I love making things with items that would otherwise end up thrown away and with Earth Day coming up now is as good a time as any to reuse things for fun! This isn’t the first roadway we’ve made, we made this one ages ago and it’s still played with daily . If your child wants design and to make it go for it, my son decided he’d “Be the boss.” Which I am sure was a great change from being a kid and he still felt ownership and pride while playing with it knowing he was the designer. He’s already deemed this to be only for big kids and he is right – the tape used on this craft is not safe for babies or toddlers . If you are making this for a toddler I’d do this toddler friendly one instead.
- Gather your materials. You will need a green kitchen or door mat, black duck tape, additional colors of tape of your choice, permanent markers and scissors.
- Start by making a plain black road. I wrapped the tape all the way to the underside to prevent it peeling up.
- Now add the yellow lane markers.
- Time to talk about what sort of buildings to make. A fire station was not surprisingly my son’s first choice.
- Next up a police station.
- He couldn’t wait to get his vehicles on !
- A super market complete with parking lot was next.
- Here he is deciding where we should put houses.
- We also added a school, and a pond with fish.
- It was an immediate hit!
In The Town All Year Round (a perfect book match for this activity).
In the Town All Year ‘Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner is amazing. Its premise is the comings and goings of a town in all four seasons. There is limited text, which serves only to steer readers to look for specific people in the highly detailed illustrations. Each season has multiple pages and the people remain constant throughout the seasons. So you see inside an apartment building, the town square, the park, railroad station etc… in every season. You see the changes in town, the progression, and of course the distinct weather in each section. The pictures also progress within the seasons, so a fire truck with a flashing light can be seen on every page in one season with the last page showing it getting to the fire. I can’t possibly explain the amazing detail and sheer number of things to find, make up stories about and spark your child’s imagination in this book. My son adores it. After renewing it multiple times from our library I bought it as his 2010 Valentine’s gift. It goes everywhere with us, perfect for long drives , waits in the Ob’s waiting room and plain old playtime he picks it up every day and finds something new.
What I really love is that because there is no text but still multiple storylines it’s helped my son to understand that literacy isn’t just about words, it about explaining what’s going on, and reading the pictures too. The absence of text has allowed me to really show him that. Now he has started grabbing books with text and telling me he’d read me the pictures, which boosts both his confidence and his enjoyment of independent reading.
Edited for 2011: My son is still crazy over this book. When I am desperate for him to chill out so I can get my daughter down for a nap nothing keeps him occupied ( and quiet) like this book. It’s magic!
that is brilliant! Thanks for sharing.
this is perfect. my little boy is all about cars and trucks right now!! we are totally making this!
This is fantastic. I envision several “neighborhoods” that could connect by roadways. Thanks for the idea.
Oh how fun in a class! One of my favorite teaching days ever was when my 2 year olds and I ditched our plans and turned the classroom into a town. Easily the coolest teaching day ever.
I’m going to request this one at the library right now! My son has a huge play mat that Grandma found at a garage sale for $2. It’s been the best toy ever! (Can’t beat 4 years of play.) I think this smaller version would be a nice addition. Plus he will be able to add locations that are important to him. . .like the dump=)
Our first version has a dump too!
Great idea !! We have a large gray rug in the play room With juice stains I was going to throw it out . Going to the dollar store this afternoon to get coloured duct tape . Can’t wait to make a road way with my 3 year old!!!
Jen @ Jen Spends says
This is such a clever idea! I think I have an old brown area rug that could work. I love repurposing old things.
Oh, I really like this one. Anything to do with trucks and cars goes over really well in our house. Plus, Mama gets to play with duct tape! 😀
My thoughts exactly! Duck Tape rocks!
Wanted to stop by and let you know I linked to your website because my girls (and the rest of our playgroup) had a blast doing the alien craft. Maybe you’d wanna see pics? http://www.cowsgomooandducksgoquack.blogspot.com
Super cute road map idea btw!
What a fun and clever idea! So fun for the imagination and I love reusing everyday items.
This is a great idea. We have the same book in German and even though daughter refuses to speak the language, she does love the book!
Wow, this is so cool!!
Thank you for the ideas. I can picture so many activities with this that will grow with my grandson.