This month’s theme is Transportation: Air, Land & Water. Always a favorite theme, especially with the boys! We kicked the month of with Air Transportation themed activities and used hot-air balloons, jets, planes, rockets and helicopters to integrate Math, Science, STEM, Cooking, Dramatic Play & Literacy.
Air Transportation Themed Activities
Play dough, stamps, scissors, lacing beads and cards, puzzles and blocks are set out for the children to choose from, and get creative during this 30 minute period.
Air Transportation Themed Circle Time
Everyday during Circle Time we do the morning routine, which includes the Calendar and ‘Number, Color, Shape and Letter of the week’. We then read a story, sing a few songs and do a group activity.
On every Monday we change the ‘Classroom Helpers’ Classroom Jobs. Each child has a name card on a popsicle stick, and they get to choose their job of the week.
Air Transportation Themed Circle Time Activities
Activity 1: Weekend News
Every Monday morning each child gets a chance to talk about their weekend and what they did. The children then draw a picture in the ‘weekend news’ journal, and the teacher writes down what they have said.
Activity 2: Cosmic Kids Yoga
Activity 3: Sea, Land & Air Sorting
Talk about different modes of transport and how they move. Can a boat fly? Can a car float? Explain that we need different modes of transport to travel in the air, on land or in water. Show the children the pictures of the vehicles and ask them if they are land, water or air transportation.
Activity 4: Where is the hot-air balloon?
This activity was a big hit, and everyone wanted to play it again and again and again 🙂 After laminating and cutting out all the clouds and the hot-air balloon, place the clouds face up in the center of the circle.
Ask children to call out the numbers on them as you put them down. Now ask children to close their eyes while you quickly hide the hot-air balloon under a cloud. Ask the children to open their eyes and to take turns guessing where the hot-air balloon is (not by grabbing the clouds but by asking ‘Is the hot-air balloon under cloud number 12?’)
Activity 5: Have you ever seen a …? Pictograph
Give each child 5 happy face pictures and ask them to write their name on each.. When they are done, ask them if they have ever seen any of the air transportation modes on the pictograph. Everyone that has seen for example ‘a helicopter’ stick a happy face under the helicopter picture. Count and compare when everyone had a turn.
Air Transportation Themed Songs
Fourteen action songs and rhymes all about Air Transportation to get those bodies moving and grooving. Click on the image to head over to the post.
Air Transportation Themed Books
Seventeen of the best story picture books that are perfect for an Air Transportation theme. Click on the image below to read what these books are about.
Air Transportation Themed Literacy Activities
Activity 1: We all go travelling by
Show the children the song ‘We all go travelling by’ from Barefoot Books. When the song is finished, ask the children if they can remember the modes of transport.
Write numbers 1 – 8 on the whiteboard. After laminating and cutting out the modes of transport pictures, ask the children to help you order them from 1 – 8, by sticking it next to the correct number.
Hand out the cut-and-paste activity sheet. Children color the pictures the same colors as in the song, cut them out and paste them onto the correct number.
Activity 2: ‘I would fly to …’ Class book
Ask the children if they have ever flown anywhere and if they could get on an airplane right now, where would they fly to? Hand out the pages of the class book and ask children to draw a picture of where they would fly to, or of an airplane. The teacher writes underneath what they drew, assemble the book and read it.
Center 1: Read it, Build It, Write It Sight Words
This center takes some time to prepare, but the children really love it, and it’s a great activity to develop their fine motor muscles, so the time is worth it!
Cut the top of plastic soda bottles off and paint the top of the caps in a dark color. When it is dry, write the letters for the words ‘look, see, up, red, yellow, blue & down’ on top with a white marker and let dry. Cut cardboard into 4 x 12 inch strips and cut 6 circles in each. Place the bottle tops in these circles and use hot glue to ensure it stays in place. The activity is now ready.
Center 2: Write the Room
Show the word cards to the children, then hide the cards all over the classroom. The children need to find all the cards and copy the words onto their recording sheets, next to the correct picture.
Center 3: Play Dough Mats
The children use playdough to decorate the pictures on the play dough mats.
Air Transportation Themed Math Activities
Center 1: Hot-air Balloon Addition
In this fun, hands-on activity children will use a dice to add and record the amount of teddy-bear counters that get to fly away in their hot-air balloons.
Center 2: Kite Tails Addition
Cut out the pictures of the kites and laminate. Punch a hole in the bottom corner.
Children look at the first number on the kite and add that many links (the first one goes through the punched hole). They then look at the second number and add that many links. When they are done, they count all the links that has been added and write the total in the circle on the kite.
Center 3: Cover or Color
This game is played in pairs. The children take turns to throw the dice and color the corresponding number. Continue until all numbers have been covered or colored. The winner is the one that has colored or covered the most numbers.
Activity: Ten Little Helicopters
Watch or sing the ‘Ten Little Airplanes’ Song. Laminate and cut out the colorful pictures of the helicopters. Hand these out to the children and ask them to order themselves from 1 – 10 according to the numbers on the pictures. Sing the song and ask the children to put their number in the air, jump, clap or sit down when they hear their number. Complete the counting activity: Children color, cut out and sequence the pictures.
Air Transportation Themed Art
I got this idea over at ourkidthings.com. Click on the image to head over to their blog for full instructions. We didn’t have enough time this week to complete this activity, but it does look like great fun, so I decided to share it anyway.
Air Transportation Themed Science
Paper planes, paper planes and more paper planes! The kids loved learning how to fold the planes, decorating it, and then throwing it. It was a very windy day at our school, when we went outside to try the planes, which made it even more fun 🙂
If you want to teach the science behind paper airplanes, click on the image below. Tara over at feelslikehomeblog.com has done a really good job of setting it all up and explaining how to.
This fantastic idea, I got over at adabofgluewilldo.com. It’s another way to make a paper plane and it’s easy enough for PreK and Kindergarten kids to do it all by themselves. Click on the image to head over to their blog for full instructions.
STEM: Balloon Rockets
Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the activity, with all the excitement surrounding it, but if you just type in ‘balloon rockets’ into your search engine, you will find plenty of pictures. It’s such a great activity.
What you need:
- 2 chairs
- Yarn (about 6 feet)
Gather the necessary materials, and tie the one end of the yarn to the back of a chair. Next, thread a drinking straw onto the other end of the yarn, and then tie it to the second chair. Attach two pieces of tape (about 2 inches in length each) to the center of the straw. Inflate the balloon (leaving the end untied), hold onto the opening so the air won’t escape, and attach it to the straw using the tape. Pull the balloon to one end of the yarn (touching a chair), and let go of it, to see it shooting off!
Air Transportation Themed Dramatic Play
This was the best activity of the week by far, and the kids wanted to play it all the time. It’s very simple to set up and promises hours of fun and learning.
Put some chairs in 2 rows next to each other (these are the passenger chairs) and one in front (for the captain). Put 2 tables to the side (one for ‘immigration’ and one for ‘bag check’).
Run through the routine of boarding a plane with the children. First, they need to get their passports stamped, then on to the bag check area, where the bag checkers check their bags, and then onto the plane (the air stewards will show them the way).
Once on the plane, the air stewards can walk around and ask the passengers what refreshments they would like, and then it’s over to the captain. The children can take turns to play all the different parts (bag checkers, passengers, immigration, captain and air stewards).
Construction Themed Snack Idea
I found the idea for these adorable cracker planes on Pinterest. You will need long rectangular crackers, peanut Butter or mayonnaise, celery sticks (one per child and 2 grapes per child. Build the airplane as seen in the picture, and enjoy!