One kid-friendly summer activity that often seems to get overlooked is a good car show! And if you’re homeschooling there’s so many things to teach. Which wheels are bigger? How many red cars can you find? What is chrome?
So though we recently had a bus/traffic theme, and airplanes just last month, we went with a guaranteed hit – a car theme! My themes are lasting a bit longer than a week now so we had enough time for 13 awesome car tot trays and activities. Here they are!
- Color Coded Parking Lot
- Car Number Cars
- Basic Dough Tray
- DIY Textures Ramp for Cars
- Magnetic “Race Day” Set
- Copy Traffic Signs
- Car Worksheets
- Mini Car Felt Tray
- Parking Lot
- Stick a Road
- Car Counter Math
- Car Photo Sight Words
- This wonderful idea is from the Kavanaugh Report — thank you!
- First, I picked out six of his vehicles in distinctive colors
- Then in Publisher I made a simple set of six rectangles all filled with the colors of each car
- Printed this on cardstock and trimmed
- Put this “parking lot” and the vehicles in a tray with ridges so he could practice parking.
- Printed out a very cool set of car number cards from Preschool Printables — thank you!!
- Trimmed these and gave him a pen!
- Basic here — two colors of dough, plus a rolling pin and two cutting wheels from his Lakeshore Learning Shape & Play Dough Designer Kit
- We’re encouraging him to pick a car from his collection to push around in the dough if he wants to
- I have this detailed on its own post: Easy Dollar Store Textures Ramp
- Just gave him a fun toy as is – Imaginetics Race Day Set
- This cute set unfolds to a big car race background with car magnets and related items to decorate with
- Was able to hang this on one of the hooks on the side of his ‘school’
- A simple and random idea!
- I had extra red octagons cut out by the Silhouette Cameo from traffic week. So I gave him two of those plus two yellow circles
- Put in two street signs from Melissa & Doug Whittle World – Traffic Signs Set, the stop sign and railroad crossing sign
- Gave him a black marker to try to copy the signs (I couldn’t think of a tot-friendly white pen)
- Have some various worksheets for him:
- The word “CAR” using the same template I have used before
- Plus several great printables: dot-to-dot race car, instrument panel, and car engine.
- In lieu of a big felt board this time, I stuck a half-sheet sized piece of felt into one of his regular tot school trays
- Brought over the letters C-A-R- from Alphabet Felt Set and the car loader from Trucks, Trains & Planes Pre-Cut Feltboard Set
- Completely copied this idea from Georgina at Crafulate via B-Inspired Mama — thank you!
- Found an appropriate box (like a file box lid) and cut off a short side
- Drew some crude parking spots (not everything needs to be nice and even) and marked each by number
- Found random vehicles and put numbers on them with painter’s tape
- Park the cars!!
- This was inspired by Creating a Race Track from My Life of Travels and Adventures — thank you!
- First, using the Silhouette Cameo, I cut several small white rectangles from Silhouette Printable White Sticker Paper
- Included some rectangles cut from black cardstock in various lengths (same width)
- Stick the rectangles on the paper to build a road!
- Similar to the Airplane Counter Addition activity, I made three “equations” (all 2 + 2 = 4) with two colors on each
- Gave him the set of cars from — to solve the equations
- First, found five photos of distinctive cars
- Put the photos in Word and drew a thick rounded corner rectangle around each (so I could easily trim them to size after printing
- Printed these on one sheet of cardstock and cut
- Hand-wrote a ‘sight word’ on the back of each card that resembled the picture: “Blue” “Red” “Star” “Door” and “Light”
- Print two sets and this is an easy memory game.
- We have again relocated his books related to school! This time, we’re trying a big handled bin from the home improvement store
- Here are some of our book selections:
- Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z
- Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
- Go, Dog Go
- The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race
- Clifford Takes A Trip
- Cool Cars (ours is from the Amazing Machines: Truckload of Fun (10-Book Set))
One thing about this theme, and perhaps, ‘stuff’ in general. E has a LOT of stuff. A lot! One is a bucket-sized container that we put all his toy cars. Or rather, what I call “toy cars.” But you get down to it and there are just a few cars in there; it’s mostly trains and construction vehicles! I just assumed I’d find plenty of cars for the two parking activities!
Anyway, speaking of those, they were definitely the favorites. I think D was fixing a piece of tape on a car, then E went to his school, took the parking by color activity down and did it in a second. Then he kept blocking in the police car in his black spot with the green sports car. I know I have said before, I think sometimes when you give them activities that aren’t necessarily challenging, they find new ways to play!
I look back at these pictures and realize he got something out of of all 13 car tot trays Probably the sight word cards were the least effective.
We have another longer theme already under way – Healthy Foods! I’ll do anything to highlight his healthy eating habits!
I’m proud to be linking this post up to 1+1+1=1’s Tot School Gathering Place, Mommy Solutions, Everything Kids Link & Pin Party, Good Tips Tuesday, A Little Bird Told Me Link Party, Turn it Up Tuesdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, and Everything Early Childhood Link Up!
Great Books for Car Tot Trays