How to Teach Transportation to Preschoolers
Transportation is an important part of everyday life, and as such is a topic many preschool aged children are interested in. A transportation theme not only teaches children about what different vehicles are for and how they work, but you can also use it to teach other important concepts such as safety when riding in a vehicle or walking. Use games and crafts when teaching children about transportation, as it will help them remember important information.
Play a game to teach the children what the colors in the traffic lights mean. Cut circles of construction paper in the colors red and green. Glue a stick to the circles. Create a finish line with ribbon. Stand in front of the kids and tell them to walk towards the finish line when you hold up the green circle and to stop when you hold up the red circle. The child who gets to the finish line first is the winner of the game.
Instruct the kids to create their own transportation vehicles. Divide them in pairs and give each group a cardboard box. Provide pictures of various types of transportation and let the children decide which one they would like to make. Give the kids art supplies to make their vehicles, such as crayons, paint and markers. Help the children make cut outs in the cardboard boxes as needed to make the vehicles.
Create paper license plates for the children to play a match up game. Decorate flash cards using markers to look like license plates from different states. Create two cards for each state and add pictures the children can remember when playing the game. Make sure the license plates don't look too similar, or the kids might confuse them, making the game harder. Make between 10 and 20 license plates. Explain to the kids they need to find the matching license plates by flipping over two cards at a time.
Explain to the kids what maps are used for. Bring a big map of your city for the kids to see. Show them where the school is and where places they know are, such as a library, park or supermarket. Mark two familiar spots in the map and ask the children to find different ways to get from one point to the other. Give the children markers to trace the different routes. Discuss why they would use the different routes to get to each location. For example, one route may be shorter, but another may be more scenic.
Make transportation books using magazine cut outs. Help the kids draw a vehicle on the top of a piece of construction paper, such as fire truck, construction vehicle, airplane and car. Have each child use five sheets of construction paper, each with a different choice of vehicle to make their books. Give the kids magazines and old books that can be cut out. Instruct the kids to find the different vehicles they need and to cut them out. Help them glue the pictures onto the correct sheet of construction paper and to make a collage. Ask the kids to also make a cover page by decorating another piece of construction paper with markers and stickers. Punch holes on the sides of the sheets and use string to tie the pages of the book together.