Empowered Parents

18 Simple Transportation Activities for Preschoolers

By: Author Tanja Mcilroy

Posted on Last updated: 25 Jan 2023

Categories Preschool Themes

18 transportation activities pinterest image

Starting a fun transport theme with your kids, or are they just fascinated with the topic and want to learn more?

Here are 18 fun transportation activities for preschoolers.

How do you introduce transport to preschoolers? Let them talk about themselves!

Start the ball rolling by asking them how they travel to school or to the store. 

The transportation theme is a great way for motivating children to address the similarities and differences between themselves and others. 

By using these ideas, you can help them learn more about the world around them, exposing them to experiences they have not yet encountered. 

They can find out more about how things work and have their imaginations sparked for future learning. 

Check out the transportation theme preschool activities that follow to start your own minds spinning with possibilities.

Young boys playing with toy cars. Text overlay reads

Transportation art for preschool can easily be incorporated into any day. With common materials like paper plates, crayons, markers, construction paper, boards and glue, kids can “build” a variety of fun vehicles.

Painting and Molding with Toy Vehicles

Offer a variety of toy plastic vehicles that can easily be washed. Tell children to dip them into paints and then stamp, roll, or wheel them across large sheets of paper to make interesting tracks and designs. 

A similar process can be followed by flattening clay or playdough on the table and then running the wheels of toy vehicles over the expanse to make tyre tracks.

Designing Clouds in the Sky

Begin with a backdrop of blue construction paper and airplanes drawn or cut and then glued. 

Get the young artists to design clouds with cotton balls, stretching them and then gluing them to the paper in various formations.

Music and Movement

Songs , fingerplays , large motor games and other transportation movement activities for preschoolers are naturals to accompany this theme. 

Singing Old Favourites 

Playing Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light is best played outdoors or in a large indoor space.

Set up the start and finish lines. When you say, “green light,” the children move away from “start” in the method you have chosen (run, walk, crawl, etc.) toward the finish line. They must stop when you say, “red light.” 

Children playing red light, green light.

If you want, you can also incorporate the yellow light as a signal for them to move more slowly. The child who reaches the finish line first is the winner. 

For practice with colours and words, you can also use coloured and labelled “traffic lights” made from paper plates that you hold up alone or along with your verbal directions.

This post contains affiliate links for educational products that I personally recommend. If you purchase through one of them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the terms and conditions for more details.


Sharing books and videos.

Check your own bookshelf, the local library and YouTube for a wealth of fiction and informational books and videos about all different kinds of transportation, from the most common to wildly unusual. 

Read, view, retell and discuss.

These titles are also available online:

Planes – Byron Barton

Freight Train ; School Bus ; Truck ; and Sail Away – Donald Crews

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Things that Go – Karen de Seve

Look Inside Things that Go – Rob Lloyd Jones

Marvelous Motorcycles – Tony Mitton and Ant Parker

The Little Engine that Could – Watty Piper

Wheels on the Bus: Raffi Songs to Read – Raffi

Cars – Anne Rockwell

Sheep in a Jeep and Sheep on a Ship – Nancy Shaw

Mom reading a book to her child

Sequencing Practice

Offer practice with 1, 2, 3 order and transition words, like “first,” “next,” “then,” and “finally” through a retelling of a favourite story or book. 

This can be accomplished orally and/or with visuals, such as cut pictures or flannel board pieces.

Dramatic Play

The transport preschool theme is a great partner with “playing pretend.” Offer a wide variety of props, dolls, huge boxes, puppets, dress-up clothes and furniture to help imaginations soar.

Pretending to Travel in Various Vehicles

Read A Suitcase with a Surprise by Miss Frances (A Ding Dong School Book), which is a lovely vintage story about a little boy who pretends at home that he is going on a trip on a train. 

Encourage kids to set up the play area with various furniture and props to look like the inside of a plane, boat, bus or train. 

Child sitting in an airplane that looks like a box.

Masquerading as a Vehicle!

Combining dramatic play with movement, children choose and act out their favourite kinds of vehicles. 

Safety and avoidance of bumping into other “vehicles” (teaching position in space ) is encouraged and could be accomplished through the use of play traffic signs and signals.

Transportation maths activities for preschoolers easily lend themselves to important skills, such as counting, operations, sorting , measurement , patterns, representation and geometry.

Sorting Vehicles

Challenge the kids to sort toy vehicles by various characteristics: colour, size, shape or mode of travel (air, land, water). 

Children playing with red cars

They can also cut pictures of vehicles from magazines, and sort and glue them onto a transportation collage .

Recognizing Patterns

Beep Beep, Vroom Vroom! a “Math Start Book” by Stuart J. Murphy, encourages kids to see and recognize the patterns of colours and noises through the story’s vehicles.

Counting Vehicles

From a window, when outdoors, or even in a vehicle themselves, children can count how many they see of a particular vehicle: airplanes in the sky, skateboards on the sidewalk or trucks on the road.

Constructing a Graph

Graphing activities are a great way to introduce early maths concepts.

On poster board or large paper, draw a graph grid that is labelled with different colours. Children then add toy vehicles one at a time to discover which is the most common colour in the toy collection. 

Point out the numbers affixed to the graph, count aloud to prove those numbers, and also help the kids compare one to another.

Kids enjoy preschool transportation science activities without even realizing that they are “doing science.” 

Investigating Ramps

Using boards, blocks and toy cars, children build ramps to discover what placements and conditions make them roll down the fastest. 

This can also be accomplished outdoors on a larger scale with trikes/bikes and plywood or old doors.

Building and Flying Toy Airplanes

Offer a variety of materials, such as different weights of paper, cardboard, balsa wood and light foam sheets, challenging children to make airplanes. 

Child making paper airplanes on the grass

Try flying them and then making small improvements. Discuss what helps the planes fly better and why they think that works.

Here are some cooking ideas to bring more fun to this theme.

Baking Traffic Light Cookies

Read Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper as a fun way to talk about vehicles and how they often need to stop. 

Then have kids help bake your favourite sugar cookie recipe formed into rounds, colouring three containers of frosting to make red, yellow and green for traffic lights.

For a less sugary version, you can use crackers and cream cheese tinted in the three colours.

Cutting Fruits and Veggies into “Wheels”

With plastic knives, children cut bananas, oranges, kiwis, cucumbers, zucchini and cheese sticks into “wheels.” 

Full vehicles can be formed with the use of crackers, breads and other large veggie and fruit pieces.

Free Play 

Here are some final ways to incorporate this theme into children’s play.

Incorporating Vehicles

Make sure you have included a range of vehicles to be used in all areas of free play, indoors or outside. For example, add extra toy vehicles to the blocks and sand/mud areas, along with more kid-sized options of ride-on vehicles.

Adding Books to your Shelves

Many kids choose to “read” and look at books as a free play activity. Be certain that you have plenty of books handy, both fiction and non-fiction, that focus on a wide range of transportation topics.

Transport activities for early years expand children’s horizons and build their foundations of knowledge for future learning. 

There are no limits, and they can travel to space in a rocket ship or to the bottom of the sea in a submarine!

Here are lots more preschool themes your kids will love.

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Shelley Ghosh

Monday 19th of September 2022

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Tanja Mcilroy

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Teaching Expertise

Top 35 Transportation Preschool Activities

transportation preschool activities

June 2, 2022 //  by  Sophie Hurford

Join us as we fly through 35 of the best transportation preschool activities. Along the road, you'll discover everything from craft activities to construction challenges. So buckle up and let the journey begin!

1. Model Railways


Model railways are a traditional favorite amongst preschool students and teachers. They develop cognitive problem-solving as children have to figure out how to fit pieces of the track together. They also allow students to re-enact scenarios from daily life, which helps them make sense of the world around them.

Learn more: Old Tracks New Tricks

2. Car Ramps 


Building ramps for cars is another fun construction activity that kids love. All you need are some cars, planks of wood and some building blocks. Kids can experiment and observe what happens when they elevate the ramps to different heights and angles.

