Chugga, chugga, choo, choo! We’ve loaded this post with free transportation preschool lesson plans which includes art and sensory exploration, literacy and book ideas, plus social-emotional learning, and math and science fun. You’ll find the whole bundle of transportation theme ideas at the end of this post in a FREE download of preschool lesson plans.
Free Transportation Activities for Preschool Including Free Preschool Lesson Plans
I remember the first time we took my young son on a local train ride. They had these small trains (barely big enough for adults to ride) and the rickety track ran around the woods of a local park. It was run by a group of elderly train enthusiasts that just adored seeing little children light up at the sights and sounds of the train yard.
My son who was only two at the time became enamored with trains and wheels from that moment on. We soon became a house full of elaborate train track designs loaded with train cars, pulling everything from people to cargo to all the different stops.
Preschoolers have a natural fascination with things that go. Wheels, flight, boats on the water, and sirens that blast… these are just a few of the things that preschoolers love! A transportation theme is not only engaging and interesting to young students, but it also teaches them about the world and ways that people get around, even in other cultures.
We have put together these transportation preschool lesson plans to make planning your theme easy and fun!
FAQ About a Transportation Preschool Theme
You may have a few questions about teaching a transportation unit in preschool! Check out these frequently asked questions for how to teach your preschoolers about transportation.
Transportation looks very different in various parts of the world. Preschoolers love to learn about the typical and unique modes of transportation. It can be hard for young children to visualize the world past their neighborhood. Transportation shows children that there are ways to get practically anywhere!
The most common modes of transport are road, air, rail, and waterways. Each mode of transport has its own set of vehicles and ways to get around. In a preschool transportation theme, children love to learn about various vehicles, aircraft, and ships as part of the theme.
A transportation theme merges beautifully with an around-the-world theme. Children can learn about different parts of the world through travel. Also, a science theme that focuses on simple science learning like sink or float and gravity, teaches preschoolers about the science of boats and planes.
Important Info about these Transportation Lesson Plans
These lesson plans for preschoolers are just one theme in a set of over 40 that will become a part of my free Learn At Home Preschool Lesson Plans.
The Learn at Home Preschool Activity Plans are a set of free activity plans you can use to teach your preschooler at home.
Each set of lesson plans is centered around a weekly theme and includes a minimum of 16 activities that can be done throughout the week. They are designed to be done at home with parents, but many preschool teachers are using these lesson plans, too!
Just glance over the lessons each day, gather the very few materials needed, and you’re ready to go!
All the preschool learning activities are quick and easy to set up, requiring very little (if any at all) prep and only require the most basic of household materials. This makes them especially easy for parents to implement…and this makes preschool teachers happy, too!
These activities also work wonderfully in the classroom, and if you’re a preschool teacher who is remotely teaching you can send these lesson plans to your student’s parents.
Engaging Preschool Activities for a Transportation Theme
No matter the mode, transportation is always fun and exciting! We have put together over 15 hands-on learning activities for your preschoolers to enjoy.
Literacy Activities for a Transportation Preschool Theme
Alphabet Train Activity – This fun letter recognition activity is so engaging and captures interest quickly. For younger preschoolers, present them with only letters with which they are already familiar. Or, present only upper or only lower case letters at a time. This will help them not feel so overwhelmed. Teach name recognition by presenting only the letters from the child’s name. (You may need to print more than one set of letter manipulatives).
Transportation Rhyming Cards – This set of printable rhyming mats with rhyming cards is such a fun way to practice rhyming while learning about transportation! Print the vehicle mats and cut out the individual rhyme cards. Invite your preschooler to identify the item driving the car and find the rhyming cards that match. Remind your preschooler to listen to the end of the word to find the rhyme. Great for circle time too!
Don’t Forget Picture Books!
These picture books bring various modes of transportation to life! With real photographs and detailed illustrations, these books are our favorite transportation picks. Click the covers of each book for more details!
