Building trucks with simple materials in preschool

When our curriculum coordinator, Mrs. Fisher, showed me the items she had planned for this transportation activity box, she was worried that the children might not really like it. I love the unpredictability of children…

Mrs. Fisher put some cards with simple shaped trucks printed on each card in the activity box with some straws and lids…

The activity box stayed out all week long and all week long, I found children designing their trucks…

This little one loved the bendable end of the straws…

And this little girl decided to collect all the pink straws for her truck…

And adding the lids to the activity box was very clever indeed….

Some of the children decided to extend their designs beyond the truck and onto the table…

Preschoolers have a way of keeping us guessing at what they will enjoy and what they will ignore…

Preschoolers also keep us guessing on how they will ultimately use the materials we provide…

But the unpredictability keeps us on our toes – it keeps us observing and evaluating what children will find interesting, what they will do, and what they can do…

By |2011-05-29T20:01:12+00:00May 29th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Erin May 29, 2011 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I have a little boy who is receiving OT and I bet this would be GREAT for him. He is als obsessed with trains, I think he will love making trains like this! Thanks for the idea.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Erin:)

  2. Pam May 29, 2011 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    This really is a great fine motor activity! I didn’t even view it this way at first- but it is! I have a few little guys that this would be perfect for! Thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm - Reply

      Yes, just manipulating the materials is good fine motor work:)

  3. clodagh May 30, 2011 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Deborah thanks what a simple yet great activity. I will try that one over the summer.

  4. Scott May 30, 2011 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    This is a great idea. I love using basic stuff to create the trucks. I’m definitely putting this on my list for future.

  5. Joan Banker May 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Deborah, This is such a wonderful, inexpensive idea! Am out of school for the summer, but can’t wait to try this in the fall. This gives me plenty of time to get the materials together ! Could you please elaborate a little on exactly what your curriculum coordinator does? Sure wish we had one at our school!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 31, 2011 at 7:00 am - Reply

      I will elaborate more on the curriculum coordinator in a post for you very soon.

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