If you’ve got a kiddo that loves all things trucks and construction vehicles, than this transportation theme is for you! Kids seem to gravitate toward trucks, trains, helicopters, airplanes, and all things with wheels, and these hand-picked transportation activities are perfect to help kids develop skills, experience fine motor and gross motor input, and learn through play. If you’re looking for transportation activities for toddlers or preschoolers (and older kids too!), then you are in the right place!
Transportation Theme Activities
I wanted to pull together a trucks and transportation therapy theme that helps children develop essential motor skills…and this collection of transportation crafts, games, and activities do just that.
Chug-chug, vroom-vroom, honk-honk…whatever transportation ideas you need for kiddo activities this is where you can find them!
Transportation activities that include airplanes, trains, cars, trucks, and boats can provide an engaging focus while working on important fine motor, gross motor, visual motor, and sensory skills. Kids always like to pretend with forms of transportation as they drive toy trains on tracks, cars on roads, fly planes in the air, and sail boats in the tub. Activities in this post will target some great skill areas for childhood development and be super fun all with a transportation theme!
Transportation Gross Motor Activities
How about gross motor skills? Gross motor skills are essential foundational skills to help kids perform multiple daily functions. Adding a transportation theme can motivate and provide a play-based focus while addressing sensory, coordination, balance, and motor planning.
Construction Vehicle Brain Breaks– Working on core strength, coordination, balance, endurance, whole body movements, and stability? These brain break activities are great for position changes, movement in all planes, and mobility challenges.
3 Fun Sensory Activities: Row Your Boat – try these activities as a way to work with a partner as well as provide fun activities that address core strengthening and calming vestibular input
Transportation Yoga – try these yoga moves or poses that work on gross motor and motor planning skills during a therapy session, as a brain break, or simply just to use in the classroom
Gross-Motor Transportation Game for Preschoolers – try this fun game that is played similar to Follow the Leader and Simon Says that children will love and you can take outdoors
Transportation Themed Gross Motor and Fine Motor Planning – try these activities that include a variety of body moves and some moves using equipment, such as a scooter board and a laundry basket, all have a transportation theme and address many foundational motor skills
Row Your Boat Exercise – try this fun boat themed exercise as well as the other exercises while utilizing a Handee Band, which is similar to a therapy band, and combines strengthening, sensory, and kid-friendly fun all in one.
Transportation Fine Motor Activities
How about fine motor skills? These skills are important for children while performing multiple daily tasks to include self-care. Below you’ll find some great fine motor activities that include many forms of transportation such as a bus, a rocket, and a stoplight! These fun activities will help kiddos focus on important hand and finger strength, bilateral coordination, fine motor coordination, and fastener manipulation.
Transportation Button Buddies – try making these DIY button buddies for kids using felt and buttons to work on fastener manipulation skills, a simple way to make them is provided
Car Wash Fine Motor Activity – try this fun activity that uses shaving cream and a spray bottle to perform a car wash for matchbox cars essentially providing fine motor strengthening along with a tactile sensory experience
Lazy 8 Handwriting Grand Prix Fine Motor Skill Builder – try this vertical lazy 8 pattern to work on crossing midline, directionality, pre-writing, and fine motor skills with the use of various tools, including a matchbox car
Make Paper Planes – try creating these three paper airplane designs using step-by-step instructions with older kiddos and work on fine motor manipulation, visual planning, and sequencing skills
How about visual motor skills? Visual motor skills coordinate what the eyes take in and perceive with hand, leg, and body actions. Children use these skills all day long and these activities will provide an opportunity for children to coordinate eyes and hands together while performing an activity, CRAFTS! Crafts are the perfect opportunity to work on eye-hand coordination as children use their eyes and hands together to create and design fun stuff! They also get to work on important fine motor skills while engaging in cutting, gluing, taping, and assembly.
Try some of these fun visual motor craft activities to work on these skills:
Salt Truck Craft – Work on scissor skills to cut simple shapes. Then address visual attention, sequencing, motor planning, and direction following to make a salt truck craft.
