DIY printable car track and crayola race car drawing

I have been exploring a little bit on a process where I create a printable page in Microsoft Word and then send it over to have it printed onto large blueprint type paper at our local office supply store called Staples…

Blueprint paper comes in many sizes and the black and white printing prices range $5.oo and below. This car mat was drawn as an 81/2 by 11 inch document but blown up on Staples’ largest blueprint paper to 36 x 48 inches. I created the document in Microsoft Word, saved it, then emailed it to my local store along with instruction to have it printed on 36 x 48 standard blueprint paper.  The enlarged car mat was ready for pick up from Staples the very next day…

This is the kind of thing that I could have laminated but for today, I wanted the children to be able to color and play on it…

The children started out by coloring the houses and many of the children decided to claim at least one house as their own. When I came by the table to take a look, I found that some of the children had written their name under their house. I asked them to tell me which house was theirs and I heard replies like, “I live in house number 12!” …

I set out crayons and cars for the children to use on the car mat and then we taped a few crayons to the cars for a new type and combination of drawing and driving…

The children colored and played on the car mat through out the morning…

I left the materials out most of the day for the children to come and go as they please…

Before long, one of the children decided to add a few road blocks on the car mat so he brought out a few wooden blocks to play with on the car mat…

After our morning of play, I simply rolled up the car mat and tucked it away for another day of play…

Click here for the Printable Car Mat.

 

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

This post is linked up to No Time for Flash Cards early learning Link and Learn!

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Classified: Mom

By |2012-04-22T07:00:51+00:00April 22nd, 2012|

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.

24 Comments

  1. Lauren Brown April 22, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    What an awesome idea! My son would love this! Any chance you could share the word document you created? I’m not sure how to create my own.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 22, 2012 at 10:08 am - Reply

      Hi Lauren,
      I have added a link to the printable car mat at the end of my post. It is a pdf you can download 🙂

      • Lauren Brown April 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        Thank you SO much!

  2. Tina April 22, 2012 at 10:43 am - Reply

    There is also a wonderful website called https://www.blockposters.com where you can enlarge any of your pictures and it will print them out as a
    Poster you tape together. I live in a rural area ( 5 hours north of any major centre) so when i stumbled upon this gem for enlarging I was thrilled! I am going to try this car mat when i get to work tomorrow. Thanks Deborah!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the tip Tina! It is nice to know of other resources folks can use!

  3. Shonda April 22, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Love it!

  4. Karen April 22, 2012 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Deborah you never cease to amaze and inspire. I am fortunate enough to have access to a poster maker where you simply put in your 8 1/2 x 11 and it prints out a poster. We are doing this tomorrow! Thank you for adding the pdf, too. I feel like looking at your site is cheating a bit– you have the best ideas and you’ve done them with your kids so we already know they will work!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

      Haha – well it isn’t cheating if I am handing it over – it is a gift! Thank you for reading along with me:)

  5. Tami April 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I shared this amazing idea on my facebook fan page. I would of never thought to make a blue print size. You have amazing visions!

    Tami

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing Tami!

  6. Julie Locke April 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I had never thought about making such a large mat before – thanks for the great idea.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      We loved things very large in our classroom! LOL! This way, everyone gets to play!

  7. jen April 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I have done something similar but only drawn in the roads and the kids get to draw in houses, ponds, schools ect. On the blocks

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      We did it by just drawing a large mat too and that was also fun but I thought this would bring in a new large group experience for the children to explore:)

  8. Barbaral April 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    What a great idea…our students would love the “large size” car mat. Off I go to Staples this week :).
    Deborah, I have a question or should I say I am looking for suggestions and perhaps you can help!
    We have large classes this year 16-18 3,4 and 5 year olds together as a group. Our daily routine has been that as they arrive and put thier pictures in attendance chart , then go to tables for a simple activity such as name printing, puzzles, stringing beads etc for approx 15 minutes until everyone is there. What I am looking for is alternate arrival activities that basically can be done independently and are open ended…How do your students begin their day?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Barbara,
      We have gone back and forth with different ideas but since we have such a short day, we found it best to have the children come in – move their name over on the name chart to “at school” – hang up their jacket and backpack then come and sit down on the carpet. I usually use the waiting time for the children to tell me about their morning and on some occasions, the children will pick a book or puzzle out to do but because the children know we are going to jump right in and get started with our morning circle, they just like to talk with me or Miss Abby while we wait on the others. I don’t make them sit and wait – they often run to the door and greet each other or help each other hang up back packs or remind each other to do the attendance chart. In other words – it is a flurry of morning hellos and chatter until I announce that it is time for everyone to come and join in for circletime. I have the table set up for what we will be doing after circletime already. So when the children arrive, they also often walk around and look at what is out. They know they need to wait until after circletime before they can play with the materials but they like to look things over and ask me what it is for. I often say – “well, it is a surprise” or “we are going to find out as soon as we finish circle time.” This gets everyone over to circle time pretty quick so we can get on with our day.

      Deborah

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      I thought I would mention that one idea I do like is called a “tray system.” A tray system is simply setting up different trays with simple – non-messy activities on each tray… Usually each tray is different and they are easy to set out and when you don’t need them, you simply stack them up and put them on the shelf or other place. Activities like file folder games or velcro puzzles or magnets are kept on each tray then switched out through out the year. Each child can choose a tray then put it back up and choose another tray as desired.

  9. [email protected] April 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Wonderful idea!!! I have used blockposters before but it is time consuming to put it together and not seamless like blueprint paper. I am definitely going to try this.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      I haven’t tried block posters but have seen them. I thought this might be a nice change in our daily routine.

  10. Rebekah @ The Golden Gleam April 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Great idea! The price isn’t bad either! This would be wonderful for some of my larger mandalas. It’s such a chore drawing them on poster board. It would make life so much easier to make it regular size and have Staples enlarge it for me. =)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      It would be awesome for your mandalas!

  11. Kat April 23, 2012 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Just placed my order at Staples 🙂 will pick up tomorrow for 3 boys under 3 to do on Wednesday when it’s supposed to rain!

    Thank you for your awesome ideas for kiddos! AND for keeping your blog so updated! I’m impressed!

    Kat

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Why thank you Kat! Did your order work out okay for you? This was my first time trying this and it worked like a charm for me.

      • Kat April 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        Just picked it up! Looks great! At Xmas I’m definitely making a HUGE Xmas tree and letting them make their own ornaments to stick on 🙂

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