TEXTURED Train Paintings:
We used texture stampers (square) and tempera to paint the train cars.  If you do not have textured stampers, the children can paint with various materials.  Suggestions might include:  cotton balls, cardboard, leaves, other nature items, Q-tips, or bubble wrap.  The engine template is from the is available in the Transportation Theme available here on the blog!

Car wash:
Set out toy cars with a shallow bucket of water, soap, old toothbrushes or sponges for the children to “wash” the cars. This is a good idea to do after children drive their cars through different materials (ex. Moon Sand, shaving cream, paint, etc.)

Train Ride Materials needed:
chairs (one per child plus one extra); index cards with a letter or number written on it for their “ticket;” a matching letter or number index card attached to the chairs; suitcase with miscellaneous items for their trip (i.e. sunglasses, pajamas, socks, block, candle, shirt, shoes, fork, scissors, etc.); hole punch First line up the chairs so each child will have a “seat” on the train. Add one extra seat for the driver. Next, tell the children you will be going on a train trip and you need to check your suitcase to make sure you have the right things for your trip. Pull items out
one at a time and discuss if that is a useful/necessary item. When finished, give each child an index card for their train ticket. Their “ticket” should have their seat letter or number on it. The child takes their ticket and finds their seat on the train. After all of the children have found their seats, the conductor comes around and makes sure they are sitting in the correct seat. If so, the “conductor” uses the hole punch to punch their ticket. Finally, have fun on your train trip!

Maps! :
Let the children explore and use various maps. AAA is a great resource for obtaining maps if you are a AAA member!

Making Maps:
Materials needed: Large sheets of butcher paper, or several sheets of construction paper taped together; crayons and markers. Kids use their imaginations to work together to draw their own large maps. Kids can start by drawing roads, then add in buildings and places, houses, restaurants, local attractions, railroad tracks, stop signs, etc. Once the map is complete, the children can use toy cars and trucks to drive around their “town.”
Ramps Materials needed: Miscellaneous objects to use as ramps for their toy cars to drive down. Objects can include: empty food boxes, large pieces of cardboard, blocks, wooden boards, etc. Extensions: Race cars down different ramps; How far does a car go on a ramp?; Can you make the car go farther/faster/slower depending on how you change the ramp?; Etc.

Painted Buildings:
Paint small food boxes and turn into buildings. Use along with your block center for the kids to make “towns” and kids can drive around.

Musical Instruments:
Have the kids take out instruments and decide what instruments would make a small sound like a car horn, or a big sound like a jet engine. Continue thinking of examples for big/small vehicles and/or the sounds they make.

For MORE playful learning suggestions, see the entire Transportation Theme!  The theme includes:  literacy, math, science, gross motor, dramatic play, arts and crafts, and an extensive book list.  All pdf files and PowerPoints are included in the download.


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