Get ready to get moving with this preschool transportation theme! Children love to learn about how to get from here to there and this unit will be sure to satisfy their curiosity. Let's get preschool lesson planning for a zoomin' good time!
Children love to take home arts and crafts that remind them of all they learned during the transportation theme unit. Some of the crafts below will require you to assemble the pieces ahead of time. Use your knowledge of what your students can do on their own to guide you.
Have a few shallow containers of paint and some matchbox cars available to choose from.
Students dip the wheels of the cars in the paint and “drive” them around on paper to make tracks.
Egg Carton Train
Craft Stick Airplanes
Allow children to color craft sticks to decorate. Tape or glue the sticks together in a T shape to make airplanes.
Take a Ride with Me
Have a variety of props (especially hats) that children can use to dress up as the ones driving the vehicles. You might want to include these hats: captain’s, a taxi cab driver’s, pilot’s, conductor’s, helmet, etc. You could also have a pretend steering wheel, train whistle, gear stick, and headphones.
There are many field trips you could incorporate into this unit. Here are a few suggestions:
Preschool Transportation Theme Books
Have a tape or CD of various transportation sounds (either bought or made by you) with headphones ready. The children listen to the tape and try to match the sound with the vehicle that made that sound. There are some wonderful CDs available. I have listed a few below. Click on the picture to read more about each one. You may be able to find them or order them for interlibrary-loan through your local library or you can purchase them for your collection!
You might provide flannel board pieces of each mode of transportation that is represented on the CD for the children to place on the flannel board.
On a large sheet of paper draw a grid with numbered squares. Collect small (like Matchbox-type) cars with numbers on them (or you could write a number on them with a marker). Have the students “drive” the cars to their matching “parking spot” with the same number.
Cut out squares from plastic garbage bags. Have the children tape a small string to each corner. Tie all four pieces of string to something with some weight to it (like a washer). Experiment with what happens to the parachutes being dropped from different heights.
Have the water table (or tubs) filled with soapy water. Children can wash matchbox cars with the water, toothbrushes, and sponges.
You could also have available different materials for children to experiment making boats. Examples include: tin foil, clay, Styrofoam, and paper. Which one holds the most counters?
Traffic Light Cookies
Have 3 containers of frosting colored with food-coloring – red, yellow, and green. Let the children frost vanilla wafers with each color to make a traffic light.
Put a half of an orange slice (semi-circle shape) on a plate. Place a pretzel stick vertically from the orange. Place 2 triangle cheese slices from the pretzel and you have a sailboat!
Use pretzel sticks to stick marshmellows together to make a train. You can use frosting or peanut butter to stick on Cheerios for wheels.
What could be more fun than to learn songs to go along with your preschool transportation theme? Here are some favorites:
I’m a Little Airplane (sung to the tune of I’m a Little Teapot)
I'm a little airplane
Up in the sky
Here are my wings
Now watch me fly!
When the pilot tells me
I'll come down
To the ground!