Shape Bulldozer Craft For Kids

Bulldozer craft for kids

I can’t take full credit for this craft, instead I must admit it’s inspired by an episode of Team Umizoomi ( a show I just love). I like crafts like this because it allows my son to manipulate the shapes , as you will see though his favorite part was the cutting step, it went on forever!  Even if your child isn’t into bulldozers find something they love and see if you can break it down into shapes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper in 4 colors ( brown, black, yellow and green), some kid scissors, adult scissors, markers or crayons and glue.
  2. Start by drawing a square, rectangle, and crescent on the yellow paper.
  3. Draw circles on the black.
  4. Invite your child to draw a construction site. The older they are the more time they will likely take, don’t fret if they make a scribble or two and declare that they are finished.
  5. Hand them the brown paper and tell them that’s the dirt and they will be making piles so they need to cut it into small pieces. Mine cut. And cut. And cut.
  6. While they cut , cut out the shapes.
  7. Time to glue – woo hoo!
  8. Add your shapes.
  9. Add glue for the cut paper dirt.
  10. Add the dirt too and let dry.

Construction Books !

Machines at Work by Byron Barton is a bold and bright book that is perfect for toddlers who are obsessed with construction vehicles. The text is brief but effective. My son loved this book as an infant ,  at 2 he enjoyed reading it, as well as counting the workers and trucks on each page. Now at almost 4 he will still grab it and read it to his imaginary friend Sammy who ” can’t read yet”.  All in all it’s been well loved over the years !

Road Builders

Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy was a birthday gift for my son in November and he was not interested at first. Maybe because of the plethora of lego that was taking over our house… however it has since become such a favorite he recently “read” it to my sister’s dog. It’s a story all about how a road is built , explaining what the crew does, and how each type of construction vehicle has a different role in building a road.  I like that it explains the process from start to finish, in just the right level of detail for preschoolers.  I also like that there is a female crew member and her participation is seamless .

Construction Countdownby K.C Olson is a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!  <–  That was written in 2008 and now over 2 years later my son still likes this book and has grown with it, now doing the counting all by himself.

 

DIY Geoboard

by Kim

My son had these in his preschool class. I thought they were really neat and wanted to have one at home. Have you seen the prices of these? I know they are worth it, but if I can make one inexpensively…why not?

All you need are colored rubber bands, black paint (helps the rubber bands show up better), ruler, rounded tip nails, hammer, and a wood plaque. You can use any piece of wood, but the store bought plaques are already have smooth routed edges.

I bought the rubber bands, plaque, and nails at Walmart and spent only $5.50. Your prices may vary, but it should be close. Here are the exact nails I bought. I had a hard time finding adequate ones at the home improvement store.

I had my son paint the plaque black with a small roller. This provides a nice even coat with quick drying time.

While he was painting I marked the nails with a red marker. This way I could keep the height of the nails even. I just lined a bunch up and made one mark across then at once. It was very easy.

Once the paint dried I made a grid on the board of 1 inch squares. [When I make another one I will make 1.5 inch squares, to give a little more space.]

Then I hammered the nails until the red line was in the wood. This is what it looked like all done.

It looks a like a medieval torture device, but it isn’t sharp at all. It could still hurt someone if not properly supervised, though.

This is definitely for preschoolers and not toddlers. I would suggest supervising, at least the first few times it is played with.

My son had a great time with it. He was so excited and recognized this from his classroom. What a great way to practice fine motor skills and experiment with shapes.

We plan on making a few more for friends. They were such a hit.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Shape Castle

