In this Focus Area -On the Go, the experiences will primarily support the following Development Strand:
5. To learn to think – Cognitive Development.
As in all of the Focus Areas, there are experiences that support all of the Developmental Strands with a strong emphasis on
6. To learn to communicate – Language Development
As noted in the Focus Area #1 introduction, The Arkansas Framework for Infant and Toddler Care contains information about each developmental strand and how the strands intertwine with each other. It is suggested that you review the Framework as a foundation for using the Adventures for Toddlers curriculum with your children. Toddlers are very much involved with the concept of being on the go, whether it be with their toys with wheels and their ride-on vehicles, or with vehicles in which they travel with their families. They are also fascinated with vehicles used by construction workers and by community helpers. Through both planned and spontaneous experiences, caregivers can provide opportunities for toddlers to discover many things about being on the go.
• Add the following books:
o Vehicles to Ride On
o Vehicles for Community Helpers
o Vehicles for Construction Workers
• Add container of pictures that have been laminated or covered with clear self-adhesive paper. (See Picture File, page 2 for examples of types of pictures to collect.)
• Add Vehicle Shoebox Kit (3 different sets of vehicles)
• Add puzzles for all types of vehicles: ride on, travel in, construction and community helper vehicles
• Add divided utensil holders and small cars (such as Matchbox cars) that can roll in different sections
Gross Motor & Blocks
• Add shoeboxes or medium-size boxes to serve as garages (cut an opening in the box large enough for vehicles to enter)
• Add various small vehicles with wheels
• Add cardboard boxes decorated like a train or bus; boxes large enough for an older toddler to sit inside.
• Post pictures of construction and community helper vehicles in the block area.
• Create a highway by selecting a large piece of vinyl or linoleum. Use black electrical tape to create a long road that is wide and straight with only a few curves.
• Create two highways with the vinyl and tape; highways that are far enough apart so that toddlers have space as they play beside each other.
• Add automobile and truck magazines and sales books from auto dealers
• Add sensory tub with sand and small vehicles
• Add sensory tub with water and small vehicles
• Add bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and large sheets of sandpaper to block center
• Add a construction worker prop box: hard hat, lunch boxes, tool belt and work gloves
• Add a shopping cart and/ or a doll buggy to the pretend play area
• Add empty boxes of popular food items: pasta boxes, cracker and cookie boxes, small cereal boxes. Stuff boxes with newspaper and tape down ends for durability.
• Create a train or bus by lining up three or four chairs
• Create a carwash outdoors: ride-on vehicles, bucket, sponges, rags for drying vehicles.
• Create an obstacle course for children to push, pull, or ride their vehicles through.
• Create an automobile paint shop: wheel toys, bucket and paint brushes
• Use colored chalk to create highways on the sidewalk.
• Collect pictures that relate to this Focus Area – On the Go. Examples of pictures to collect include:
o pictures of all types of transportation such as: tricycles, bicycles, 4-wheelers, motorcycles, cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, buses, boats, airplanes
o pictures of vehicles used by construction workers and by community helpers: cement truck, dump truck, backhoe, bulldozer, pickup truck, ambulance, tow truck, red fire truck, police car, mail truck, garbage truck
Include small (index card size) as well as larger pictures. Consider mounting the small pictures on index cards. Laminate or cover all of the pictures with clear, self-adhesive paper for durability.
• Post some of the pictures on the wall at toddler’s eye level. Observe to see if toddlers look at the pictures and point to and/or name the objects or people in the pictures. Join them and expand on what they say. For example, say to Megan who is looking at a picture of a school bus, “Megan, you’re looking at a school bus. Your sister, Ellen, rides a yellow bus like this one to school.”
• Put some of the small pictures in a container and place it in the library area so that it is accessible to children. Observe a child as he takes the pictures out of the box. Should the child bring a picture to you, involve him in discussing what he sees in the picture. “That’s a picture of a fire fighter and his red fire truck. Do you remember when we heard a fire truck and we all watched it go by the window?”
• Keep some of the pictures in a basket or tote bag within easy reach. Use the pictures with an individual child or a small group of children. Invite them to name the animals and to talk about what is happening in the pictures. Allow children to look at the pictures on their own. Model and talk with them about the proper way to handle the pictures.
Extending Family Activities
Send home a note to families stating that for the next few weeks the children will be involved in the focus area: On the Go. They will participate in experiences that focus on vehicles they see at home, on the highway and in their community. How families can be involved in this focus area will depend on the situation of each child and his or her family. Consider some of the following ways to involve the families:
• Invite families to send pictures of vehicles. Specify the vehicles that the children will be learning about.
• Invite families to send pictures of family or work vehicles.
• Suggest that families call their child’s attention to the family vehicles, to the vehicles they see as they are driving around, and to vehicles they see on construction sites.