Backhoe Craft – Work on scissor skills to cut simple shapes. Then address visual attention, sequencing, motor planning, and direction following to cut out and assemble a backhoe
Fire Truck Craft – Work on scissor skills to cut simple shapes. Then address visual attention, sequencing, motor planning, and direction following to cut out and assemble a fire truck
Big Rig Craft – Work on scissor skills to cut simple shapes. Then address visual attention, sequencing, motor planning, and direction following to make a big rig craft.
Bus Craft – Work on scissor skills to cut simple shapes. Then address visual attention, sequencing, motor planning, and direction following to cut out and assemble a bus.
Cardboard Box Car– Have a box sitting around from a recent delivery? Grab a bunch of markers or paints and make a car! This is such a fun pretend play activity that the kids will LOVE. Then, take the cardboard car outdoors and slide it down a hill for vestibular input.
Paper Plate Cars – uses paper plates and tissue paper to create cute cars
Vehicle Cutting Activity for Kids – uses tape and paper to work on eye-hand coordination while cutting along the tape roads.
Transportation Visual Processing Activities
Try some fun games to work on visual motor and visual perceptual skills too!
Make a train using blocks and work on visual perceptual skills, fine motor skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Rush Hour Traffic Jam Game– (Amazon affiliate link) This visual perceptual skills game is a powerful way to work on specific skills like sequencing, logic, visual scanning, visual memory, visual attention, visual closure, visual discrimination, spatial awareness, and much more. Then, use the game to upgrade and downgrade specifically for OT. Rush Hour Traffic Jam Jr. Puzzle (affiliate link) is a great version of the transportation game for preschoolers.
Transportation Seek and Find Jar – includes the use of Legos and Lego tires in an I Spy type jar activity which emphasizes important visual skills and more specifically, visual discrimination.
Visual Tracking Cars– Work on fine motor skills to set up this car activity, but then use the power of wind and gravity to work on visual tracking skills and visual attention.
Transportation Sensory Activities
Sensory transportation themed activities are so fun to create and so fun for kiddos to do! You can use a variety of materials to target sensory processing with children. Every sensory area can be addressed from tactile defensiveness to proprioception and everything in between. However, always be aware of any allergies when you do these types of activities.
Plastic Egg Boats – try this activity that uses oral motor input (proprioception to the mouth) provided when blowing the boat.
Wikki Stix Race Track – try this activity that uses tactile input (texture tolerance) provided when building the race track with Wikki Stix, or “sticky sticks” as some children call them.
Train Themed Sensory Ideas – try these activities that use a variety of senses, such as proprioception, vestibular, oral, auditory, and tactile.
Construction Vehicle Brain Breaks– Kids that love all things trucks, backhoes, dump trucks, and diggers will get a kick out of these brain breaks. They can help with attention, self-regulation, and coping skills while adding much-needed vestibular and proprioceptive input.
Train Self-Regulation Track – try this activity that uses a train track to address the “just right” body speed for being ready to learn.
Freight Train Snack Idea – try this activity that uses a variety of colorful snacks, which are visually appealing and enticing to eat.
Sensory Car Wash – try this fun sensory car wash where a child crawls on the floor to go through a car wash that hosts a variety of sensory experiences. It is built with PVC pipe and multiple sensory elements which are hung for the child to crawl through.
Transportation Theme Sensory Table – try making this sensory construction site which includes oats as the sensory element to haul and move
Car Themed Sensory Bin – try making this sensory bin which includes black beans as the sensory element for roads (other colorful car theme elements added)
Airplane Sensory Bin – try making this sensory bin which includes shredded paper and cotton balls as the sensory element for airplanes.
Regina Parsons-Allen is a school-based certified occupational therapy assistant. She has a pediatrics practice area of emphasis from the NBCOT. She graduated from the OTA program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Hudson, North Carolina with an A.A.S degree in occupational therapy assistant. She has been practicing occupational therapy in the same school district for 20 years. She loves her children, husband, OT, working with children and teaching Sunday school. She is passionate about engaging, empowering, and enabling children to reach their maximum potential in ALL of their occupations as well assuring them that God loves them!