Things that go vroom and zoom have a larger-than-life aura for preschoolers, even though they are a part of everyday life. Whether they are going to preschool, the park, the grocery store, Grandma's house or on vacation, your child travels with the family via land transportation of many types. Land transportation crafts allow your preschooler to investigate the role that transportation plays in helping families and businesses get things and people where they need to go while providing opportunities for dramatic play.
An empty copy paper case or medium packing box is the right size for many preschoolers to sit inside while pretending to zoom along in the vehicle of their choice. You can also have another child or parent push the box along for a sightseeing trip. If you attach arm straps of heavy twine or yarn to the open top on both sides and cut leg openings in the bottom, you have an instant transportation costume for your preschooler to pretend to be a car, pickup, delivery truck, dump truck, emergency vehicle, bus or train. Spray paint the box in the color of choice and cut out circles, squares and rectangles. Let your child help glue or tape on the shapes as wheels, windows, doors and other decorative features.
An egg carton transforms easily into a fire truck or school bus with a coat of paint and the addition of wheels, windows and details such as an exhaust pipe, a ladder or passengers. Spray paint the carton in the appropriate color for your child's favorite vehicle. After it dries, let your child tape a cutout person in each egg cup as passengers. Close the lid, glue or tape on black cut out circles or plastic jug lids as wheels and use black stick-on letters to spell out "SCHOOL" along the top for a school bus. For a fire truck, glue or tape a cutout ladder horizontally toward the back of the truck. Alternately, your child can practice fine motor skills by building the ladder out of pipe cleaners. Glue a small piece of round, red candy to the top front of the egg carton as the siren.
Craft Foam and Paper
Craft foam or paper cutout shapes in multiple colors and sizes afford your preschooler the opportunity to practice shapes and colors while creating a picture of her favorite land transportation vehicle. For example, she can make a train engine using two large squares for the body and two small squares stacked vertically for the smokestack. Make coach and freight cars using two medium squares. Use small circles for the wheels and graduated circle sizes to create the smoke plume coming out of the smoke stack. Your child can glue short pieces of yarn between the cars as connectors and draw or paint in some tracks. If your child prefers other land vehicles, experiment with what shapes create a general outline of a delivery truck, 18-wheeler, pickup, car, ambulance, police car, fire engine, bus, or even a bicycle. Give your preschooler the job of finding the necessary shapes, asking questions such as, "Can you find a small square?" or "Please give me the biggest purple circle."
Candy is an instant hit with most young children so an edible transportation craft motivates children with the promise of a sweet treat at the end. Hard, round candy rolls work as train engines while miniature candy bars form the body and hood of a car. Small, rectangular boxes of candy can become trains, trucks or cars. Round candies serve as wheels, and lollipops work well as smokestacks or exhaust pipes. Alternatively, you can make the pipe for a train from a square caramel with a chocolate kiss on top.
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