Monday, September 9, 2013

T is for Transportation

We are traveling again this week, so I figured it would make sense to include our travel as part of our Montessori activities. There are so many forms of transportation, so I'm expecting this theme to last at least two weeks. This week will be especially interesting, because some of the activities will go with us on the airplane! I will do a follow-up post to show everything we're packing.

What's on Our Shelves?


Practical Life

Building and Tools
We have this Take Apart Airplane out a lot - it's one of M's favorites. It's the perfect level of complexity for her right now. The screws are big enough that she can screw and unscrew them by herself, and she loves the drill!

Airport / Flying
Printing our tickets, checking luggage, going through security, finding our gate, boarding the airplane, taking off, landing, baggage claim - so much to learn! She's done it all before, but it's always exciting! Plus we will get to watch the airplanes take off and land while we wait to board our own plane.

Here are a couple of pictures from one of our trips last summer. Wow she has grown a lot in a year!!

Trash Clean-up
Originally the plan was to put contact paper over a picture of a trash truck so the stick side was out, and M would stick pieces of trash to the garbage truck to look kind of like this. BUT, I traced the truck backwards onto the contact paper... whoops! I had already laminated the truck and didn't feel like re-cutting the pieces of contact paper, so instead I cut the truck to make a flap that would open. I taped a small container behind the flap so M can use the tweezers to put pieces of "trash" through the flap and into the container (aka "garbage truck"). She actually really liked this!

Coin Sorting
Pay the toll! M knows what coins are, but she doesn't know the names of the different coins or their value. I figured a sorting activity would be a good way to introduce the idea that there are different types of coins. I can mention the names of the coins as we work on sorting them.

Washing Cars
At some point I'll get M to help me wash at least one car! Maybe we'll take another car to the car wash... who knows?


Car Wash Sensory Bin
This is an idea that has been forming in my head since I decided to do a Transportation Unit. I thought it would be so much fun to have a pretend car wash with foam strips hanging down to drive the cars through.

I started with a wrapping paper tube that I cut in half and covered in black duct tape. I then taped popsicle sticks across the top to make a beam to suspend the foam strips. I hole punched the top of the strips and tied pieces of string through the holes and around the popsicle sticks so they could swing a little. I taped the whole structure in the middle of a metal tub. It looked a lot prettier in my head... but it was functional.

I added shaving cream and clear Water Beads, as well as several toy cars, a few scoops, and some cleaning brushes. So much fun!! M couldn't wait to try this out!

Painting with Wheels
Creating Artists for Tomorrow beat me to this one! Check out last week's post to see how M painted with toy cars.

My husband and I watch Airport 24/7 Miami about Miami International Airport. Last week we watched an episode that talked about how they prepare the meals for flights, and mentioned that they add extra seasoning because your taste buds are less sensitive when you're in the air. Interesting... I thought I would pack some small snacks for M - something sweet, sour and bitter - for her to taste while we're in the air. Then we'll try it again later in the week when we're not flying and see if there's any difference.


T is for Transportation
I'll continue introducing letters like I have done for the past few weeks. I put out the letter t sandpaper letter and a bin of objects that start with the letter t (turtle, treasure chest, tooth from a shark, tractor, tweezers, tiger paw, etc.). In the future I'd like to include her in these letter scavenger hunts, but she doesn't really understand the letter sounds well enough to be able to pick out what letter a word starts with yet.

Alphabet Train
I saw this adorable letter matching activity on Toddler Approved and had to make it. I laminated the "boxcars" and put velcro instead of tape so we can use it over and over. I plan to extend this later for matching lowercase and uppercase letters or pictures of objects that start with different letters. I made the "wheels" too small, but M didn't seem to mind. She has already done this activity twice today, and was SO excited to show her friend this activity when he came over to play this morning.

Flannel Board Storytelling
When I was teaching, M went to an amazing daycare at our local community college. If I was still working she would definitely still be there. The flannel board stories were always one of her favorite activities, and her teachers said that she would often stay in that area and play with the flannel pieces long after the story was over.

I made some mini flannel boards out of felt for a busy bag exchange about a year ago, but M never showed much interest in them. I wasn't very crafty with the felt pieces I made, and just had basic shapes that could be used like Tangrams. Clearly I had fun with them...

Anyway, I decided to get a little more crafty to see if she would like the felt pieces if they were already in recognizable shapes, and success - she did! I found the templates on Pinterest for the car, plane and helicopter, truck and boats, and another truck and traffic signs. I freehand cut the sun, clouds, grass, water, road and mountain. I don't sew, so everything is glued together with tacky glue. I also added some small pieces of a Dry-Erase Sentence Strip that I cut up with pieces of sandpaper glued to the back. The sandpaper sticks to felt, so I can write words on the dry erase strips to label things.


Color Matching Parking Lot
Toddler Approved has a neat color matching pattern set to use with toy cars. I made a set for one of M's friends for his birthday, and I've wanted to make a set for M ever since. I haven't showed this to her yet because it will be one of our new travel activities.

Transportation Timeline
I'm really doing it this time! It's not the ideal timeline that I want to eventually make (right now I'm thinking about some kind of fold-out accordion-style timeline that we can add pictures and details to as she gets older).  This is a really simple timeline - it doesn't even have years on it! I printed pictures of various forms of transportation that are mentioned in one of M's library books, Visual Timeline of Transportation by Anthony C. Wilson. I laminated the pictures and put velcro on the back. I added pieces of velcro to a dry erase sentence strip so the pictures could be added in order from oldest to most recent as we flip through the book.

Numbers Game - Car Parking Lot
This easy idea from Craftulate is used for number matching. I plan to draw the parking lot with numbered spaces on the back of the blank parking lot for the color matching activity (above). It would be really easy to stick numbered stickers onto the tops of the cars. I may try mixing it up by putting stickers with dots on the tops of the cars to correspond to the numbers on the parking spaces.

I have a couple other craft and snack ideas that I'll post in the updates later this week. Stay posted!

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Linking Up With:
Link & Learn Weekly Kids Crafts & Activities Linky
The Sunday Showcase
Montessori Monday
Tuesday Tots

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