Learn more: Pinterest

3. Water Table Boat Play


Perfect for a summer's day. Fill your water tray and set sail. Using a variety of different shapes of boats, children can explore how they float upon the water. If you don't have a collection of toy boats, then why not encourage your kids to build their own out of lego.

Learn more: Primary Treasure Chest

4. Build a Boat STEM challenge


A build-a-boat challenge develops STEM skills and is also great fun. Provide your students with junk, recycled materials, craft sticks, and whatever else you can get your hands on. Then leave it up to them to create their own vessel. Finally, head to the water table and test out their designs.

Learn more: Miniature Masterminds

5. Create your own Road Map 


Become town planners for the day and create your own road map which children can then use to play with cars. You can use a large piece of paper to map out your own town or chalk it to the playground floor.

Learn more: A Girl and a Glue Gun

6. Mark Making with Cars


Encourage early writing and mark-making with this transportation-themed activity. Simply tape some pens or crayons to some toy cars. Place a larger piece of paper on the ground and as children push the cars along the paper they will begin to make marks. They may even be encouraged to start writing names and familiar words.

7. Track Painting 


Another mark-making activity that encourages early writing in preschools, is this track painting activity. You can use toy cars, trains, or any other mode of transportation you may have to lie in the toy box. Kids will ride the vehicle through a tray of paint and race it across some paper, forming interesting marks and tracks.

Learn more: Play to Learn Preschool

8. Wheels on the Bus

This transportation-themed song is a classroom classic. It helps develop language and is great fun to add actions to. Your preschoolers might even enjoy creating their own verse based on their own experiences of riding on a bus.

Learn more: Super Simple Songs - Kids Songs

9. Bus Stop - Addition and Subtraction 


Introduce the concept of addition and subtraction by playing bus stop. When the bus stops at the bus stop, passengers get on and off. You can use a toy bus or make your own class bus using chairs or a large cardboard box. Giving Math a real-life context is important for young learners.

Learn more: Board Hoarders

10. Tens Frame Bus


Practice counting and explore the number 10 with these Bus Tens Frames. You can use counters or peg people to represent the passengers. Ask your students to count out a number of passengers and explore how many more to make 10.

Learn more: Sparkle Box

11. Land, Sea, or Air


Combine a transportation theme with an early maths objective. Get your hands on a variety of transportation vehicles (or photos of different vehicles) and 3 large hoops. Ask your students to sort the vehicles into land, sea, or air categories. This will develop their ability to sort objects and also test their transport knowledge.

Learn more: Twinkl

12. Transport Survey


Head to your local streets and carry out a transport survey. Take a walk around the block and ask your students can tally how many trucks, cars, trains, or planes they spot. Or you could divide them into groups and ask them to count a particular color of the car. Back in the classroom you can look at the data and see which color cars are the most popular.

13. Transport Spotting 


How many different modes of transportation can your students spot? Provide them with a tick list to check off their sightings. You could do this as a field trip or homework activity and the children could take photos of the vehicles they spot. Back at school, they can compare their discoveries, and you can share their photos on a transportation-themed display board.

Learn more: Craftulate

14. CARboard Craft


You can’t beat a cardboard box when it comes to creating fun, and there are plenty of ways to your old cardboard boxes during a preschool transportation theme. Create cars, bus road signs, and more!

Learn more: Krokotak

15. Road Sign I-Spy


Spotting different road signs and exploring their meanings is great fun, and it helps to encourage young learners to take notice of their environment. Recognizing signs and symbols and giving them meaning is the first step before letter recognition and reading.

Learn more: Trip Savvy

16. Design your own Road Signs


Activities for preschoolers that encourage drawing and writing are important as they help to develop motor skills. This activity involves making their own road signs. You can also give the activity a mathematical link by exploring different shapes and numbers that might be found on traffic signs.

17. Car Park Alphabet


Create a parking lot with spaces labeled in capital letters. Then label toy cars with lower case letters. Children must match the upper and lower case letters and park the cars in the correct parking bay.

Learn more: Nurture Store

18. Parking Lot Number Recognition 


This is a car-themed number recognition game that helps familiarize preschoolers with written numbers. Create a numbered parking lot and number your toy cars. As children play, they will be subtly exposed to numbers and develop their number recognition.

Learn more: Housing a Forest

19. Chalk a Maze


Challenge your kids' spatial skills with this fun activity. Chalk a maze onto the playground floor and challenge your student to find their way out. You can do this small scale using toy cars, or on a larger scale using bikes and trikes.

Learn more: Hands on as we Grow

20. Playground Highway 


Chalk, tape or paint a road system onto the ground outside for your preschoolers to ride their bikes or scooters around. You can add road signs, traffic lights, tunnels, or bridges. You might even like to set up a role play area nearby where kids can play at being traffic cops.

21. Car Wash


Preschoolers love any form of water play, so create a car wash in your schoolyard. Your kids can ride the bikes and scooters to the car wash for a weekly clean. Activities like this are great for motor development.

Learn more: Crafty Morning

22. Transportation Themed Fundraiser


23. Transport Bingo


Lotto games are a good way to develop vocabulary at the start of a topic or theme. This bingo stamping game has a transportation theme.

Learn more: Homeschool share

24. Build a Bus Role Play


Use your classroom chairs or other resources to build a bus, and role-play a bus journey scenario. Roleplay is important in developing language amongst preschoolers, plus it is great fun. To enhance the scenario, you can create bus tickets and add dress-up costumes.

25. Exploring Friction with Car Ramps


This science activity is great for preschoolers and introduces them to the idea of friction. They can also practice plenty of descriptive language relating to speed and texture.

Learn more: Pre-K Pages

26. Egg Box Trains


This cute craft activity makes the most of your recycled egg boxes and is easy for preschoolers to take part in.

Learn more: Debbie Greenberg

27. Water Chute Boats


Using guttering and pipes, children can build water chutes for toy boats. Combining play and exploration is key to early science learning.

Learn more: TTS Resources

28. Outdoor Play with Tires


Old tires are a fun and inexpensive addition to the schoolyard. Children can build using them, or they might enjoy rolling them along the ground. They also make comfy chairs for an outdoor classroom.

Learn more: The Empowered Educator Online

29.  Remote Control Vehicles


30. Space Transportation


Transportation in outer space is also a fun route to take, and there are plenty of activities for preschoolers. They could design a space rocket using recycled materials for a start.

Learn more: The Inspiration Edit

31. Fine Motor Transport Threading


Now for a fine motor activity with a transport theme. These transportation-themed templates can be printed out and used in class to develop motor skills. Use a shoelace or some thread and a large sewing needle to weave in and out.

32.  Emergency Vehicles


Kids love learning about emergency services, so why not explore emergency vehicles too. These picture cards are a great addition to decorating a class poster board.

33. Old and New Transportation


Exploring old modes of transportation is an interesting topic, and preschoolers will develop their observation skills as they compare the similarities and differences between modern-day transportation and vehicles from days gone by.

34. Paper Airplanes


Don't forget air transportation! Folding paper planes is an age-old favorite. Kids enjoy making them, and seeing whose plane flies the furthest across the playground is a great way to introduce the topic of measure.

Learn more: Foldable Flight

35. Airport Small World Play


Set up a small world airport complete with a textured runway and landing lights. It's a playful, sensory experience that could be introduced to the classroom before a school break to prepare kids for trips they may be taking soon.

Learn more: Fairy Poppins

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Ideas for Pre-K & Preschool Teachers

Transportation Theme

By Karen Cox | Affiliate Disclosure | Filed Under: Transportation Theme

Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about transportation

Transportation Theme Unit: Activities for Preschool, Pre-K

Find more Transportation Activities for Pre-K

Click here for a complete list of Books about Transportation !

Transportation Large Motor Games

Airplane game.

Children fly around the room when their first initial is called.

Red Light, Green Light Game

When green light is on, children roll a car around on the floor. When they see the red light, the cars should stop.

Transportation Fine Motor

Play dough tire tracks.

Children flatten out play dough and roll toy cars and trucks on it to make tire tracks.

Tire Tracks

Train Scissor Skills

Children pretend the scissors are a train, cutting along the railroad tracks (straight, curved & jagged lines). They stop when they come to the animal sticker.