Kids Castle Craft

My mom is in Ireland right now on business and staying in castles, nice eh? Well since telling my son that he has been pretending to be in a castle in Ireland too. So today we made one out of all different shapes. We couldn’t pass up the glitter either , although looking at my floor sorta wish I did. Getting down on all fours with a dust buster and a 34 week belly is well, not fun! Decide for yourself!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 different colors of construction paper, scissors, glue, markers and glitter .Kids Castle Craft
  2. Start by cutting out large rectangles and triangles , as well as some small squares for the castle.  You can use any shapes you want but these were simple for me to cut out and simple for my son to use to build. Kids Castle Craft
  3. Cut out some shapes to use as windows, doors and flags in a contrasting color.Shape Castle
  4. Invite your little castle builder to come and decorate the background.  Clouds, flowers, whatever they choose. My son made rain, because I had shown him pictures of me in Ireland and it was raining, and he was making his castle in Ireland as well.Shape Castle
  5. Next add glueShape Castle
  6. Add your main castle pieces. Remember to ask and talk about the shapes. Today my question was if he turned the shape around would it still be the same shape. He had to think about that for a second.Shape Castle
  7. Add your triangles.Shape Castle
  8. Add the small squares.Shape Castle
  9. Add more glue for the windows and doors. Shape Castle
  10. Add the contrasting shapes. My son didn’t want the flags, or all the shapes I cut so they went into my scrap bin.
  11. Next up glitter, add the glue first ( we took turns adding glue). Shape Castle
  12. Add the glitter.Shape Castle Immediately regret it when you watch your child rub the super fine glitter into their PJs, and hair. Send them onto the back porch to shake off.Shape Castle
  13. Let dry. I always let the glue dry before shaking the excess glitter off.

Princess Books

Princess and The Pizza

The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane and Herb Auch is really a cute re telling of the classic Princess and the Pea. They have modernized it and made it a little more feminist in the process, exactly my kind of book. The text is a little long for toddlers but my son sat through about half before wanting to go back and look at the illustration of the horse on the first page. The message is sweet, saying that a woman doesn’t need a man or marriage to attain her goals! Beware though it will make you crave pizza!

Princess Smarty Pants

Princess Smartypants by Brenda Cole is the antithesis of the classic beautiful frail princess stories, but it still ends with happily ever after.  Princess Smartypants does her own thing and doesn’t understand why her family is so obsessed with finding her a husband. She bends to their wishes but still does things her way. I think this is a great message about happiness and confidence for girls and balances out some of the other princess stories. She was happy just the way she is and didn’t  need a spouse to feel complete.

Paper_Bag_Princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is one of my very favorite books. Some parents have shared their dislike of Elizabeth’s outburst at the end calling Ronald a bum but I think not only is it justified, he treated her horribly, but people say things when they are angry and you can easily use it to teach your child about anger. I think it’s a wonderful story about a princess taking things into her own hands and saving herself and the prince! My kind of fairytale.

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Shape Dinosaur
Shape Pizza
Princess Wand

Gross Motor Math Game

This game was supposed to be done with beanbags, we were going to toss them into the shapes… but a classic 3 year old breakdown about not being able to do it perfectly lead to me adapting it. I didn’t give up right away, but when he calmed down tried again, did a fine job and STILL broke down into sobs I couldn’t decipher, I decided to change it. So instead I threw on some music , and went for it. If you have a child who likes to throw and isn’t in the perfectionist stage mine is very painfully in at the moment grab some beanbags and take turns tossing them in for a fun varriation.

    1. Gather your materials. You will need some blue painters tape, a marker and paper. If you want add in some bean bags and music .
    2. Start by making shapes on the floor with the tape.  We did square, diamond, pentagon, rectangle and triangle. Involve your child in this step by asking them to predict what the shape will be , asking them to count how many pieces or sides each shape has and to trace it with their feet by walking on it and pressing down the tape. Preschool Shape Game
    3. Here is where you can start tossing bean bags in – simply call out the shape and have your little pitcher throw it in.
    4. Or you can do what we did and turn on the music , and have them find different ways to move while the music is on, and when it stops call out a shape for them to jump into.

  1. To make a more challenging variation write out some numbers . My son is big into speed limits right now so we went for big numbers, I suggested smaller numbers ( 10-20) but he insisted so I took him up on the challenge. You could also use letters or sight words too, for beginners try colors! As you will see in the video he needed help for these big numbers, which isn’t a bad thing at all but if you are playing this with many kids you will want the game to keep moving to keep them all interested and the inertia going so use numbers they are more familiar with. preschool shape game
  2. Pop the numbers into the shapes and play again. My intention was to have one number in each but my son wanted to put a whole bunch in the pentagon. Today was not the day to put my foot down . I wanted to play more than I wanted to force my specific rules on him. Preschool shape game

Have fun remember that our best laid plans are often thwarted by our best loved little ones. I am glad i didn’t give into my growing frustration at his inexplicable meltdown and instead adapted the game. We had fun playing before and after nap .

Shape  Books !

