Fun with things that go – Toddler
Boys and girls will probably be interested in push and pull along vehicles of all kinds.
Your toddler’s fascination with vehicles make them a brilliant springboard for learning new skills. They learn about movement and direction; communication by sharing their interest with other people; and develop fine motor skills by manipulating toy vehicles.
Did you know?
Pushing and pulling toy vehicles helps toddlers learn what they can do with their hands – how to make things go!
Boys and girls can tend to play silently with toy vehicles. Include some toy people or characters with your vehicles when playing. This tends to lead to more use of talking and make believe play.
Talk about vehicles you see outside and in pictures as well as toys. Name the parts of the vehicle, the colours and shapes on the vehicle. Talk about what the vehicle is used for or what the vehicle is doing. If your toddler says “truck” you can extend their language by saying “Yes! Big truck. A big, blue truck”. This all builds your toddler’s word knowledge and sentence length.
Using a toy steering wheel gives your toddler practice at using both hands at the same time. This is an important coordination skill.
Your toddler is learning lots of early maths and science concepts while playing with vehicles.
They can be:
- comparing and contrasting vehicles and putting them into groups
- learning colour and size comparison concepts e.g. big truck, little car, long train
- testing out vehicles movement on different surfaces, at different angles and at different speeds.
If your toddler loves vehicles, visit the library and share lots of books about vehicles. They can be storybooks or factual picture books. This helps foster a love of books from a young age. A love of books leads to good literacy skills.
Your toddler may enjoy running car wheels through paint and then on paper. This is a great activity for encouraging crossing the midline (using a hand on the opposite side of the body). This is an important developmental skill needed for many everyday tasks such as writing.
Some of the best toy vehicles are homemade! Why not make a car or train from a box?!
Check vehicles have no small parts that can become a choking hazard. Be careful your child can not access any batteries as they can be both toxic and choking hazards.
Across the ages
Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.