Cutting Skills

Transportation Art Activities

Craft Stick Airplanes

Children use craft sticks and colored masking tape to create airplanes.

Craft Stick Plane

Tire Tracks in Paint

Children dip the tires of toy cars in paint and roll it across their paper to make tire tracks. Oriental Trading also has some car stamps that can be used for this activity. (Item number IN-56/2906)

Truck Track Prints

Transportation Literacy Activities

Name trains.

Children glue squares with the letters of their name onto a strip of construction paper to make a name “train”. We add a paper engine and draw on the wheels.

Train Name

Letter Roads

Children drive over the shapes of the letters with mini toy cars. Get these free printable Letter Roads here.

Letter Roads Printable mat

Roll and Write Game

Children love this game to practice writing skills! Read about and print the  Roll and Write Game here .

Transportation Roll & Write Game Printable

Truck Bingo Stamping Game

Use this bingo stamping game to practice letter or numeral recognition. Print out the bingo page, write the letters or numbers you want your students to practice, and make copies. Get the printable here:  Truck Bingo Game here .

Truck Stamping Game

Story Retelling

This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story. Read the blog post here for details: story retelling

Transportation Math Activities

Transportation roll and cover.

This roll and cover game can be used to practice counting and numeral recognition. Read about and print it here:  Roll and Cover Games

Transportation Roll and Cover Game

Train Patterns

Children work in pairs, each choosing one color of the Unifix cubes to work with. The children make an AB pattern: one child adding one color and the other adding the next color, taking turns adding to the train.

train patterns

Airplane Counting

Each month, we kept track of how many airplanes flew over our playground while we were outside. Whenever the children saw airplanes outside, we would keep a count in our heads (usually no more than 3 flew over). Then when we went inside, we would add that many airplanes to our chart. The children were often spotted at the chart counting how many we had seen so far.

Airplane Counting

Transportation Graph

I used the transportation clipart pictures (available in the Printables section) to place in the top of the pocket chart graph. Children choose their favorite mode of transportation and placed their name card under it on the graph.

Transportation Graph

Wheels Grid Game

Read about about print here:  Grid Games

Transportation Grid Game

Transportation Science Activities

Make parachutes with a 14-inch (approx.) square from a plastic trash bag, tape a 16-inch (approx.) string to each corner with masking tape, and tie all four pieces of string to a 3/4-inch metal washer. This is not easy for children to do. You could make this with each child, or send home the materials and directions for a home activity. Either way children will need individual help. I also made a larger parachute using a whole trash bag tied on four sides to a stuffed animal. The kids had fun dropping this from the classroom loft. (Children are exploring properties of air.)


Ramps & Cars

The children bring a small car or truck to school for this experiment. We test the cars to see how well they roll on a ramp covered with various materials. We used aluminum foil, sandpaper, bubble wrap, and corrugated paper. Also, change the height of the ramp and test it again.


Science Center

Ramps with toy cars Parachute man Gears Wood or foam airplane gliders

Transportation Cooking Activities

Traffic light cookies.

Children mix red, green and yellow food coloring with white icing, and spread the icing onto the three vanilla wafers to make a traffic light.

Traffic Light Snack

Wheels on the Bus Song Book

This song book for Wheels on the Bus can be printed or projected as a slideshow. Go to the  Song Books page  to download.

The Wheels on the Bus Song Book Printable

Travel Prop Box

Suitcase, Travel books, Tickets, Money, Maps, Clothes, Grooming items, Pajamas

You will also enjoy these resources…

tpt Train Track Letter Formation printables

Get it here!

TPT Geoboards Transportation

Classical Music:

activities for preschoolers about transportation

About Karen Cox

Karen is the founder of PreKinders.com. She also works as a full-time Pre-K teacher in Georgia. Read more...

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Free Worksheets

Transportation preschool theme.

Learn all about cars, trucks, and other vehicles with your preschooler using this Transportation Preschool Theme ! These transportation for preschool ideas include lots of transporation printables , transportation crafts, transportation activities for preschool , and lots of educational ideas for kids to learn math and literacy with a fun transportation theme . Use this with toddler, pre-k, and kindergarten age kids to make learning fun with cars, trucks, buses, boats, airplanes, trains, adn more!

Learn all about cars, trucks, and other vehicles with your preschooler using this Transportation Preschool Theme! These transportation for preschool ideas include lots of transporation printables, transportation crafts, transportation activities for preschool, and lots of educational ideas for kids to learn math and literacy with a fun transportation theme. Use this with toddler, pre-k, and kindergarten age kids to make learning fun with cars, trucks, buses, boats, airplanes, trains, adn more!

Little kid are fascinated with cars, trucks, trains, blips, tractors, and basically anything that moves! I wonder if it is because they come in so many unusual shapes and such LARGE size! Either way, they have a natural interest and curiosity which makes it a great topic to include as a weekly theme. Use these fun, free, and clever ideas for making your transportation preschool theme. Wei’ve included cute transporatation theme math, transportation crafts for preschoolers, literacy, and free transportation printables.

Whether this is a  transportation theme for toddlers , preschoolers, or  transportation theme for kindergarten – these  transportation activities for preschoolers are sure to make learning FUN!

Transportation for preschool

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love all these clever resources to make your own  transportation for preschool.  Use these at home, in the classroom, or as a supplement to your homeschool preschool. These also make a great weekly theme for a letter t is for transportation or c is for car week.

Transportation crafts for preschoolers

If you are looking for some really cute  transportation crafts with a car, boat, helicopeter, train, airplane, and other vehicle themes- check out these fun ideas!

Transportation Math

Sneak in some fun counting, graphing, and comparission with these  transportation math activities :

Transportation Literacy Activities

From practicing forming alphabet letters to tracing ABC pages, reading transportation word familes and more – these literacy activities for a transportation theme are sure to make learning engaging!

Transportation Activities for Preschoolers

Transportation Printables

Transportation Books for Kids

Use one of these two options for using books in your Transportation theme:

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Looking for more fun, free transportation printables to help kids learn a variety of skills with a fun transporation theme? You will love these  transportation free printables :

FREE Construction Counting to 20 - super cute number mats to help toddler, preschool, and kindergarten age kids practice counting 1-20. These number playdough mats are a fun, hands-on math activity for preschoolers who love dump trucks. #preschool #playdoughmat #counting

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Sara Dennis is a homeschooling mother of 6. Her goal is to help moms simplify their homeschools so they can give their kids an excellent education and thrive at home. She blogs at Classically Homeschooling.

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activities for preschoolers about transportation

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Preschool Transportation Crafts, Activities, Lessons, Games, and Printables

Transportation, Cars, Bus, Trucks Activities for preschool kindergarten

Preschool and Kindergarten Transportation Activities, Lessons, Games, and Crafts. Vroom, vroom! Zoom, zoom! Grease your wheels, start your engines, and get ready to roll. Have fun exploring the following modes of land transportation: cars, buses, and delivery trucks. We can travel to school, to the park, to the grocery store, to Grandma's house, and just about anywhere else on land in cars and buses. And where would we be without delivery trucks? Just about everything is delivered by trucks from the food we eat to the clothing we wear, to the cars we drive, and to the materials our homes are made of.

Samples of our more than 80 transportation, car, bus, and street safety preschool and kindergarten crafts, activities, and games available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library:

Themes and projects.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Activities and Lessons

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Science and Exploration

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Booklets and Other

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Transportation Circle Activities

Let children stand in a circle. Explain to them that they will go with you on a car trip. Explain that you will need their help with sound effects and to make the different actions you describe in your story. Let children pretend to steer a car. Describe a trip to a vacation spot. Let children turn left and right, stop at stoplights, stop at a store to buy some food, get out and in the car, start the car, park the car, drive backwards, etc. The next time around have the children take turns telling the story. 

How Many? Numbers Activity

Show children a large picture of a car (preferably with all four wheels showing). Ask children to describe the car. Next, ask children how many wheels the car has? Ask them to hold up that many fingers (4). Write the word "wheels" and the number 4 on the board. Next, ask how many lights, steering wheels, doors, and tires are on the car. Write the words and numbers on the board. Show a truck picture and repeat the activity. Talk about their findings. 

