Transportation Theme in PreK

QuestionPatternBlockPin

Although we technically had two weeks of transportation in PreK it was broken up by the weather.

As always I started each day with our Question of the Day.  Around this time of the year I change the student name tags to last names so that they can start recognizing those.  I put first names on the back of the tags so that they can check to make sure they are correct as they grab their tags to answer the question.  For the siblings in my class I put all of the first names on the back of each tag.

This time I put the pattern blocks on the fine motor table, although I do sometimes use contact paper and put them on the easel.  You can find some pattern blocks sheets here and here.

EaselTransportation

Since we are not doing a space theme during the school year this year, I decided to use my rocket drawing activity during transportation week.  I found this at Making Learning Fun.

One of the letters we focused on during our transportation unit was letter K.  We used letter magnets to build words that start with that letter from This Reading Mama.  I use these magnet letters (affiliate link.)

MathFineMotor

My Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker was really popular this year with a few of my students this year.  I was fortunate enough to discover this on clearance at a craft store a few years ago.  This requires fine motor control and stamina since it has so many pieces to fill in a picture.

My Transportation Bundle includes this roll and graph game that I had my students complete with stickers.  This one is for my students who are still working on stamina so it only goes up to five.  I try to balance the activities in my room to appeal to different levels of the students in my classroom.

StampWrite

For my writing center I also chose a couple different activities from my Transportation Bundle to meet the interests and levels of my students.  I use the alphabet stamping set from Melissa & Doug (affiliate link) and crayons.  Just trying out new stamp pads.  Still looking for the perfect stamp pads, so if you have any you love, please let me know.

TransportationinPreK

The other writing center activity from my bundle involves dry erase markers and writing transportation words for my students who are ready for that.

I also used my transportation sort game in my sensory bin along with magnet fishing poles.  In order to make the cards magnetic I just put a few staples in the edges of each one after laminating.

For the science table I started with magnet wands and magnetic trains.  I showed the students how to use the wands to make the trains follow the taped paths without touching the trains.

BridgeBuildingPin

The other science activity for transportation involved building bridges.  I found some ideas here.  I printed and laminated photo examples and provided the supplies and let the kids experiment.

MoreTransportation

Another letter focus activity comes from my Alphabet Bundle.  Students use dot markers to dot the letter and pictures of words that start with the letter.  I purposely limit the letters and letter sounds on each page with this set of dot marker pages.

In the block area I added my train set from IKEA.  I have had this set since my girls were little, but there are many similar sets out there.  This one looks fun as well.

I was also gifted with some stencils that include transportation themed ones from Lakeshore. (not affiliate link)    These are great because they are really sturdy.  It does take a while for preschoolers to understand that they have to hold the stencil still while working with it, so the sturdy ones work best.  I would like to try out the Melissa & Doug set as well.

Those were my main centers activities during my Transportation theme.  If you would like to check out my Transportation Bundle and Transportation Calendar set, you can click through to them below.

Transportation Bundle

Transportation Calendar Set

 

 

 

Transportation Art and Science

Transportation Bulletin Board
Transportation Bulletin Board

Although we had a short week, we did have time to complete two transportation arts and crafts projects.

We practiced our paper tearing to create our traffic lights.  I traced three black circles on the black paper and wrote the color words on each.  I gave the students three strips of paper in red, yellow, and green.  I showed them how to tear the paper and had them tear up all the red, yellow, and green.  After that we discussed which color went on top, middle, and bottom and what each color means.  We had already done a traffic light song during circle time earlier in the week so they would be familiar with this.

The best part of this activity was having a student who always has trouble opening her snack be able to open it during snack time after all the paper tearing practice.  Hopefully I can remind her of the paper tearing the next time she has trouble with her snack package.

Wagon Things That Go craft
Wagon Things That Go craft

One of my favorite art projects each year is my Things That Go project.  This takes several days to complete.  This year I gave students the choice of using red, blue, or yellow paint to initially paint the entire sheet of paper.  After painting they then chose a secondary color to paint designs on the paper, like dots, squiggles, and lines.  This year’s students were not as into the designs portion of this project.

