A List Maker's Life: Monster Trucks: Thematic Learning for Preschoolers

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monster Trucks: Thematic Learning for Preschoolers

We happen to have a preschooler in our home who is a tad obsessed with Monster Trucks!  This is a phase that we did not experience with our oldest son.  It is fun to see their different interests emerge and it keeps me on my toes as far as changing up the projects and learning spaces in our home. 

Other than reserving every Monster Truck book in the county's library system I wasn't sure what type of activities to offer.  I stated by hitting up my favorite resources: Pinterest & the contributors on ABC & 123. I found a couple ideas and put together a couple of my own.

1+1+1=1 offers a mighty monster truck download for preschool age students.  I printed several of the worksheets and activities, but modified them to work better for Gibson. Instead of making this a pencil/paper activity I "laminated" the page with contact paper and displayed it as a guide for trying lines in sand.  This is a great pre-writing activity for small hands.
Using the same box of sand, and some sand paper number blocks (anyone need a Christmas suggestion - we use these for many activities in our house), we practiced number identification.  We took turns drawing numbers, making them in the sand, guessing which number they were, and matching the sandy number with the sand paper number.

During his independent play time Gibson loved ramming his trucks around in this sensory bin.  Many of the objects in the bin were rounded up from our GeoTrax set.  Kevin brought home some larger chunks of gravel for a base that was a little less messy if it got scattered outside the box.  We also bought a 4 pack of trucks from the dollar store to be kept in this box, rather than his nice Hot Wheels set, because the trucks did take a bit of a beating in the gravel.
I covered the top of our children's craft table with plain brown wrap and set Gibson free with a couple paint colors and some monster trucks.  He came up with quite an elaborate truck track design.  These pictures are actually of the older kids decorating his birthday gifts with the same technique, since I forgot to take pictures of his table.
We also spent time digging through Gavin's Lego collection for any pieces that looked like they could be monster truck parts.  For a couple weeks we used the pieces as manipulatives for several activities such as counting, sorting by color &size, and as substitute game pieces. Since we coordinated this theme with his birthday, the truck pieces found their way into the table display for his party.

I have put away many of these activities to get out new things for the holiday season, but Gibson's love for all things Monster Trucks is no where near ready to be tucked away! 

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  1. Love it!
    Malachi totally went through that phase and had a three year old monster truck party as well!

  2. How fun! I love the wheel painting idea. The rock bin is cool too!

  3. Brilliant ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You have some super ideas here. I love the sensory bin and all the cool construction items. We love making truck tracks. I have 3 girls and they love it just as much as any boy. Here is our truck printing http://www.messforless.net/2011/08/truck-tracks.html
    I am a new Twitter and FB follower visiting from ABC and 123.


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