Driving a Car Game

Let children create a paper plate steering wheel (see our craft section). Have children line up in one or two horizontal rows, each holding their steering wheels. Stand in front of the children facing them. Explain that you will pretend to drive a car and that they have to follow you. Turn your back to the children and take them on a ride. Turn your steering wheel to the right or left and turn your body as well. Encourage children to watch and move with you. When you want to stop the car, press your foot down as if you're putting on the brake. Make the matching car sound effects.

Free Transportation Crafts, Activities, and Printables

Follow the Road (Fine Motor Skill Activity / Hand to Eye Coordination) On a large poster board or brown wrapping paper draw or print out our printables for different destinations (school, grocery store, houses, church, fire station, police station, park, etc.) with winding roads. Provide small toy cars, trucks, and buses and let children drive along the roads to the different destinations. Let children describe where they going as they drive their vehicles.

Vehicle Color Graphing Take your child to a place where you and your child can safely observe vehicles, such as a parking lot. Ask him/her to tell you the colors of the different vehicles found there. List the colors as he/she lists them. Then help your child make a graph showing how many vehicles of each color were counted. Have your child tell you which colors were the least and most common. Ask your child if he/she can name any colors that were not found.

Cars and Trucks Sorting Let children cut cars and truck pictures out of magazines. On a table add masking tape to divide the table in half. Write the words "Cars" and "Trucks" on index cards and place them on top of each column. Invite children to sort the pictures and place them in the appropriate places. 

What Can a Tractor Trailer Haul? Ask your child to think of things that can be hauled in a tractor trailer. As your child makes suggestions, write them on a sheet of paper. Point to the words as you read them back to your child. Encourage your child to repeat the words and to point to any letters that they recognize.

Bus Depot Field Trip Visit a bus depot with your child. While there, have your child look at the buses, where the tickets are bought, and any other amenities, such as a snack bar or gift shop. If possible, take a ride on the bus with your child.

Vehicle Obstacle Course Have your child hold a hoop around his/her middle to represent a car, bus, or truck. Have him/her start his/her vehicle and drive it around. Provide obstacles on the "road," such as a bench to climb over to represent a hill or a mat to jump over to represent a bridge over water. Have your child drive slow and then fast. As your child "drives," play music to represent a radio in their truck.

Chalk Roadways Have your child gather his/her toy vehicles and some sidewalk chalk. Go outside with your child and with him/her use the chalk to draw roads, road signs, buildings, etc. on the sidewalk. Then "drive" the vehicles on the chalk roadways.

Vegetable Automobile s Provide your child with a celery stick and some peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese. Also have available sliced olives, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, and toothpicks. Have your child spread the peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese on the celery stick. Then have him/her use the other items to make an edible "automobile."

Bus Rhymes and Songs

Bus Driver, Bus Driver

Bus driver, bus driver, may I have a ride? (Hold up fist and wiggle thumb.) Yes, yes, please step inside. (Hold up other fist and wiggle thumb.) Put in some money. (Bend down first thumb.) Step on the gas. (Bend down other thumb.) Chug-a-way, chug-a-way, (Pretend to steer bus.) But not too fast.

Transportation and Cars Crafts

Easy Paper Plate Car Cut two circles (wheels) out of black craft paper. Cut a paper plate in half. Add the two wheels to the flat edge of the paper plate. Add details to car with markers or crayons.

Personalized License Plate Encourage your child to create a personalized license plate from of a shoe box lid. The license plate can have random numbers and/or letters or be personalized with your child's name or a cute or funny saying. Your child could also use number and/or letter sponges and paint to make prints on the shoe box lid. (They could also cut large numbers and/or letters out of magazines and glue them to the shoe box lid.) For fun, attach the license plate to a riding toy.

Car Collages Provide children with car magazines (ask car dealers for some free samples). Let children cut out car pictures and let them describe the cards. Let them create a collage by glueing their pictures on a piece of construction paper.

Other Car and Transportation Resources:

Cars (The Movie) Coloring Pages

More transportation related KidsSoup preschool and kindergarten activities and themes:

KidsSoup Library kindergarten and preschool activities and crafts

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Transportation Theme Activities for Preschool

Transportation Theme

Transportation Theme Activities for Pre-K, Preschool, and Kindergarten

Transportation Theme Activities  for Preschool and Kindergarten

Books About Transportation You can find my recommended transportation books HERE .

Transportation Literacy Activities

Transportation Syllables

Students will identify the number of syllables in each picture, then roll a dice and do the movements shown. This activity is available in the Transportation bundle below.

Train Beginning Sounds Activity for Pre-K

Transportation Beginning Sounds

Students will identify the beginning sound of each picture on the train and place the corresponding pictures on the train cars. The beginning sounds activity is available in the Transportation bundle below.

Printable Transportation Rhyming Game for Preschool and Kindergarten

Transportation Rhyming

Students will identify the picture at the top of their stoplight, then select the corresponding picture cards to place on their mats. This activity is available in the Transportation bundle below.

Printable Transportation Alphabet Game for Preschool and Kindergarten

Stop! Alphabet Game

This activity includes both upper and lower case versions in black and white or color. Students will take turns drawing a card, identifying the letter, and marking it on their recording sheet. When the Stop! card is drawn, students may hold their hand out and shout “stop!”. This activity also includes two recording sheets, one for uppercase letters and one for lowercase letters and is available in the Transportation bundle below.

Transportation Mini Word Charts

The printable mini word charts are available in both black and white and color. The printable word charts can be found in the Transportation bundle below.

Transportation Pocket Chart Sentences

The predictable text in this pocket chart set will help your students learn concepts of print such as left to right directionality, return sweep, one-to-one correspondence, and more. The printable pocket chart sentences are available in the Transportation bundle below.

Printable Transportation Theme Emergent Reader for Preschool and Kindergarten

Transportation Emergent Reader

The predictable text in this book is designed to support your emergent readers. Use this book to reinforce concepts of print such as words are separated by spaces, left to right and top to bottom, written words match spoken words, common sight words, and more. This easy to assemble emergent reader is offered in both black and white and color in the Transportation bundle below.

Transportation Read and Write Around the Room Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Transportation Read and Write around the Room

This fun read and write around the room activity is available in the Transportation bundle below and includes a black and white recording sheet.

Transportation Word Cards

Printable word cards to place in a pocket chart or on a word wall. These cards can be used to help develop vocabulary; they are available in the Transportation bundle below.

Transportation Math Activities

Printable Transportation Graphing Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Printable Transportation Grid Game

Help young children build number sense with this fun, printable transportation grid game. This game is available in the Building Number Sense with Grid Games packet.

Fun Transportation Activities

Magic Stop Sign Materials: fingerpaint paper, red paint, paint brushes, scissors, masking tape. Take one large piece of fingerpaint paper for each child. Using the scissors cut strips of masking tape and stick the tape to the paper to spell out the word “Stop”. Have students paint their papers with red paint all over, completely covering the masking tape. When the paint is dry you can carefully peel the tape off to reveal the word “Stop”. Use the scissors to cut the paper into a stop sign shape. The same idea could be used to make “yield” and other traffic signs.

Fingerpaint Tracks Materials: several matchbox cars or other small cars with moveable wheels, fingerpaint, fingerpaint paper or butcher paper, paint- various colors. Place several different colors of paint in bowls or pie tins, containers need to be big enough for the cars to sit in. Next, give each student a sheet of fingerpaint paper OR use a large sheet of butcher paper to make a class mural. “Drive” the cars in the paint and across the paper to create tracks.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

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Transportation Theme Activities for Preschool

activities for preschoolers about transportation

A  preschool transportation theme is a traditional topic in most preschools but why?

Preschoolers love activities that include playing with all types of transportation theme items including vehicles such as cars, trucks, airplanes and more.

This topic is part of their everyday lives.

They drive or walk to school, have seen or ridden on a bus or taken an airplane to go on vacation.

Transportation Preschool Theme

This natural interest in transportation is something they experience in their lives brings life to the theme and your preschool classroom.

