May 24, 2014

Weekly Home Preschool- Transportation Theme



It was transportation week around here last week, and boy, did we have an abundance of resources!  By the time you have an almost-4-year-old, there are tons of cars, planes, trains and rockets around.  I gathered all of our transportation toys to get ready for the week, and the girls could have kept busy playing with them all week even without any planned school activities!  But we did them, nonetheless!  Here's a look at what we did.  If you're interested in our basic preschool plan, read this post.

boats made from recyclable materials, for weekly home preschool transportation theme
The fleet ready to set sail.
Craft 1: I saved some of our recyclable materials last week so that we'd have some good boat-making supplies.  I put out a small box of parts and helped the girls to build boats.  We ended up using some plastic fruit containers and their lids, bamboo skeewers, chopsticks and toothpicks for the masts, and construction paper for the sails.  I stuck the masts to the boats with a little mountain of play-doh.  This was a total hit. After we built our fleet, we took them up to sail them in the bathtub (tinted blue, for the ocean), and the girls 'sailed' for well over 30 minutes.
 

Collage, weekly home preschool transportation, painting with cars
Car painting.  Vroom, Vroom!
Craft 2: This is definitely a classic transportation theme craft.  I spread a sheet out on the floor, and moved the girls' craft table right to the middle, so they could access all sides and so that I wouldn't panic about possible paint on the carpet!  Then I had the girls help me gather up all the (easily washable) cars and other vehicles in the house.  We added paint, some nice painting music, and the girls dipped the wheels in the paint and created tracks all over the paper.  After the paper was covered, we had a little car wash!

Weekly Home Preschool- Transportation Theme, Name Train Craft
Name Train.
 Craft 3: These name trains (real names covered up in picture) were lots of fun to make.  Initially, I wasn't very excited about this craft.  To my surprise, however, it was so fantastic that I'm giving it its own post.

Transportation Picture Book collage, weekly home preschool transportation theme
Transportation Picture Books
Picture Books: There are so many great picture books about cars, planes, and trains!  We didn't get to read nearly all of ours this week, but I had them all out for the girls to look at nonetheless.   Some of our favorites are:
Katy and the Big Snow
The Goodnight Train
Little Blue Truck
Cars Galore
You Can Name 100 Cars, Trains, Boats, and Planes! (appears to be out of print)

Chapter Books: This week we finished up Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingdren.  Inspired by our transportation theme, I started reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary.  So far, so good!  Maggie loves mice, so even though she's not old enough to understand a lot of the story, she enjoys the cute pictures.  Read more about our chapter book selections in this post.

Math: I didn't have any specific math activity planned for this week's theme, but we ended up doing quite a bit of math-- counting and basic addition-- during the Name Train craft
Left and right practice, weekly home preschool transportation theme.
Left or right?  Lena is getting the hang of it!
Spatial: I loved this great printable from Homeschool Creations.  One page is to help children recognize their left from their right.  Lena is fairly inconsistent with this, so this practice page was helpful to her.

Phonics:  Lena continued to work on her Bob books this week, and did a little big of You Can Read.  She is still on week 2; we had a busy week and didn't get to do much reading practice.  Some of the printables from Homeschool Creations had some reading practice as well. 

 Science: After the girls built their boats, we took them to the bathtub to sail them.  I encouraged them to add toys to see if they would still float.  We watched as they got tippy, took on water, and started to sink.  I made waves and they noticed that the shallower boats weren't as sturdy as the deeper boats.


Another day, I overheard the girls' Dad talking about ramps and hills while they played trains together.  I had planned to do a 'formal' ramp experiment or activity, but didn't get to it.  They watched as the trains went farther when let go from a steeper ramp as opposed to a flatter ramp. 

train ticket punching, fine motor transportation theme
Train ticket punching, to strengthen little hand muscles.
Fine Motor: Lena did train ticket hole punching, inspired by The Polar Express.  First I made up this cute ticket printable, then set Lena up with a hole punch.  She has tried several times to use it before, but her hands haven't been big or strong enough.  She could do it this time, though!

Gross Motor: I brought out our Cozy Coupe this week and let the girls drive around.  We don't keep it out all the time, because it tends to be one of those things that they end up fighting over (and they eventually get bored with it, and it is SO BIG to just be sitting around).  So it lives upstairs in Dad's office, and they squeal with delight when they get to play with it.

They also rode bikes and scooters.

Preschool Transportation theme snack, traffic light, graham cracker
Traffic light snack.  Green means go.
Snack:  How cute are is this traffic light snack?  This post was our inspiration for this snack.  We used graham crackers, Nutella, and jelly beans.  Certainly more sugar than I prefer to serve for a snack, but okay for a special treat.  The girls loved it and had adorable chocolate faces afterwards.

TV: We watched some Thomas and Friends this week.  You could also watch The Polar Express, Cars, or Planes.

Stay off the roads!
Field Trip:  There is an amusement park about an hour away from where we live, and the girls and I visited (with some help from their grandparents) this week.  We didn't go specifically for our transportation theme, but while there, we made sure to ride the old-fashioned genuine steam locomotive.  They especially enjoyed hearing the whistle when we got to the top of the mountain!  There was also a cute little car driving ride that we did.  Lena and Maggie both got to drive;  stay off the roads in 10-15 years!

Our other weekly preschool themes are listed here.  From there, you can check out all of our theme week activities that we've covered so far!

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