2 and up will love it just the way it is! This is on my must buy list. Edited for 2013 : My daughter also loved this book and had me read it twice at the library which is a glowing review.

For more Alphabet Books check out our list of 50 Alphabet Books We Love

This book review includes an affiliate link.

Color & Clean Car Wash Play For Toddlers

I usually brainstorm general ideas from interests my kids have , lessons I want to teach them or themes from books we’ve discovered. Then some days your toddler is antsy and you grab window markers and decide to color and clean the ride on toys you have on your deck.  This car wash play was so much fun. We have washed toy cars and trucks many times before but this was a great way to mix in some creativity . My one disclaimer is to please test the window markers on your toy cars before assuming they will wipe off. Ours did without any issue even the bits that weren’t wiped right away but I’d hate for any toys to get ruined so please test first!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some window markers, some warm water, a soapy sponge and some plastic riding toys.toddler activities
  2. Start by coloring the cars.
  3. Don’t mind the dirt , that car is used as a tank in my son’s imaginary WWII play with pine cone bombs and is more than ready for a wash.
  4. She loved making dots. One tip is to use dark colors that show up well first to give your toddler a good sense of making marks. The pale ones may frustrate young ones when they are hard to see.toddler activites
  5. Dip your sponge in the water . To be honest I think she liked wringing out the sponge more than anything and I liked that she was having fun.
  6. Wipe away the coloring.

We will definitely be doing this simple activity again and again! I already have ideas for my son that include spelling words.

 

19 Car & Truck Crafts For Kids

kids crafts Cars and trucks have always been favorite themes for books and crafts at our house so we rounded up our best educational kids crafts about cars and trucks into one place for you.

Car Alphabet
Window Roadway
Shape School Bus
Road Signs
Tire Track Painting
Cut and Paste Garbage Truck
Letter r road
Race Car Crafting with Dad
Diaper Box Firetruck
Shape Bulldozer
Traffic Light
Upcycled Mat Roadway
School Bus Photo Craft
Cereal Box Gas Pump
Milk Carton Fire Station
Recycled Vehicle Crayons
Drinking Straw Truck
Shape Firetruck
Valentine’s Day Dump Truck

We can’t leave you out without some books too .

Lots of great car and truck book suggestions here.

Daddy Craft Day

Daddy Craft

I am titling this post Daddy Craft Day but really anyone can have fun doing these, I usually buy craft kits for my husband and son to enjoy together because they come with instructions and I can leave and not bother them more than taking a few pictures! My son loves to create and my husband likes to make concrete things so kits like these are perfect!  This was a gift from a dear friend for my son’s 3rd birthday and I saved it for a weekend daddy project.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a craft kit- they are using Creativity for Kids Set of 3 Fast Car Race Cars which is not recommended for kids under 3, and honestly I would not allow my child to do without close supervision until at least 6. There are many small pieces. Also newspaper to cover your tables , water and a damp cloth to wipe up spills. Daddy Craft
  2. Let them dive in. They painted. Daddy Craft
  3. Then we took him out of the house for a few hours, because waiting for the paint to dry was torture for a 3 year old. Daddy Craft
  4. When dry they added the stickers that came with it. Daddy Craft
  5. They they raced them- well they still are racing them days later.  My mom came into town and my son very proudly explained that he made these with his dad, NOT his mom. So even if you aren’t the parent or caregiver that normally does creative things , grab a kit and sit down and enjoy the fun that comes from making something with your child.  From my family room , I heard my son say to his dad “Daddy I like doing things with you.”  That is all that needs to be said! Daddy Craft

Books About Dad

Daddy’s Song by Leslea Newman was a big hit with my son. The book is a lullaby that a father sings to his daughter before bed. It’s whimsical and at times down right funny. The illustrations by Karen Ritz keep up with the whimsy and make it all seem like a silly dream. Then the end of the book brings us all back to reality with the most important message, that even if all these silly things did happen and turned the little girls world topsy turvy, that her dad would be there and still love her. Big thumbs up from us for this sweet but not sappy book!

Piglet and Papa by Margaret Wild. I was so happy to discover that this author wrote a daddy book to compliment “Piglet and Mama” which I reviewed and loved for Mother’s Day. Papa pig and piglet are playing and piglet thinks she may have made her daddy very angry and worries about his love for her. The other farm animals help by reassuring piglet and finally she finds Papa pig and the other animals were right he does love her more than anyone in the whole world.

A Father Like That by Charlotte Zolotow touched my heart. I have always been lucky to have a dad who was involved and present in my life, but this book is about the opposite. A little boy is telling his mom about what he wants in a dad, because he doesn’t have one. The book covers so many things dads do or don’t do, and while the dream dad isn’t perfect he is fair, loving and kind. I was tearing up as the book neared the end because I was wondering how the mom who was hearing all of this was going to react. Throughout the list of things the dad would do there were things for his mom too, mostly her being able to take a break and rest. Which made me feel sad that a little boy would have to worry about his mom, but I am sure that is all too common. The end pushed me over the edge, and my son who was drifting off to sleep while I was reading popped up and wiped my tears which made me cry harder because he was taking care of me. It ends with his mama saying that even though he may never have a father like that , that one day he can be a father like that. Great book for all families.