Preschool children learn through play.

Providing hands-on activities in all of the Interest Learning Centers in your classroom with a theme in mind will draw them in to play and learn!

This Transporation Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.

Let the Transportation Theme planning begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your transportation theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Transportation Theme Art

Traffic Lights for a Preschool Transportation Theme

Traffic Lights

Materials Needed: Cardboard egg cartons (in sections of 3); craft sticks; paint; clay

Provide red, yellow and green paint. Place craft stick into bottom. Once painted, place stick into a piece of clay as a base. These are great to use with cars, trucks etc. or in the block area!

Monster Trucks!   Thank you Lisa B. for this idea!

Monster trucks! My children can't get enough of reading about them and playing with them.  We did an art activity with paint. They drove the trucks through the paint onto the paper. They loved it!  Also, they like to drive the trucks through shaving cream mixed with brown paint!  I haven't done this yet, but, I thought if I used a Monster truck template, I could have one of each color. They could count them also!

Hot Air Balloons

Materials Needed: Round balloons, watered down glue (or other paper mache recipe you like), strips of newspaper, colored tissue paper, yarn, colored paper or strawberry baskets

Help children (if needed) to cover balloon with at least one layer of newspaper. It may be easier if you encourage them to completely "paint" the balloon with the glue or mache liquid and then cover with strips of news paper and then "paint" over the newspaper.

(Preschoolers tend to give up quickly when they have to pick newspaper out of a tray of glue and water. It is a lot of fine motor activity for them all at once.). After a layer is covering balloon, encourage them to place colored tissue paper over the newspaper and re"paint" with glue.

Let dry for several days. Pop balloons (favorite part in our classroom!). Hole punch a hole on each side of the opening of balloon shape. Using yarn, Tie strawberry baskets onto balloon shape (or have children paint paper to make their own baskets and tie them on).

Extension: Hang Hot Air Balloons in classroom. A great story to read before making these is Altuna Baboona or read the story after they are hung up (or both!). Encourage the children to tell a story of where they would go in their hot air balloon!

Additional Extension: Make a class book of the children's hot air balloon stories complete with a picture of them holding their balloon!

I Think I Can

Materials Needed: Construction paper; watercolor paint; pre-cut wheels; pre-cut conversation bubbles that say "I think I can!" Ask them where they would travel to if they could go ANYWHERE they wanted! Write down their answers on a piece of paper for later reference! You are going to make these into trains later!

Have the construction paper out with the paints and just let the children paint! When they are done and dry, give them wheels to glue on as well as a conversation bubble.

Write down on each child's train where they said they'd like to go!

Use these to make a classroom book to read over and over throughout the year labeled "Where we'd like to go!". Use these to make a "border" on your classroom wall or bulletin board.

Variation: Instead of asking where they'd like to go, talk with them while they are painting about what they'd like to learn, or be when they grow up!

Write down what they say for your own reference. When these are dry, add wheels to the bottoms and the "I think I can" bubble to each one. Hang them on a wall or bulletin board with a large title called "WE KNOW WE CAN" or "WHAT WE WANT TO BE WHEN WE GROW UP" or some other saying.

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Transportation Theme Block Center Ideas

Home Made Blocks and Transportation Theme Vehicles

Collect boxes of different sizes (from families or your own recycling from home!) including cereal and other food boxes, gift boxes, etc.

Wrap them in brown and colored paper.

Encourage children to make them into houses (by drawing windows and doors), transportation theme vehicles and boats (by drawing wheels and windows for cars and trucks).

Help the children use them along with the blocks already in your block area to build cities and towns. Don't forget to add an airport or lake!

Transportation Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Transportation Theme!

How We Travel

Materials Needed: Large chart paper; Marker

Prepare in advance a large piece of paper separated by lines into 2 columns, with the left column being not as wide as the right column. Label the chart How We Travel

In the right column, draw pictures (or glue on pictures) of different ways the children might travel (car, truck, van, bus, horse, airplane, etc.).

During Circle Time, show them the chart and read the label. Ask if any of the children have ever traveled in a car. Write down the names of the children who have in the right hand column. Continue this for each mode of travel you have listed.

Extension: Help your children with name recognition by preparing in advance pieces of paper with each child's name on it. Make enough name tags for each child to be able to put their name next to every mode of travel (just in case they have traveled on each type!). When asking if they have ever traveled by car, have them glue or tape their name next to the picture of the car. Continue for each mode.

Extension: Add a third column to the right of where the children's names will be. When done with this activity, have the children help you count the names next to each mode of travel and write that number in the box to the right. When completed, ask which row has more (or ask, which is more 10 children or 6 children). This extension activity can be done later in the day or on another day rather than all at one sitting.

Show and Tell Materials Needed: Transportation Theme Toy or vehicle from home from each child.

Send a letter home in advance announcing "Transportation Show and Tell Day" to the families.

Ask children to place their Show and Tell item behind their backs. Take turns asking each child to show the item they brought in and encourage them to tell their friends about it.

Note: Some children are not sure what to say! This is a GREAT opportunity to help them to develop their group speaking and social skills. Our goal for Show and Tell is for the children to share information about something of theirs in order to get to know each other better! A personal Show and Tell time is great for this! However, if there is concern about bringing items in from home (such as concerns that it will get lost or broken), rather than ask families to send something in, take the children on a Show and Tell hunt in your classroom and have them choose ONE transportation item from the classroom to bring to Circle Time to talk to their friends about.

Be ready with some questions such as "Does it work in the water? Does it have wheels? Where would you go if you could travel on that?"

Additional Note: Some children will forget to bring in a show and tell, it's inevitable! Encourage that child to choose their favorite transportation item from the classroom. When it is their turn, in addition to questions about the item itself, ask why they like to play with that one in school.

Flannel Board Sorting

This activity is much like the Water, Land, Sky activity listed in this section.

Materials Needed: Flannel pieces of transportation theme vehicle items; flannel board

You can make pieces from felt in advance. You can also laminate pictures of items and glue a piece of flannel to the back. Some teachers have found that using a piece of a fabric softener sheet on the back works just as good as felt and is less expensive!

Show the flannel board. Teach them spatial relationship words by explaining that the sky is on the TOP, the BOTTOM is the road or ground and the SIDE (add some blue for water to the side) is the water.

Give each child a flannel piece. Take turns asking what item they have and invite them to place their piece on the board where it would travel. Ask them "Would your airplane go in the air on TOP, on the ground in the MIDDLE or in the water on the SIDE?

Extension: Make a duplicate set of what you have. Give out one piece of one set to the children and keep the duplicate set. Show one of your pieces. Ask the children what it is. Ask them WHERE it should go on the board. Place it on the board. Then invite the child with the matching piece to come up and place their piece NEXT TO yours.

Extension: Place the board and the pieces in your Library Area for the children to use during Center Activity Time.

Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Transportation Theme

Apple Boat Snack for a Preschool Transportation Theme

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions.

It also allows for some great conversation!

Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation!

Be sure to ask specific transportation theme questions while making these fun snacks!

Ingredients and Items needed: Apple, slice of cheese, mini pretzel stick.

Core the apple, do not slice. Slice the apple into 4 quarters. Slice cheese into 4 triangles.

Have children place a pretzel stick into the apple quarter. Wrap a cheese triangle around the top of the pretzel for a sail.

Cracker Wheels

Ingredients and Items needed: Round crackers, cheese spread or cream cheese, a red pepper sliced into thin strips, plastic knives.

Supervise the children as they cut the pepper strip into small pieces. Encourage them to spread the cheese onto crackers and then sprinkle some cut peppers on!

Talk about what they have learned during your Transportation Theme as you eat snack together!

Ingredients & Items needed: Graham crackers, cheese spread or cream cheese, apples (red, yellow and green), plastic knives.

Cut apples so that you cut 4 sides off of the core. Then cut into circle shapes. Give each child a whole graham cracker (rectangle) for the traffic light post.

Supervise them as they spread cheese onto cracker.

Give each child one red, yellow and green apple circle to place on the cheese in the order of traffic lights.

Banana Boats

Ingredients & Items needed: Bananas, yogurt, small cups, plastic knives, spoon.

