Painting with Toy Trucks

truck tracks paintingIt’s been one of those weeks. My daughter had her first ear infection and no one got much sleep. And it rained, a lot. So I grabbed the construction toys we usually use outside, some paint and a big roll of paper and we painted on the porch. Even though it was rainy we managed to paint and mix some colors for a while until the wind picked up and the rain got us.  I wasn’t sure if my 6.5 year old would still be into it but painting with cars was one of his very favorite activities when he was little.  As you will see it’s still fun!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun cars, trucks or my daughter’s favorite… a bulldozer! You will also need some good washable paint
    , paper , paper plates and if you are doing this outside you might want some painters tape to hold the paper down.truck painting
  2. Start by arranging your paper. I wanted my kids to feel like they could really drive their vehicles so I used easel paper for long pieces.truck painting outside
  3. Have your kids choose a few fun color combos. This was not a strict color mixing lesson but you can use it as one if you want. I just let them choose whatever color combos they wanted.truck painting and color mixing
  4. Paint and explore the colors. truck painting and color mixing for kidsMy son immediately started making tracks fast and furious. My daughter was more into stamping.truck painting and stamping
  5. The tracks were super cool . truck painting is fun for all agesMy son drove his all over then joined his sister on hers.truck painting passing it back and forth
  6. This activity isn’t complicated but it is fun. It was just what we needed to get some fresh air after days cuddled up sick. truck painting for toddlers
  7. We hung them up to dry , not sure what the mail carrier thought of them but my kids were happy! truck tracks

Construction Books

dazzling diggers

Dazzling Diggers (Amazing Machines) by Tony Mitton is part of the Amazing Machines series of books that are favorites of both my kids. Now my son reads them to my daughter and yes my heart bursts when he reads to her and it makes me completely forget when he tackles her.  The book themselves are little gems. This one talks about diggers and bulldozers with absolutely fantastic rhymes. What amazes me about this book is that your child will actually come away having learned something substantial about the vehicles in it at the same time as loving the brilliant rhyming text. Must read for construction vehicle fans.

Goodnight-Goodnight-Construction-Site

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker will have to be renewed from the library while I wait for my copy to come from Amazon. This book is starting to get pretty popular and rightfully so, it’s a lovely book. In it busy little construction vehicles wind down for the night and fall asleep. I never thought I would say an excavator was cute but the one in the book is. It’s a wonderful bedtime book and your child will enjoy winding down with the sleepy bulldozer and his friends. My daughter completely adores this book.

diggers

Diggers (Usborne Touchy Feely) by Fiona Watt was given to me before I even had kids and it’s been read countless times to both kids. It’s great for toddlers who need to keep their hands exploring while mom or dad reads. It’s a sturdy book with a simple text that matches the great active illustrations.

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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

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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.

Truck Themed Kids Crafts

Over the years we have done many truck themed kids crafts and used them to learn about shapes, practice fine motor skills, pretend play and more! We are off on a road trip soon so I thought I would share some of my favorites with you today.

Shape Garbage Truck

Road r

Straw and Cap Truck

Traffic Light

Shape Fire Truck

Custom Roadway

School Bus

Painting With Toy Vehicles

painting with toy cars 


This is one of my favorite super simple art activities. Kids love using their cars, trucks and trains to leave tracks on the paper, a huge hit with boys and girls alike! Painting with toy vehicles also helps kids develop creative thinking since we are using the toys for something other than their intended purpose.

  1. Gather your materials. For this art you will need at least one car per child, although I like using a few different ones so there is some variety on the paper. Some paint or an ink pad, paper and a plate or tray for the paint.
  2. Pour enough paint in the plate or tray so that the wheels get sufficiently covered. I put in a little at a time so that there are no globs, just a thin layer to make tracks.
  3. Roll your vehicles in the paint and transfer it to the paper!
  4. Add another color of paint to the plate switch up the vehicle and keep going!

* For older children you can even make a designated road, and then add to the activity by making some houses and buildings to glue on it!

Song!The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round,
round and round,
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town!

The driver on the bus goes move on back,
move on back,
move on back,
The driver on the bus goes move on back,
all through the town!

The money on the bus goes clink clink clink,
clink clink clink,
clink clink clink,
The money on the bus goes clink clink clink,
all through the town!

The people on the bus go up and down,
up and down,
up and down,
The people on the bus go up and down,
all through the town!

The babies on the bus go waa waa waa,
waa waa waa,
waa waa waa,
The babies on the bus go waa waa waa
all through the town!

The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish,
swish swish swish,
swish swish swish,
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish ,
all through the town!

Books!

John Deere: Loader (John Deere (DK Hardcover)) by John Deere is a fun toy/ book for little ones. The pages Velcro together to use it as a toy with real wheels but when you open it they have real life pictures of heavy building equipment and if your child is like my son , this book will be well read!

Tracks: All Aboard for the Wackiest Train Ride Ever! by David Galef is a funny book about what happens when the man designing the railway tracks breaks his glasses and can’t see properly. Very funny book for your little train enthusiast!

Construction Countdown by K.C Olsonis 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!

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