Transportation Theme Activities for Preschool

Transportation theme lesson plan and theme idea for preschool and kindergarten kids.When setting up a transportation theme or transport topic about various means of transport and vehicles for educating preschoolers & toddlers, it is important to give information and different examples that are used today.

You can start your transport topic for preschool like this, by talking about and educating kids first.

Transportation is everywhere in our society today and in the World around us. It is responsible for the advancement and supply of the entire World.

With our many modern methods of travel and transportation using various machines and vehicles, you can virtually travel anywhere. 

Transportation gets us supplies, food, travel and other essentials so we can survive. It’s also essential for shipping these items around the World.

Toddlers and preschoolers are fascinated with trains, airplanes, boats and different vehicles.

Why not try teaching preschool children about the different types of travel or teaching a transport topic for preschool by using and building your own?

 Simple transport lesson plans or theme activities can be based on vehicles like cars, trucks, boats, and airplanes using a variety of methods below to teach children why they are important for us all today.

 

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Transport Topic Overview

Teaching preschoolers about transportation can be a fun and engaging way to introduce them to the world around them. Here are some quick lesson plan ideas for a transportation theme unit:

  1. Introductory Discussion (Circle Time):

    • Begin with a discussion about different modes of transportation. Show pictures or small models of cars, buses, bicycles, trains, boats, airplanes, etc. Ask the children what they know about each one.
  2. Read-Alouds:

    • Read age-appropriate books about transportation. Some suggestions include:
      • “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” by Sherri Duskey Rinker
      • “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” by Mo Willems
      • “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper
  3. Art and Craft:

    • Create transportation-themed crafts:
      • Collage using cut-out pictures of different modes of transportation.
      • Make a paper plate steering wheel or propeller.
      • Finger paint with wheels and tracks.
  4. Sensory Play:

    • Set up a sensory bin with toy cars, trucks, and construction vehicles. Add sand, rice, or beans for texture.
  5. Dramatic Play:

    • Create a transportation-themed play area with costumes (e.g., hats, scarves, vests) and props (e.g., steering wheel, tickets) where children can take turns being the driver or passenger.
  6. Math Activities:

    • Counting and Sorting:
      • Have different types of toy vehicles and ask the children to sort them by color, size, or type.
      • Count how many wheels different vehicles have.
  7. Science Activities:

    • Sink or Float Experiment:
      • Provide different toy boats and ask the children to predict which ones will float and which will sink.
  8. Outdoor Play:

    • Set up a small obstacle course with cones, hula hoops, and jump ropes for the children to “drive” through on pretend vehicles.
  9. Music and Movement:

    • Transportation Songs:
      • Sing songs like “The Wheels on the Bus” or “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” with accompanying movements.
  10. Field Trip or Virtual Tour:

    • If possible, plan a field trip to a local transportation hub (e.g., bus station, train station) or arrange a virtual tour of a transportation-related site.
  11. Writing and Fine Motor Skills:

    • Tracing Activity:
      • Provide pictures of different modes of transportation for the children to trace.
  12. Literacy Activities:

    • Storytelling:
      • Encourage children to make up their own transportation-themed stories or draw pictures to go along with a story they create.
  13. Cooking Activity:

    • Make a simple snack that resembles a mode of transportation (e.g., “banana boat” with a banana and pretzel sticks for sails).

Remember to adapt these activities to the specific needs and interests of your preschoolers. Incorporate their ideas and encourage open-ended exploration to make the learning experience as engaging and enjoyable as possible. 

Check out the sample Lesson plan theme below on this subject.

Transportation Lesson Plan for Kindergarten & Pre K

You want to use basic, common vehicles and means of transportation that are familiar, interesting and easy to remember for preschoolers and young children when using this lesson plan.

Use transportation vehicles that are in your local community, or that they see in everyday life and find interesting. 

The preschool children will be eager to learn about all the different machines, vehicles and equipment they see in the world around them and on TV.

School bus vehicle for transportation.

Vehicle Ideas for This Transport Lesson

  • Bus
  • Car
  • Truck
  • Garbage truck/Recycling truck
  • Airplane
  • Train
  • Dump truck
  • Backhoe
  • Police car
  • Ambulance
  • Fire truck
  • Boat/Ship
  • Motorcycle
  • Transport Trucks
  • Helicopters
  • Subways

How to Start Your Kids Transportation Theme

Cars and transportation coloring pages.
Click to open and Save Image for printing

 

Be sure to provide a variety of books about types of cars and trucks as well as magazines that show colorful pictures of different vehicles in the class library area.

