Are you cultivating a conductor? Raising a racer? Does your preschooler gaze with fascination at the airplanes humming overhead or point in glee at an 18-wheeler driving by on the highway?
Welcome to the transportation phase.
Plenty of preschoolers is mesmerized by anything with wheels and a motor, or wings. We get it. Transportation innovations are some of the most incredible feats in modern civilization. It is amazing that we can zip from one end of the country to another in less than a day, or chug along on a rail system that traverses miles. Who knows, with a little encouragement, maybe your preschooler will be the person who finally invents the hovercraft! Or, at least an affordable electric car.
Here are some transportation crafts for preschool that will keep preschoolers interested and hopefully teach them something about the ever-interesting world of planes, trains, and automobiles.
Make fire truck handprint art!
We love this transportation craft for preschool from The Inspiration Edit. It’s simple, creative, and creates possibly the #1 most interesting mode of transportation for a preschooler — the fire truck!
All you need is a canvas or piece of paper, a paintbrush and paint, and a hand.
Paint your child’s hand completely fire engine red and then have them lay it on the paper or canvas. Add the ladder, wheels, hose, bells, and a company name if you like.
Viola, a life-saving emergency vehicle!
While you’re crafting, take some time to talk to your child about the fire company in your neighborhood. Explain the job of a firefighter, how to call if there’s an emergency, and what to do if there’s a fire in the house.
Upgrade this transportation craft for preschool by visiting the fire company and seeing the big red fire engine together!
Craft a paper plate submarine.
This easy, rocking submarine paper plate craft is a ton of fun to make and to enjoy afterwards.
All you need for this water-based transportation craft for preschool is blue tissue paper, a paper plate, scissors, markers or paint or crayons, and any other art supplies you may want to incorporate.
First, fold the paper plate in half and draw an outline of a simple submarine on it above and below the fold, leaving room along the rounded bottom for the ocean water. You may even want to leave the top of the plate above the submarine intact, since, in real life, there will be water above and below the submarine.
Give the plate to your preschooler to decorate! Help them glue the blue tissue paper to the bottom (and the top if you want) to make waves, and decorate the waves with aquatic animals like fish and octopi.
Kids can paint the submarine whichever color they choose. Use this transportation craft for preschool to explain the purpose of the periscope and how it works. Ask your preschooler what kind of marine life they would want to see out of the periscope.
When you are done, cut the submarine and the water out and watch how this aquatic transportation craft for preschool can “rock” back and forth on the water! Yellow submarine, anyone?
Click here for the full submarine tutorial, including pictures, from Red Ted Art.
Cultivate creativity with a cardboard car.
This craft is fun and engaging, especially if you’ve got an afternoon, a few cardboard boxes, and plenty of imagination.
Dig out all your biggest cardboard boxes from around the house and garage, and start with one your child can easily step into by opening up the bottom. Use another piece of cardboard, or paper, to make wheels, and glue them to the side.
Instruct your mini motorhead to paint the car however they want — it is their personal vehicle, after all!
Here’s a photo from the cardboard car parade at the Big Bend Open Road Race in Texas! Provided by Zombieite on Flickr.
Feel free to get as complex as you want with this activity. If you have multiple preschoolers participating, they can line up outside for a parade when all their cars are finished.
Idea: Make it a transportation-themed afternoon by combining this activity with a viewing of the movie “Cars.” The kids may want to craft their own Lightning McQueen!
Read on for more transportation crafts for preschool.
Make a tiny hot air balloon.
Here is a whimsical craft based on a form of transportation you don’t see too often, unless you’re floating away from Oz, that is.
All you need to craft this tiny hot air balloon is a balloon, markers, a Dixie cup, glue, and some straws or pipe cleaners.
Blow or fill up a balloon — helium is best, if you have access — and have your preschooler color it and decorate it with markers. Then glue the straws to the cup and to the sides of the balloon, connecting the cup as if it were the basket. If your preschooler has Army men, Lego people, or little dolls, they can even put them in the basket and watch them float away! Or, they can make people themselves out of cardboard or paper, and glue them inside the cup.
Take time while you are crafting to explain how this form of transportation works in the real world, using the rising power of hot air to heat up the inside of the balloon and make it float. Where would your preschooler fly a hot air balloon if they had one?
Fly paper planes and learn at the same time.
Here are two ideas for paper plane crafts that you could combine for an afternoon of aviation adventure!
First you’ll want to teach your preschool pilot how to make the most popular paper transportation craft for preschool, the classic paper airplane. Here is a database of paper airplane folding methods. Try out a few and write down in your “flight log” which work best.
Once you have made the airplanes, we love this concept from Blue Skies Ahead. Hang hula hoops from doorways or ceilings in your home to make a flight school.
To add a layer to the game while also working in some spelling and reading skills, write sight words on pieces of paper and lay them on the ground beyond the hula hoops. Have your preschooler read aloud whichever word the plane lands closest to.
Here are the full instructions for this transportation craft for preschool from This Reading Mama.
We hope your little engineer loves these easy-to-make, at-home transportation crafts for preschool. Here’s to an exciting world of planes, trains, and automobiles!
For more ideas about at-home crafts to make and games to play with your preschooler, check out more Wündercare blogs here.
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