Help children to cut the banana in half both lengthwise and width wise. They should spoon yogurt into their cup and then place 2 pieces of banana on each side of the cup.

Travel Trail Mix

Ingredients and Items needed: cheerios, raisins, pretzels and other healthy snacks each in their own bowls; a spoon in each bowl; plastic baggies

Children place one spoonful of each item into their Travel Snack Baggies

Covered Wagon Wheel Pancakes

Ingredients: For pancakes: 2 cups flour, pinch of salt, 2 well beaten eggs and milk; banana slices and strawberry slices. For butter: 1 pint of whipping cream, glass jar with cover (such as a baby food jar).

Make the pancakes with the children. Have children each put an ingredient in. They all love to be part of the cooking process! If necessary, due to the number of children, simply have each child add 1 spoonful of the flour into a bowl until they have all had a turn! With the children, stir the ingredients until smooth. Spray or oil a pan and cook pancakes for snack.

Make butter! Pour whipping cream into a glass jar (only fill jar 1/4 to 1/2 full). Cover jar and shake! Be sure all the children have a turn and be sure to help as well. As cream solidifies, pour out some of the excess liquid and then continue shaking. It will eventually become a yellow solid of butter! Add a bit of salt to flavor if desired.

Have children decorate their own pancake with the fruit. Encourage the children to spread some of their home made butter on their pancake and top with the fruit!

Bubbly Drink

Combine 12 ounces of frozen apple juice concentration, 3 cups of water and 1 liter of club soda. Great way to cool off after a car wash!

Like What You See So Far? Join my FREE Preschool Teacher Tips Email Community today and receive: Weekly tips and planning ideas! And, on the 1st of each month I'll email you a free theme starter pack that includes a printable activity mat or game,  Calendar pieces, a playdough recipe and a song poster!  Join NOW and I'll also send you the theme planning forms I use! It's all FREE? You in?  Just tell me where to send your goodies below!

Transportation Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Vacation Station

Materials needed: Chairs for an airplane, bus, boat or train; pretend food and trays, backpacks, suitcases, extra clothing; paper and markers to make tickets; hold punchers to punch tickets as passengers board.

DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)

Turn your dramatic play area into the DMV! Hang a chart with alphabet letters on the wall for eye tests. Have a list of questions on a clip board (such as How old are you? What color are your eyes? What is your first name? What is your last name?, etc.). Set up a picture booth (hang a piece of fabric on the wall, a chair near the wall and a pretend camera to take pictures (or a real one for you to take their pictures!). Provide a piece of paper for their Preschool License. Develop it to look similar to your state's driver's license.

Before "approving" a child for a license, have them complete an obstacle course either with a car made from a box (see Gas Station above in this section) or with a small, toy car in their hands. Set up a course that challenges the gross motor areas you are working on (jumping 2 inches over a rope, crawl through a tunnel, balance on a beam, catch a ball, etc.).

Travel Agency

Obtain travel brochures from local travel agencies. Also look for maps and other items for your Transportation Theme dramatic play area! While you're at it, ask the travel agency manager if they have a staff member that would come to your preschool group to talk about their job and bring brochures, etc. If you are willing to send some information home from the agent, they should be willing to donate their time!

Set up your area with a table for a desk, clipboards, pictures, pens, pencils, paper, perhaps a keyboard that someone is not using for them to "type" into.

Also provide paper and markers/crayons for the children to make tickets and their own brochures!

Transportation Theme Ideas for Your Easel-- More Than Just Painting!

Materials Needed: Tempera Paint and brushes. Instructions: NONE!

That's right, none! Remember that just because we have a set transportation theme for a week or more, does not mean that ALL activities have to revolve around it! Children at this age are beginning to experiment with representational pictures, but are not quite there yet! Be sure to allow activities where they can just explore and use materials such as painting just to paint and cutting paper just to cut paper!

Transportation Theme Large Group Games To Help Your Preschoolers Build Their Muscles While Having Fun Together!

Stay on the Road!

Use chalk to draw roads for the children to ride their ride-on bikes or cars on. This can be done outside or inside. If you do not have child size ride on cars or bikes, have the children drive toy transportation theme vehicles within the roads.

Extension: Provide stop and go signs, have one of the children become a traffic office to stop traffic and let them go again!

Musical Transportation Theme Chairs In advance, make a set of papers with transportation theme items on them. Make 2 of each. Include pictures of cars, trucks, buses, horses, people walking etc.

Place the same number of chairs back to back that there are children in your group.

Place one card in each chair. Give a matching card to each of the children.

Explain that when the music is on, they should all walk around the chairs and look for their matching card, but don't touch it, keep walking. Tell them that when you stop the music, you will yell "Time to Park!" and they should find the matching card in the chair and sit on that chair.

Show them the direction you want them to go when the music is playing or they are walking (so they don't bump into each other!).

Start the music and play. Play as many times as there is interest. This is a NON competitive game. Competition at this age can be unhealthy. The purpose of games at this age should be to promote social skills and following directions, not "winning" or being "better"...promote teamwork!

Extension: Instead of using chairs and music, try no music and blowing a train whistle when they are to find their chairs.

This game can be played outside or inside. When outside, instead of moving chairs outside, draw circles with chalk for them to sit in!

Transportation Theme Ideas for Your Library & Literacy Area

Books Suggestions

(I LOVE Amazon, and if you choose to get yours there, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit!)

Library Wall Transportation Theme Decor

Hang pictures on the wall of different modes of transportation including walking, horses, hot air balloons, trucks, etc.

Obtain brochures from local car dealerships, travel agencies as well as on the internet.

Transportation Theme Activities To Help Your Preschoolers Develop Their Small Muscles and Their Math Skills!

Transportation Theme Vehicles

Provide different types of small manipulatives that can be used to make vehicles or cities! This may include Bristol Blocks, Small or larger Legos, K'nex, Magnet Blocks, etc.

Transportation Lacing

Provide the children with Transportation Theme shapes that are hole punched around the edges and yarn (tie a knot on one end of the yarn). This is great practice for using their small muscles and helps build eye-hand coordination.

These cards can be purchases or you can make them yourself. Make a shape the transportation theme shape on a piece of thin cardboard (the back of a pad of paper or notebook covers work well) or stock paper. Punch holes around the edges no more than 1/4 inch apart from each other. Laminate the cards.

For lacing string, shoe laces work great! Or, you can make your own by using yarn and taping one end to make it easier for the yarn to go through the hole.

Your Turn, My Turn

Materials Needed: Manila folder, transportation theme vehicles for moving pieces, rolling dice.

In advance, prepare the manila folder. Open the folder and draw lines across the folder (across the shorter side) all the way down the folder, about 1 inch apart.

Also prepare a dice. cover the dots that have 3-6 on them and have only dots with 1 and 2 on them.

This is a 2 person game. The purpose is to work on small hand muscles, eye-hand coordination while practicing taking turns.

To Play: Each of the 2 children should choose a Transportation Theme manipulative (car, boat, etc.). One child rolls the dice and moves his car that many rows toward the other child. The second child then rolls the dice and moves her item that many rows toward the other child. During play, remind them whose

turn it is. "Your turn. Now it's his turn."

Extension: Use a dice with colors instead and tape colored strips of paper on the rows. Extension: Make a homemade spinner with numbers instead of using dice.

Vehicle Patterns

Make cards of transportation theme items such as cars, trucks, buses, children walking, horses, etc. For patterning, you will need multiple of each type (10 of each). Laminate them for durability. Encourage the children to make patterns with them (car, car, truck; car, truck, bus, car, truck, bus)

Extension: Take 2 of each type out of the set you made. Play a matching game with them with the children.

Extension: Add felt or velcro to the backs of the cards and have them out near a flannel board.

Variation: Rather than make cards for patterning, use transportation theme plastic sorters to make the above patterns.

Match the Car with the Garage

In advance, turn identical small boxes into matching garages (for example, clean empty juice boxes or milk cartons with brown paper. Tape numbers or number words on each garage. Tape corresponding numbers on toy cars.

Encourage the children to drive the cars into the correct garage.

