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!
- 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.
- Draw one large square, one small square and an obtuse triangle on your cardboard.
- 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.
- While they are coloring the shapes, cut out 3 large circles from the black paper.
- Cut out the truck shapes
- Grab the brown piece of construction paper and the glue!
- Add the large square, small one and triangle, so the triangle is only touching at the top.
- The glue for the wheels- you can add the glue as a guide for your child.
- Pop the wheels on and let dry.
” 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!
- Gather your materials. You will need 1 full piece of construction paper, some scrap paper, an envelope, markers, glue and scissors.
- Start by drawing a flatbed truck. I practiced first but luckily my son’s pjs had a good model on them for me to copy. You can have your child color the truck if you want, mine was jonesing for the glue so we skipped that step.
- While they color cut the top off the envelope.
- Cut or punch out some small hearts for the truck.
- Cut some larger ones to go in the dumper.
- Next add the glue!
- Glue on the envelope
- Glue the hearts on to decorate!
- Now slip the cargo into the back of the truck!
- Gather your materials. You will need construction paper, a blue marker, scissors and glue.
- Give your child the marker and a piece of construction paper to draw the water and waves.
- While they are drawing the turbulent sea, cut out a semi circle, a long thin rectangle, two triangles and 3 small circles.
- When they are done break out the glue! Add the glue for the boat first.
- Add the semi circle boat.
- Next add the glue for the mast and the rectangle.
- Time to add the triangles
- Dot on three dots of glue for the port holes.
- Add the little circles.
- Sail Away !
“The Seaside Switch” by Kathleen V. Kudlinski is a book packed with information about tides and creatures in the sea. As a child I found nothing more fascinating than a tide pool and all the scurrying crabs and this book captures that. It’s main story is how the tide changes throughout the day and brings with it different animals. The book is too long for most toddlers but my son enjoyed pointing out the animals in the book.
” Busy Boats” by Tony Mitton is a fun little book packed full of good information about boats. The text is short , rhymes and matches the illustrations perfectly. It’s hard to find non fiction books that small ones will sit for and listen to, the cartoon characters in this book will grab and keep your child’s attention , I also like how small the books are, perfect for car rides and longer travel!
I am always looking for interesting ways to teach shapes, here is a fun way to get your little ones who love cars, trucks and such interested. While this craft requires a fair bit of prep it’s results will be worth it. We talked about the shapes as I cut them out and the letters as I wrote them, older children can do this craft independently or at the very least write their own name!
- Gather your materials. You will need 5 pieces of construction paper ( 2 red, 2 black and 1 green), 2 pieces of white paper, a red marker, a black marker, scissors and glue.
- Start by drawing the outline of the signs on the paper – you can stack the red, black and white paper for the octagon( stop sign), as well as the red and black for the triangle (yield) , the green street sign can just be cut into a rectangle. Cut the signs out.
- Trim the 2 inner layers of the stop sign ( the white a little and the red a little more). Repeat for the red layer of the yield sign.
- Write out the words for the street signs. It’s not pictured but the inner layer of the yield sign is white with red writing.
- Cut the stop sign letters out individually.
- Invite your child to the table- if they haven’t been helping. For really little guys I would do this before including them, if not the whole project will drag too much and they will want to move onto something else before they even get a chance to do anything.
- Start by gluing the stop sign together,first the white on the black , then the red.
- I wrote the word stop in glue and had my son match the letters to the glue, it worked perfectly to give him a chance to do it independently and he recognized each letter. Let dry.
- Glue together the yield sign. Ask your child what shape that it, and how many different triangles are you gluing together? Is one smaller than the other? Let dry.
- Time to glue your personalized name street sign ! Add lots of glue!
- Voila!( side note: I love these new place mats, glue wipes right off! $1 at The Dollar Store! )
Vroom! Vroom! Went the little red car!
Vroom! Vroom! Went the little red car one day ,
and they all went Vroom! Vroom! Skreeeeeech!But we all know cars go ,
beep beep beep beep beep,
beep beep beep beep beep,
beep beep beep beep beep
We all know cars go ,
beep beep beep beep beep
They don’t go , Vroom! Vroom! Skreeeeeech!
” 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.
- Gather your materials. You will need various colors of construction paper I used scrap paper, one piece of white paper, glue, scissors, a round paper punch if you have one and markers or crayons.
- Have your child color the background , if they are old enough you can have them draw tracks and scenery, if they are younger just let them at it. My son drew a “ringtone” and “onion” < ------ Reindeer and a snowman.
- While they do that here is the cutting that needs to get done, if your child isn’t the type to color for a long time do this before settling your wee one down in their chair.My son drew two pictures while I cut.
- Cut out 8 wheels. I cheated and used my paper punch.
- Next for the engine you’ll need 2 skinny rectangles, one with an angled end ( that’s the top of the engine, the other is the base), and 2 fat shorter rectangles, 1 with an angled end and the other with 2 U shape windows.
- For the cargo car you will need one rectangle and a few various shapes to be the cargo.
- When your artist is done with the scenery, add the glue for the wheels.
- Put the wheels on.
- Now add the glue for the base of the engine
- Add the piece
- Add the glue for the front and cab of the engine and add the pieces on.
- Now the glue for the engine roof
- Add that piece on.
- Add the glue for the cargo car and it’s cargo and add those pieces.
- Let dry !
“Terrific Trains” by Tony Mitton is another great book. My parents bought my son this whole set and at first I was sceptical of it just because it is a set and I guess I judged a book my it’s cover because I love all the books in the set. They are informative, fun, have great rhyming text and my son will sit for them and often requests them at bedtime too!