Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Vehicle Week (Simple Summer Theme Week #3)

We're still really enjoying our Simple Summer Theme weeks even though summer is quickly passing us by. It's no secret we love playing with cars and trucks, so Vehicle Week was a lot of fun for the boys!
Week Three: Vehicle Week

One of my favorite things about this week was that we already own so many of the materials we needed. It also encouraged us to get out some of the transportation toys we already owned and hadn't used in a while. 

1. Paint with Cars and Trucks 
A favorite for us on a regular basis. (You can see a little more about painting with Monster Trucks here.) For this painting experience we set up paper on the floor and used our toy construction vehicles to create a painting construction site. We taped paper onto the floor and put small globs of primary color paint in the different corners. The boys drove their construction vehicles through the paint and mixed the colors. 

2. Soap Foam Car Wash
This is another favorite of our vehicle activities, and great for hot weather days. We originally explored this activity in this post. We create one batch of soap foam in a small bin, and two small water bins. We then stretched our hot wheels tracks across the bins. The cars can travel across the bins and be "washed and rinsed." 

3. Paper Plate Steering Wheel
This was a new and easy to create craft: paper plate steering wheels. We used the slightly thicker paper plates and I used an exacto knife to cut the plates so there was one attached cross in the middle. The boys decorated the plate with markers, stickers, and foil tape. 

We added a few hats from our dress-up box and the boys could zoom around through the yard!

4. Homemade Race Car Mat
This is another one of our favorite activities, especially on days we wind up inside. Homemade Race Car mats are a great way for kiddos to combine drawing, imagination, and their favorite cars. The boys pretty much created this one on their own. They begged me to leave it on the floor all week and added to it daily. 

5. Make a Vehicle Themed Snack
It's always fun to tie a snack into our weekly themes. These Banana Cherry Cars were the new snack of the week. To create them I cut bananas in half and cut off the ends to make them even. I also sliced fresh cherries in half and threaded them onto tooth pick axles. The cars needed a driver of course, teddy grams worked perfectly! 

6. Stop Sign Listening Game
It's always great for the boys to have a chance to practice using their listening ears, because what kiddo does not need practice with that? In this game the boys each had their own stop sign (printed from the internet and taped on to large popsicle sticks.) The zoomed around the yard until they heard "STOP." They raised their signs high and then followed the directions, for example "roar like a lion," "jump three times," etc. 

7. Construction Site Sensory Bin
Another simple set up, using the same construction toys we had on hand for our painting play described above. Materials included: floral shell pieces, floral rocks, and of course, small construction vehicles. They were great materials to keep in our sand and water table. The boys mostly pretended the trucks were moving large rocks. 

8. Cardboard Tube Airplane
We couldn't forget airplanes during vehicle week. This was a great way to create an airplane, although it was not really one for flying. First I started with cardboard tubes and a cereal box. I cut wings and tails out of the cereal box. On each tube I made slits for the wings in about the middle of the tube and a small slit at the back for the tail. I also cut a small slit on the tail pieces.  The kids decorated their planes with permanent markers and we assembled all the pieces by sliding the wings into the slits.  They "flew" them around the yard (which mostly meant running around and tossing them occasionally.) 

9. Read Vehicle Books
We have some many awesome books all about vehicles, both fiction and nonfiction. We read books to learn about how different vehicles work and they jobs they do. We also enjoyed some picture books which tell a great story about vehicles. In fact, we had enough books to fill a whole basket! 

One book we enjoyed was Truck by Donald Crews. After reading the book we followed up with a great extension activity: the boys worked to create vehicles using shapes and contact paper collages

10. Color Sort Toy Cars
I've seen several different versions of this idea on Pinterest. This was our spin on it. I taped several pieces of construction paper to the floor and threw several handfuls of cars into a bin. The boys took the cars of out the bin and matched them to the right color construction paper. For Big Brother (5) this activity was a little easy for him, but for Little Brother (2) is what a great match for working on learning his colors. Big Brother became a "coach" for Little Brother telling him the name of the car color and encouraging him to find the right colored paper. 

Our vehicle week could have gone on all summer, it was so much fun and so popular with they boys! But alas, we had other fun things planned ahead of us!
Check back again to see more about our Simple Summer Themes

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