Math and Science Activities for a Transportation Theme in Preschool
Road Shape Cards – Build shape recognition and incorporate play into learning with these fun shape road mats. Use small toy cars and trucks and invite children to drive the roads and identify the shape names and sides. Play red light green light to add more fun engagement as they practice shapes!
School Bus Counting Mats – These clever school bus playdough ten-frame mats are great for learning numbers on a ten-frame and building fine motor skills as children roll balls from playdough. Your preschoolers will love to practice counting with these bright yellow bus mats!
Paper Helicopters STEM – These paper helicopters are so easy to make and so fascinating for preschoolers. Simply print, cut, and add paper clips to the base. Then let fly! Investigate standing on a step stool and letting fly from a higher distance too.
Playful Preschool Learning Activities for a Transportation Theme
Hot Air Balloon Process Art – Invite your preschooler to create their own hot air balloon using a paper plate, some paint, and construction paper!
Make a Balance Scale – Grab a clothes hanger, two paper cups, and some string to make this DIY balance scale. Invite your preschooler to find various items and weigh them. Encourage them to predict which items are heavier or lighter and compare items before weighing them.
Hold a Coloring Contest – Invite family members, neighbors, or friends to participate in a coloring contest. Decide the rules and the prize (keep it simple, think a high five from all participants) and get to coloring!
Social-Emotional Activities for a Transportation Preschool Theme
You Can Be a Helper No Matter Your Size – Go to YouTube and listen to the story, The Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney. While listening, stop the story and ask your preschooler how Little Excavator is feeling about all the big vehicles taking over the jobs. Does Little Excavator feel like he’s in the way? Read until the end of the story. How does Little Excavator become a super helper? Little Excavator learns a lesson in this book, no matter your size, you can be a helper in your own way. How can you be a helper at your age?
Learning to Be Exactly Who You Are – Go to YouTube and listen to the story, The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines. This book focuses on using our strengths to be the best version of ourselves because the world needs our individual gifts to make the world a great place. Invite your preschooler to share what they are good at and focus on what they enjoy. Do they like to draw? Play sports? Read books? Dance and sing? Whatever they enjoy is exactly who they are and remind them that they can use those skills to help others.
Just Plain Fun Transportation Activities for Preschoolers
Transportation Playdough Mats – Grab the playdough and start creating! These transportation playdough mats are perfect for engaging preschoolers and learning more about things that go. These are ideal in your preschool transportation theme or fun for playdough anytime!
Airplane Sensory Bin – Sensory exploration is so much fun! Using blue-dyed rice or even blue beads, add white cotton ball clouds, and mini airplanes. Allow your preschooler to engage in dramatic play and get creative!
Paper Plate Sailboat – These paper plate sailboats are easy to make and such a fun way to learn about sink or float. Plus, they are a great way to infuse art by decorating their boat in their own way!
Get Online Activities for a Transportation Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the story, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. After watching, invite your preschooler to answer: Why can’t the Pigeon drive the bus? What does the Pigeon want to drive at the end of the book? Then read other Mo Willem’s books!
Alphabet Transport – This preschool-friendly song helps young children learn 26 different modes of transportation, one for each letter of the alphabet!
The Airplane Song – This popular airplane song by Laurie Berkner is great for gross motor movement and will soon be a kid favorite! Kids love joining in!
Make Your Transportation Theme Even Better!
Having some additional transportation-themed toys and kits make this theme even more magical. We’ve hand-selected some of the transportation toys and activity kits we like to use with our preschoolers.
Get Your Free Transportation Lesson Plans Here
Want to include these transportation activities in your lesson plans? Ready to grab your free printable lesson plans with all these transportation theme activities for preschoolers?!
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I am an educator, book enthusiast, and a stay at home momma to two precious and long-awaited littles. My degree is in Early Childhood Education and Curriculum and Instruction and I have spent the last 15 years working with young children. I feel very fortunate to have this time to watch my babies grow and I can’t wait to share my passion for learning and reading with you!