Transportation Vehicle Sorting

Provide a large assortment of transportation theme items and bowls. Allow children to sort by the different attributes that they see. You can upgrade this by putting names to each bowl. Some ideas are to sort by:

Land, Sky and Water vehicles

Items with wheels and without wheels

With wings and without wings

Transportation Theme Music & Movement Activities to Get Your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Red Light-Green Light...With A Twist!

Play a game of "Freeze Dancing" with them using traffic light information!

Materials Needed: CD/Cassette Player and music; A piece of red paper, yellow paper and green paper; a large open space.

Talk with the children about traffic lights (red means stop, green means go, yellow means to go really slow..ready to stop). Tell the children they will be dancing to the music but need to watch you (you are the traffic light!). When you put up the Green paper, they should dance, when you put up the Red paper, they should Stop (Freeze).

Variation: Have songs on a CD that vary in tempo: some slow and some fast. Tell the children to dance to the beat- some will be fast and some will be slow. When the music stops, they should Stop (freeze!). Play the music. If it is fast, hold up a green paper, hold up yellow if it is slow.

Stop the music now and then for them to freeze and hold up the Red paper. When playing the CD, only play each song for about 15 seconds and then change it!

Play as interest continues. We have also added dancing scarves or pieces of fabric for them to sway and dance with during this.

Transportation Theme Ideas for Your Sand & Water Table

Let's Drive!

Materials Needed: Cars, trucks, any vehicles with wheels!; Mud or shaving cream.

Children love to push these items on or through mud or shaving cream in your Sand and Water table! Comment on the tracks they make. Ask where their vehicle is going and what it is doing!

Sink or Float

Materials Needed: Water; transportation vehicles (Find vehicles that sink as well as vehicles that float.)

Give each child a vehicle. Take turns asking each child if they think their vehicle will sink or float? Invite them to put their vehicle in the water table to find out. Once all the children have had a turn, allow them to just play at the water table with the vehicles.

Extension: Make a rebus chart (picture chart) of the vehicles you will be using. Using a large piece of paper, make 3 columns. Label the first column TRANSPORTATION MODE. Draw a picture in this first column of each mode of transportation (I'm not a great artist so I either take pictures of each item, print the picture and glue it in the column or print out clip art!). Label the second column SINK and label the third column FLOAT

Ask the children if they think the first item pictured will sink or float. Count aloud how many children think it will sink and list that number next to the picture under the SINK column. Then ask how many children think it will float and list that number next to the item under the FLOAT column.

Drop the item in the table (or have a child do it). Ask if it sank or floated and discuss their guesses!

*Many children will "vote" twice because this is a new concept for them! A way to avoid this is to ask all the children who think it will sink to stand on "this side" of the water table if they think it will float to stand on the other side. Then count the children and list on the chart.

You may want to laminate this chart before using and use dry erase markers on it. Then you can use it each time you have a transportation theme.

Transportation Theme Science Activities for Your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Ocean Discovery Bottles for a Preschool Transportation Theme

Oceanic Bottles

Fill a plastic bottle plastic bottle (we use smaller bottles such as 1 liter bottles. The 2 liter bottles are difficult for the children to manipulate.

Fill 2/3 of the way with blue colored water and the other 1/3 with mineral oil. Hot glue the cap on.

Show the children how to move it to make waves in the bottle.

Extension. Use bottles with a large mouth opening (like a juice bottle). Fill 3/4 of the way with water and color with blue food coloring. Add sand. Add small transportation theme items. Hot glue cover on and let the children search for the items by moving it around!

Air Balloon

Materials needed: Small plastic bottle, 1 tablespoon of sugar, water, 1 packet of yeast, one small round balloon.

Put sugar into bottle.

Fill 1/3 of the way with water.

Add the packet of yeast.

Mix (lightly shake until mixed).

Cover bottle with the balloon.

Watch bottle over the next 1/2 hour.

Note: The yeast consumes the sugar and then creates carbon dioxide gas which fills the balloon!

Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Transportation Theme

Transportation Theme Class Book

Materials Needed: Magazines, scissors, glue sticks, construction paper, markers or crayons.

Children cut out modes of transportation. They glue them on a piece of paper. Ask them about their pictures and write down exactly what they say. Have them write their name on their page. Staple all of the children's pages together to make a Class Book.

Extension: Glue a picture of the child on their page. Place the book in the Library area. Children love to read books with pictures of themselves!

Miscellaneous Activities for Your Preschool Classroom's Transportation Theme!

Transportation Theme Field Trips

Local Service Station

Contact a local gas/mechanic service station to plan out a field trip. Also, ask if they have any old hoses, spark plugs, etc. that can be cleaned and used in for the children to explore in the classroom perhaps in the Science Center.

Airport Visit

Is there an airport near you? Small, municipal airports can be a great visit, especially if you can time it so that the children can see some airplanes or helicopters land!

Horse Stable

Plan a visit to a local Horse stable or a local community member who owns a horse.

Visiting the farm is not just for your Farm Theme! A lot can be seen with a Transportation Theme in mind! Of course you will visit the farm animals while you are there! However, in advance, speak with the farmer or owner of the farm to arrange having the vehicles they use at the farm including tractors, wagons, horses and their pickup truck!

Transportation Theme Classroom Visitors

There are many opportunities with a Transportation theme for visitors to your classroom! Survey parents for opportunities as well as your local community!

Some ideas for visitors:

Truck Driver

Police Office

Fire Truck Driver

Airplane or Helicopter Pilots

Horse Owner

Other Pages You Might Like:

Space Preschool Theme

Go to MAIN THEMES Page for more theme ideas!

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Pocket of Preschool

Teaching Little Learners

Transportation Centers and Activities (2 Freebies too)

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Need some ideas for a transportation theme?  I’m here to help!  I’m sharing my favorite, most engaging transportation themed activities with you.  I also created Road Number Mats FREEBIE for you too! AND a train name craftivity FREEBIE! Go grab you lesson plan book and get ready to be inspired!

Grab the FREEBIES by entering your email in the box at the bottom of this post . This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a tiny commission when you use my links at no cost to you.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Truck roll and count is a low prep, hands counting game your students will love.  Students roll the die, count out the corresponding number of mini eraser trucks and place in an hole.   If you have younger learners who need work with one-to-one correspondence, have them put one truck per one hole.

I’m always trying to find ways to sneak in fine motor everywhere I can.  A great way to do this is to add tweezers to this game!  The tweezers are called Gator Tweezers.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

“How many are hiding” games are a fun way to teach informal subtraction.  Student A closes his eyes and student B hides some, none or all of the planes under the cloud.  Student A opens his eyes and guesses how many are hiding based on how many planes they can see on the board.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Make measuring fun using real objects .  Grab any vehicles, planes and trains you have and tape a line to the table or floor.  Students compare the objects and order them by height.  It is tricky but so much fun.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Freebie alert!  Road Number Mats are the perfect play dough mat for a transportation theme.  Students identify the number, make the corresponding number of play dough balls and drive the car on the road to trace the number!  I found these cars at the Dollar Tree.  

>>Grab the FREEBIE by entering your email in the box at the bottom of this blog post!<<

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Transportation shape collages combine art and math!  Combining shapes to make a picture helps students develop spatial awareness.  I like to put this activity in the art center.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

There are so many different ways to sort types of transportation.  I like to use sorting boards because it gives students a visual cue as they sort.

Try to sort things in many ways not just by color, size and shape.  Sorting helps students notice similarities and differences in objects.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Race to 20 is a fun counting game for my little learners.  Students roll a die and dot the corresponding number of spaces on their board using dot markers .  If you make a rule that the player has to have the exact amount to end the game, it gives students the opportunity to explore more and less.

Want to practice addition?  Just play the game using two dice.  Students roll the dice, add and dot the total.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Transportation is the perfect theme to teach about maps.  We looked at real road maps then students drew their own maps.  I just love how this little learner had Target at the center of his map!

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

I filled my bookshelf with tons of transportation books.  Don’t forget to add non-fiction books to the bookshelf too!  Check out my Transportation Book List HERE .