So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban is a picture book that is all about shapes in our environment. There is page after page of pictures of daily life, food, signs etc… with the simple question of finding the shapes in the photos. It’s a great book to use as a launch pad into a shape hunt in your own home or around town and worth a few looks because you will be surprised at the shapes you missed the first time.

There is a square

There’s a Square: A Book About Shapes by Mary Serfozo is a good shape book for preschoolers. Almost every illustration is made up of recognizable shapes and the text is made up of entertaining rhymes about the shapes on each page. My son thinks it’s funny that the shapes “Are sorta like people.” referring to the fact that the shapes are made into characters .

Dinosaur Shapes

Dinosaur Shapesby Paul Stickland will delight you and your dinosaur fan. The book is geared towards toddlers and young preschoolers who are still mastering finding basic shapes.  A shape is displayed on one side of the page and then those silly dinosaurs are playing with it on the other. My son loves dinosaurs so even though he’s known these shapes for ages it’s an enjoyable book with fun text and adorable illustrations by Henrietta Stickland.

Fire Truck Craft

fire truck craft

It is no secret my son loves fire trucks. We often have to drive by the local station on the way home to see if the trucks are in or busy rescuing people. This fire truck craft does take some prep work but is a great lesson in shapes and as your child gets older you can simply give them the pieces and let them put them together like a puzzle. I was very hands off today and glad I was, he needed very little help. All I did was ask him where he thought each piece should go and what shape each was.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some red, yellow, orange, white and black paper, scissors , a black marker and glue. fire truck craft
  2. Start by pre cutting the shapes. I started with a building with rectangle windows – this is not necessary I did this per my son’s request for something on fire. The picture of this is lost – I made it by cutting a black rectangle then folding it and making rectangle window cut outs.
  3. Next I cut out a ladder, a main rectangle for the truck, a square for the ab, a tiny square for the siren, 3 circles for the wheels and yellow and orange triangles for the flames coming out of the burning building.  If your child is able simply draw the shapes and have them cut them out!fire truck craft
  4. Time for your little learner to join you.  Add glue for the shapes. fire truck craft
  5. Start piecing them together- we started with the main part of the truck then the ladder.fire truck craft
  6. The cab and wheels.fire truck craft
  7. Don’t forget to ask your child what all these shapes are! Next we added the small square for a siren.
  8. fire truck craftHe added the building fire truck craft
  9. Next he channeled his toddler self and pretended to eat the glue ” No I am not eating it mama, I am playing with the air puffs.” That didn’t make me feel better ! fire truck craft
  10. And the triangle flames. fire truck craft
  11. Let dry.

Books

Flashing Fire Engines

Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton is a favorite at our house. Normally even after my son and I read the books we review I grab them to do the write up , this is on my son’s shelf where it always is I know the whole thing off by heart as does my son , so no need to grab it for reference. The book is a rhyming masterpiece, somehow keeping up the rhyming pace as it explains how firefighters fight fires and rescue people! Details like what gear they wear, and how hoses and hydrants work are included as well as ladders and sirens. My son loves this book and as an adult who has  read it hundreds of times it’s fun to read,  even over and over again.

All Aboard Fire Trucks

All Aboard Fire Trucks by Teddy Slater is never where i expect it to be in my house, because my son carries it around to read all by himself. No at 3 he isn’t reading yet instead he’s memorized much of this text and likes to sit and go over the many types of fire vehicles that are discussed in this very detailed book.  I have learned a lot from this book. It covers the basics but also goes into the more specialized fire vehicles like airport firetrucks, foam units for chemical fires and bulldozers used in forest fires.  If your child gasps every time they see a firetruck, can tell a pumper from a ladder and dreams of fighting fires, they will love this informative book!

tonka fire trucks

Tonka: Fire Trucks by Melissa A Torres is another favorite of my son. This is a Tonka book and has wheels that really roll which has served us well while traveling. It serves a double duty as a book and toy. The book itself isn’t bad either- which surprised me because usually novelty books like this usually underwhelm me. This book covers all the major types of vehicles used to fight fires, a pumper, an aerial ladder truck, fire chief’s truck, rescue truck and fire boat. Just the right amount of info is given for each and the illustrations support the text well. If your child isn’t into fire trucks I wouldn’t go searching out this book but if they are it’s a a worthy  addition to your library of firetruck books.