Things That Go car project
Things That Go car project

Once the paper was dry I cut all the student sheets into squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles.  Students used the shared shapes to create whatever mode of transportation they wanted to create.  I gave them some photos and a book to look through for ideas.  Trains seemed to be very popular this year, probably due to the train station and train tracks in the pretend play and block area.

Train Things That Go project
Train Things That Go project

For science during this week one of our activities involved magnets.  I placed masking tape tracks on the science table and placed a couple pieces of magnetic train on them.  I used our magnet wands (Amazon affiliate link) and showed the students how they could use the magnet wands to move the trains without touching them.  The kids really enjoyed this and even raced each other a few times.

Magnet Powered Trains
Magnet Powered Trains

While I was in my room setting up for our next theme I found a few Transportation q-tip projects on the drying rack.  You can see how my students complete them in different ways.  This year all the students seem to do a good job holding the q-tips with a pincher grasp, but if you have any problems with students fisting them you can cut them in half as I needed to do last year with a few of my students who really struggled with fine motor skills.  Although I don’t require my students to do so, the words are in light gray so that they can be traced as an additional part of the center activity.

Q-tip Painting
Q-tip Painting

Transportation Theme Ideas in PreK

Transportation Sensory Bin
Transportation Sensory Bin

This year we only had a week for transportation as opposed to two weeks last year, so I had to squeeze in my favorites.  Besides the bin full of train tracks from IKEA, my sensory bin was one the favorites of the week.  I put some packing “peanuts” in the bin along with some plastic vehicles for filler.  I used my Transportation Sort cards in the bin.  I laminated the cards and placed several staples in each so that the magnet fishing poles (Amazon affiliate link) could catch them to sort.

Transportation Sorting Mats for with the sensory bin
Transportation Sorting Mats for with the sensory bin

I was fortunate to find a Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker (Amazon affiliate link) on clearance a few years back at a craft store.  Although my students may not have completed the pictures, they did enjoy using the magnet to move the little circles.  I will pull this out later in the year when they have more stamina and a bit more fine motor control to see how successful they are.

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker

My students still love anything related to dot markers and dice, so the Transportation Roll and Graph was completed by several students.  Some even kept rolling until all of the vehicles won.  This roll and graph is made to go up to five instead of ten to meet the stamina of my students.

Transportation Roll and Graph, a part of my Transportation Bundle
Transportation Roll and Graph, a part of my Transportation Bundle

Something else my students really enjoyed this week was the Transportation Qtip center that I somehow managed not to get in a photo.

Transportation Q-tip Painting

Since we had several weather issues and some health issues in my home, I did a quick train station pretend play area.  My photo does not include the extra box that ended up being the engineer’s car.  The students have been very busy with the simple area, buying tickets, driving the train, handing out tickets, climbing in and out of the train, and fixing the train.

Train Station Dramatic Play
Train Station Dramatic Play

For my writing center this week we did the Transportation Stamp and Write.  My students are starting to remember how to do this since we have used similar pages in the past.  I use the Melissa & Doug stamp set (Amazon affiliate link).

Stamp and Write
Stamp and Write

For some additional alphabet practice, we used my Lowercase Alphabet Building Set with the last six letters of the alphabet that we have learned.  I am very happy that my director found the Excellerations Linking Cubes and Triangles Set (Amazon Affiliates Link).  I think the triangles make the letters look more like the real thing and give a bit more challenge.

Alphabet  Building
Alphabet
Building

For some other transportation ideas, please check out the art project results from one of my past years.  I have not yet had a chance to photograph this year’s results.

Preschool Summer Camp Art Projects

As promised, I am sharing the Mondrian Inspired Cross Canvas projects that we completed during our summer preschool art camp.  I teased you above with our Red, White, and Blue themed art project in progress.  Keep reading to see how that one turned out.

Mondrian Inspired Cross Canvas
Mondrian Inspired Cross Canvas

Most of our students painted every section of their canvases.  I put out the colors one usually sees in Mondrian works, but a couple students got creative at the end and created a new color.  I was not surprised since we did have color mixing practice during this camp and the new color was this student’s favorite color.

