My youngest little is VERY much in to all things construction! Books, toy tools, construction vehicles, blocks- if it’s related to building, he’s all about it! I knew that he would love a construction site based week of learning (I mean, I’ve read him the book “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” so many times I practically have it memorized!) so I whipped up some plans, and here they are! Lets get building!
–Build a shape truck: I cut out some shapes for my littles to put together to make a dump truck, then gave them oral instructions using shape and color words for what to glue where. I got this idea from One Beautiful Home Blog.
–Build a house craft: For my younger little I put some glue in a house shape on a sheet of construction paper (I let him pick the color) and had him “build” the house by placing popsicle sticks on the glue. He wanted it bigger when he had finished, so I kept adding glue to the roof and sides and he kept adding sticks until he was finished. My preschooler did his own gluing and design. I got this idea from Pocket of Preschool.
–Construction vehicle sensory play: I used the cloud sand I had saved from our Star Wars week a few weeks ago for this, but you could also use play dirt or dried beans (honestly the beans are the easiest as far as clean up!) I added the sand to a sheet pan along with our magnet letters and a few construction trucks and let my littles play! When they dug a letter up we identified it together, or sometimes I asked them to find a specific letter in the dirt pile (might as well get some letter practice in too- am I right? LoL)
–Muddy construction site: My boys LOVE doing “muddy trucks” in the bathtub, and we’ve done painting with trucks before so I combined the two activities and made a muddy trucks construction site on the floor! It LOOKS like a crazy mess, but the clean up was literally me rolling the paper back up, tossing it in the trash and wiping up like 2 spots where they had gone off the edge. To make the mud, mix a bowl of Barbasol shaving cream with about 3/4 cup of cocoa powder (dark chocolate works best but I couldn’t find it at the store) and a sprinkle of water. Use a whisk so you don’t deflate the cream. Then put down a few strips of brown butcher paper (I just reused the packing paper that came in one of our online orders) on the floor and tape it in place at each end and in the middle. Place a dollop of “mud” in different spots on the paper and give your littles some construction vehicles with bumpy wheels. Before you begin, ask them to try to keep the trucks on the paper so the floor doesn’t get messy, and maybe make a rule to only put the trucks in the mud- not on their hands- so clean up will stay easy. Then let them explore rolling the trucks through the mud and making cool tracks on the paper!
–Nuts, bolts, and washers fine motor play: My boys LOVED this activity- they were engaged for a good 30 minutes and asked to do it again the following two days! You basically just give them a bunch of washers, nuts and bolts and let them explore! If your toddler still puts everything in their mouth, I would skip this one because they’re definitely choking hazards, but if they’re over that phase, go for it! I got this from Pocket of Preschool.
–Traffic cone name craft: I cut out some traffic cones from orange construction paper (one for each letter of my littles’ names) then wrote the letters in their names on the cones. I showed my toddler all the letters and had him pick out the ones in his name (which he did GREAT with!) Then I had him glue them in the correct order on a piece of paper (I asked him to find each letter in his name in turn from the ones he’d picked out of the bigger pile). To add a finishing touch I had them glue caution tape to the paper too! I got this idea from Busy Hands and Minds.
–Paint strip fine motor practice: For this activity I gave my littles some paint sample strips and had them practice cutting them on the white lines. I helped my toddler by holding the strip for him while he cut (he still uses scissors like garden sheers, but I figure that’s a start!) After they had snipped 4 strips each, I had them pick a color for each letter of their name. Then I wrote a letter on each snipped color and had my little find the first letter, then the second and so on and glue them to a piece of paper in order to spell his name. My preschooler wrote his own letters and did his own spelling/gluing. I got this idea from Pocket of Preschool, then added the name practice idea myself!
–Egg crate hammer practice: This was such great fine motor practice for my littles! I just poked some golf tees in the bottom of an egg crate and had my little hammer them in using a toy hammer. My preschooler did this too but got the “nails” started by himself! I got this idea from Turner Tots, but we didn’t do the pattern part of it.
–Caution tape obstacle course: This is such a great activity for a rainy day! My littles ran it countless times again and again! I basically just used caution tape to set up an obstacle course through our house (if you want to see it in action, follow me on Facebook at Little Loves and Learning- I posted a video!) I included a tunnel crawl under the dining room table, a caution tape balance beam (just a strip on the floor they had to walk on), a construction vehicle race with a caution tape finish line, a pillow hop (a row of couch pillows they had to walk on), a caution tape zig zag line, and then the grand finale- a caution tape hallway maze (pictured below)! It took awhile to set up, but it was worth it! I had my littles wait in the playroom to practice patience while I set it up. Make sure you remind your littles before starting to be careful not to tear any of the tape down as they go through (they might still by accident, but at least they won’t be ripping it off the walls for fun!) You may want to demonstrate how to run it first too so they know what to do and where to go.
- popsicle sticks
- toy trucks
- gravel or rocks
- egg crate
- golf tees
- dried beans OR play sand, oil and flour OR coffee grounds, corn starch and flour
- ABC magnets
- caution tape
- paint samples
- nuts, bolts, washers, etc.
- butcher paper (or brown packing paper reused from an online order)
- Barbasol shaving cream
- cocoa powder