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Trains sound puzzles!  I always have several students every year who LOVE trains.  I try to make themed games I know they are interested in.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

There are SO many long transportation vocabulary words!  I decided to make a transportation themed syllable game.  You know you are a teacher when you get excited about long, 4-syllable words.  To get kids up and moving, I added a movement spinner.  Students spin the spinner and instead of clapping the syllables like we usually do, they move a different way to count the syllables.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Transportation themed writing center!  I added transportation vocabulary cards (uppercase set and a lowercase set) in the black pocket chart , transportation stickers (from the Dollar Spot), transportation writing paper and colorful writing tools.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Boat writing tray!  I am in love with writing trays and so are my students.  I just can’t say enough about how amazing writing trays are.  The soft sand, soothes students making writing fun and hands-on.  I found some blue sand at the Dollar Tree and added some glitter to represent water.  Students had fun practicing writing letters in the “water.”  The trays came with this lacing set .

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Writing letters can be hard with so many different lines going in different directions.  Pre-writing cards give students the opportunity to practice making different types of lines in isolation.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Cutting collages are a fun way to practice scissor skills.  At my grocery store, there is a small rack with car sales ads.  They are the perfect for cutting collages, and they’re free.  I tear out pages and set them in the middle of the table.  Students pick the page they want and cut out the vehicles.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Train Cutting Craftivity!  Practice cutting skills and spelling their names with this cute train name project. Students will love making a train with their name and picking all their colors. These make a great craft to put on the bullentin board too!

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

My transportation play dough tray is mostly transportation counters . I also added clean gems (clouds), tiny popsicle sticks and play dough.  Blue represents water or the sky, green represents grass and black represents a road.  By using counters, students will also naturally sort the objects too as they create!

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

For a transportation theme, I usually make the sensory table into a construction site with diggers, gravel and tubes.  I added the letter rocks to infuse some literacy.  I made these letter rocks using stones from the Dollar Tree.

Ramps science unit! Perfect for a transportation theme in a preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten classroom.

I like to have the same theme all over my classroom!  I took the transportation theme to the science center too by doing a ramps study.  I posted real photos of ramps, books about ramps, sketch paper and cove molding (ramp prices).  Students engineered different ramps exploring many physical science concepts such as speed, incline and balance.  You can grab my All About Ramps science unit from my TPT store HERE.

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

In the blocks center, I added different types of transportation figures , transportation books, foam boards (green represents grass, brown represents dirt, blue represents water), and S TEM Transportation I Can Build challenge posters.  The posters have real photos which is so inspiring for students.  The STEM posters spark new ideas, activate background knowledge, and/or challenge students to build something they may not have thought of.  It is an easy way to add STEM to the blocks center!

Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

Painting with trucks is always a fun way to paint.  Try painting with trains, monster trucks and other types of transportation too.  It’s fun to compare the types of tracks each object makes.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

We changed our dramatic play center into an Auto Shop!  It was awesome!  The boys loved it.  The girls loved it.  Everyone loved it!  Go read all about the Auto Shop HERE .

Want ALL my transportation printables?  Save time and grab my Transportation Math and Literacy Centers HERE .  Just print and prep.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Want to change your dramatic play center into an Auto Shop.  Go grab it HERE .

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Go grab Transportation STEM I Can Build which includes land, air, sea, trains, construction themes HERE.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

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Road Number Mat FREEBIE plus my go to Transportation themed math, writing, fine motor, sensory, reading, and science activities for preschool and kindergarten.

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activities for preschoolers about transportation

How Wee Learn

Out of the box learning ideas, playful art, exploring nature, and simple living - that is How We Learn!

Transportation Theme for Preschoolers

February 17, 2023 by Sarah Leave a Comment

Do you have a little one who loves diggers, trucks, cars, trains, or planes? If so, YOU are going to love how easy this transportation theme is for preschoolers! 

Transportation Themed Activities for Preschoolers

When our little ones find an interest in an activity or a topic, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to dive into that topic alongside them and create some fun and easy learning adventures for them to have. This transportation theme is one of the themes in Play into Kindergarten Readiness (If you haven’t yet, please check it out! One 20 minute activity per day is all it takes)

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Play into Kindergarten Readiness is the coursebook for your preschooler’s magical childhood. One play-based, whimsical and beautiful activity a day; all core skills covered.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Check out how beautiful and magical (and full of deep, play-based learning) these preschool years can be right here: Play into Kindergarten Readiness .

Just before we dive into our transportation theme, be sure to grab your FREE Number Formation Pack! These little number cards are so full of potential – and instructions are included for 5 ways to play!

Now lets get to this transportation unit which is full of crafts, sensory learning activities, gross motor development, fine motor skills, literacy, and numeracy as well! Everything you could need for a transportation theme for preschoolers. 

Transportation Themed Crafts

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Tissue Box Car Wash by Craft, Learn, and Play . Grab a tissue box and turn it into a fun carwash! This craft alone is fun for little ones to complete, but the imaginative play that comes afterwards is even better. Let those little ones pretend to wash cars, trucks, diggers, you name it. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Zooming Pens by First Palette . This fun and easy idea is always a hit with little ones. Preschoolers love to race around their toy cars — tape a marker to the end to turn this play into a very neat process art activity. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Shoebox Train by Cutesy Craftsy . If you have any boxes at all laying around, here is a great way to put them to good use. You could cover them up with construction paper or paint them to make lots of little train cars perfect for pulling around stuffies and dolls. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Racing Rainbows by Fantastic Fun and Learning . This process art activity is perfect for a transportation theme for preschoolers. Put some paint on paper and watch those cars leave amazing and colourful tracks! Adding a ramp is such a fun addition. 

Sensory Play with a Transportation Twist

awesome idea for things to do with playdough!

Diggers in Playdough . Grab out that playdough and let those little ones dig and scoop and make tracks. Children can do all sorts of construction and than they can easily repair the track!

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Car Wash by The Kidsperts . A great sensory activity for little ones is simply washing toy cars and trucks. Sensory play doesn’t need to be messy – in fact it can be sparkly clean!

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Colour Mix by Pre-K Pages . Take those toy cars, trucks, and diggers and get them busy mixing and mashing! So much fun and learning to be had with this awesome sensory activity and it is just as easy as can be. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

A Digger Sensory Bin by The Imagination Tree . If your little one still likes to occasionally taste his crafts, this sensory bin is the perfect choice. Loads of fun and filled with imaginative play! 

Learning Letters and Numbers with Cars and Trucks

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Scoop and Dump the Alphabet . This fun activity is great for preschoolers who are learning their name letters – or any letters for that matter! It is nice and simple to set up and keeps children engaged filling and dumping trucks and diggers for hours! 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Name Train by Toddler Approved . This fun and easy activity is great for children learning their name letters. It includes matching, so is ideal for preschoolers just starting out with learning their letters. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Transportation theme to improve Speech by Crazy SpeechWorld . Help your preschooler practice speech, articulation, and develop some wonderful language skills while ALSO increasing vocabulary! This activity has it all! 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Number Boats by The Elementary Math Maniac . This is such a fun way to play and learn all about number recognition and counting – two great skills for preschoolers to be focusing on! 

STEM and STEAM Transportation Activities

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Make a Flying Airplane by Kindergarten Worksheets. Such a fun STEM activity for all of those little ones who love airplanes! Pull the paper towel roll up to the top of the string and watch it zoom to the bottom! This one is great for imaginative play. 

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Exploring Tunnels by Mama Papa Bubba. Nice and easy to create with just a few pieces of paper and loads of fun for little toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy! Use various colours to practice colour names and sorting as well.

activities for preschoolers about transportation

Submarines by Adventures of Adam. These neat little submarines are great for little hands! Nice and easy to create using a plastic egg and so full of learning about sinking and floating.

There you have them! Loads of different ideas perfect for a well rounded transportation theme for your preschooler. Whether you needed some cute crafts, some letters or numbers, sensory play, or a STEM challenge or two, I hope you found it here. 

Thank you so much for reading! And if you are ready to simplify your days at home with your little ones, please check out Play into Kindergarten Readiness for your 2-3 year olds right here !

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