Creating A New Color
Creating A New Color

I did have a few students who were younger who had projects that looked like this one.  I think they are very beautiful as well.

A Little More Abstract
A Little More Abstract

In order to make these cross canvases, we purchased the canvases from the local craft store.  I used blue painters tape to tape off the cross design.  Students used acrylic paints to paint their projects.  We let them be finished whenever they said they were finished and asked again the next day if they wanted to add more if they had not painted the entire canvas.  We were okay if they said they were finished then.  No pressure, just fun.

Now what were we doing with that top photo of our work in progress?

Fireworks Craft
Fireworks Craft

I drew black lines on the black paper with sharpie marker.  (For one student I drew in white crayon since the child has some vision issues.  I could probably have used white crayon for all, but I was not sure how the project would turn out yet and did not know if the crayon would end up showing up.)

Students drew on the lines with colored glue bottles.  I had red and blue glue ready for them.

After the glue lines were drawn they sprinkled red, white, and blue sand on the glue.  We started out with small spoons, but then decided to just try using fingers and that worked just as well and kept some of them from going too overboard with the sand.

Finally, we shook off the extra sand and set it out to dry.

Firework craft
Firework craft

I had never done this particular fireworks craft before and was pleased with how it turned out and how it kept the students engaged.  It even seemed pretty sturdy to take home once it dried.

Now that camp is over I have been busy working on new projects for my shop.  Be sure to head over if you are thinking about the new school year already.  If there is anything you don’t see that you would like, or a different color scheme, please feel free to contact me.  July is my time to create.

My latest listing is below.  Two more calendar sets and then I will set up a bundle for the year.

Transportation Calendar Set
Transportation Calendar Set

Transportation Art in Preschool

I have a few art projects that I really cannot wait to do each year because they always end up being very unique each year and for each student.  One of those projects was inspired by Deep Space Sparkle’s project for kindergarten.  Since I have preschoolers I altered the project a bit to take away the cutting requirements, although you can see by my examples that some of the kids ended up using scissors to get the shapes they wanted.

We started out by painting paper.  I gave the students several color choices and asked them to choose one.  The first color started with a large brush and students were instructed to paint the entire page that color.  Once they finished I asked them to choose a second color.  For the second color they were given a small brush and instructed to give the paper lots of dots.  With lots of dots the paint would not get mixed and we would get an interesting set of papers for the second part of the project.

Painted paper after punching some circles
Painted paper after punching some circles

Once the paper was dry I punched a bunch of circles out of the sheets since we were planning on making a Things That Go! class book and I knew many of the creations would need wheels.  I then took the rest of the paper and cut it into various sized rectangles and a few triangles.  I put the shapes in different containers so that the students could choose the ones they wanted to make their book page.

circles

I provided my students with some clip art of various transportation vehicles as well as having the book Alphabeep, A Zipping Zooming ABC available that we had read earlier in the week.  (Affiliate link)

Some students decided right away what to make and used the shapes available to make their vehicle.  A few decided that the shapes they had were not right and got out the scissors.  This involved lots of cutting to attempt to get an octagon for one student’s school bus and involved so many pieces and parts that the helicopter almost did not get off the ground.  My friend who wanted to make the helicopter needed me to push all of his cutting to the side, which helped him get back on track and create his masterpiece.

Schoolbus --- Can you see the stop sign on the right between the wheels?
Schoolbus — Can you see the stop sign on the right between the wheels?

Once each student decided he or she was finished I asked the student to tell me what I should write about the vehicle.  I then typed those sentences up and put together our class book so that we could read it aloud over and over.  My students like to stand up when I read the page that they have illustrated.

Rocket
Rocket

I whipped up a quick cover for our book, thanks to Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah‘s clip art.  The student’s artwork went into page protectors.  A few students had to have their sentences placed on the back of the page before since there was no room to place the words without covering their creations.

Things That Go! class book
Things That Go! class book

For more transportation ideas, please check out my Pinterest board:
Follow Laura’s Lily Pad’s board Transportation Theme on Pinterest.