You want to have coloring pages on various means of transportation available for the preschool kids and toddlers to color and study.

Coloring Pages or printables with the names of the transportation vehicles are also great for them to become familiar with the names of the vehicle as shown.

 

Art Activities About Vehicles

Build a Car or Vehicle from a Box:

Try building a car or vehicle out of a cardboard box and use it as part of a dramatic play center area. The children could pretend to wash it and fix it. Place an empty bucket with some sponges, and some toy tools and watch the children have a blast washing and fixing it.

You could also make a fire truck from a cardboard box and place that in the dramatic play area for the next week along with a firefighter play activity etc. This is a great way to extend the subject of vehicles while keeping it interesting.

Real Life Car Wash for Kids

You could set up a real life car wash on a nice warm day – You could use your car or one of the other staff members vehicles. We have done this before and it was so much fun!

Set the preschool children and toddlers up with some simple items so that they can wash it like a bucket with warm soapy water and some sponges. (the kids will get to see a car or truck up close and will have fun checking it out and exploring.)

Use the following carwash items with your preschoolers:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Carwash Soap
  • Sponges
  • Brushes
  • Soft rags or cloths

*Obviously you would NEVER have the keys available to the children and always SUPERVISE the children.

 

Stop sign for transportation

 

Talk About Being Safe Around Vehicles:

This would be a good time to discuss safety when around certain vehicles and transportation with the children.

You can emphasize that children should NEVER play around cars or any vehicles. Children should NEVER stand behind vehicles and should always be aware of vehicles backing out of driveways and parking lots and that these are NOT areas to play.

 

Toy Trucks & Cars for Play Learning

Transportation theme toys

You can click on any of the above -toy vehicle’ images to search on Amazon for toys you can buy to go along with your transit lesson plan. *The above links are affiliate links for Amazon, and we will receive a small commission should you go ahead and buy anything*

Toy Transportation Vehicles for Play

It is a great idea to bring in some model or toy cars and trucks etc. that depict the mode of transportation you are discussing. 

Try to have toy cars and vehicles on the toy shelf and possibly a small play carpet that has a city or neighborhood on it with small roads and waterways. 

This will give the children an opportunity to use the toys and put them into action.

 

Activity Extension Activities:

Use masking tape* to map out some simple roadways for the children to use their toy trucks and cars on. You can do this by putting masking tape on a small area of flooring in the classroom or outside in a suitable area.

 Make the masking tape criss-cross to make intersections and roadways that turn.

If possible try to find small road accessories such as small trees and road signs (dollar store) to add to this activity.

*Masking tape will not leave residue on low-pile carpet. Always test in a small area and make sure you take it off at the end of the day.

If you are outside, sidewalk chalk is a great simple way to draw some roadways, bridges, and waterways that can be cleaned up by spraying with a water hose or a few good rainfalls.

 

Discuss Different Vehicles for Your Transport Topic:

During circle time, discuss with the pre k children the different vehicle types and what they do.

Pick 1 or 2 vehicles a day and discuss them so as to not overwhelm the kids. During circle time you can read books on different modes of transportation that are age appropriate to the kids in your class.

 

Find Real Life Vehicle & Transportation Images for Your Class Library:

Find real life, colorful pictures of vehicles from magazines, calendars etc. and be sure to have them posted on the walls around the school classroom so the children can see the different transportation vehicles.

 

Plan a Community Field Trip:

Plan a field trip to a local community fire station and/or police station. You can simply call these places and request setting up a simple visit with your preschool class. The kids will get a tour and learn about everything that happens at the station and how they use the equipment etc.

Books About Vehicles & Transportation

There are some kids books about transportation on Amazon. Your kids will enjoy these books and learning about different vehicles. *These are affiliate links, so we will receive a small commission if you decide to buyon amazon*

Kids Songs About Transportation

It is important to always try and be creative when setting up your preschool theme and lesson plans for preschoolers and kindergarten children.

Take the time to pay attention to the pre k children and who knows, you may get a new lesson idea from observing them and listening to their conversations, and discovering what they like and do not like.

This is where some of the best educational ideas and lesson plan ideas come from, watching and observing the kids.