For children who are interested in travel or the various modes of transportation—trains, airplanes, cars, boats—this theme day is a way to explore transportation.

Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.



A great children’s song for this theme day is “The wheels on the bus” – sing together and do the actions.  Check here for words and actions if you need a refresher: or make up your lyrics as a family for a personal touch.

A few more children’s songs to sing together are “Down By The Station - check here for the lyrics and actions:  - or “Row Row Row Your Boat.”

Search your favourite music provider to purchase the song “Life is a Highway” to rock around the living room or try “The Loco-motion” and form a family chain to chugga chugga around your house in follow the leader style but holding onto each other’s hips then take turns leading.




You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “transportation coloring pages” or “airplanes,” “cars,” “trains,” etc.. or you can print out my Transportation Colouring Page.



Write out one or more of the following questions in the family notebook or on a piece of paper to glue in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook:  What are some different types of transportation?  What is your favourite way to travel?  Is there a mode of transportation that you haven’t tried that you would like to?

 Choose the level of your child:

Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer.


Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.


Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.


 Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response.  (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not).


Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).


 As A Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about transportation.



Print out my Transportation Word Search:


Easy Transportation Word Search or Difficult Transportation Word Search.


Check here for the answer keys:


 Easy Transportation Word Search Key or Difficult Transportation Word Search Key.



Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books on or about transportation.


Go to the library with your child to find some books on transportation.


Go to the library on your own to find books on transportation from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day.  Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (type in “transportation” or “Trains” or “cars” etc. under “Children's Books”).  Reserve them if you can to save time.


Try some of these nonfiction/learning titles if you can find them:


· Let’s Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here, by Lizann Flatt and illustrated by Scot Ritchie, Maple Tree Press Inc., 2007 – Brightly coloured illustrations and simple text adorn this book that shows the progression of transportation in North America throughout history.


· Timelines: Transport On Land, Road & Rail, written by Eryl Davies, created and designed by David Salariya, Franklin Watts, 1992 – From the first wheels to the railroad age to racing cars and beyond with future solar-powered cars, this book has lots of illustrations for each time period and more text for older readers.


· Sustainable World Transportation, by Rob Bowden, Kid Haven Pres, 2004 – Coloured photographs adorn this text good for older children as it looks at the global issue of sustainable transportation.


· Go! The Whole world of Transportation, written and edited by Samone Bos, Phil Hunt, Andrea Mills, DK Publishing, Inc. – There are lots of beautiful photographs and timelines making this a fun book to browse through together as a family.


Try some of these titles if you can find them for more transportation fun:

· We All Go Traveling By, written by Sheena Roberts and illustrated by Siobhan Bell, Barefoot Books 2003 – A fun book with gorgeous textile illustrations and a story/song that mixes colours and sounds together with modes of transportation.  Our library copy included a Fred Penner CD with the book as a song and it was a great hit in our house!

· Away We Go!, by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and pictures by Dan Yaccarino, Harper Festival, 2000 – Simple and short rhymed text highlighted with bright illustrations on each page.  Good for the very young or early readers.

· Wake up Engines, by Denise Dowling Mortensen and illustrated by Melissa Iwai, Clarion Books, 2007 – Great painted illustrations of a boy and his various toy vehicles and their real counterparts adorn the rhyming verse story.

· Bunnies on the Go: Getting From Place to Place, by Rick Walton and illustrated by Paige Miglio, Harper Collins Publishers, 2003 – A delightful rhyming story (where you guess the various modes of transportation via the rhyme before turning the page) of a bunny family on vacation.

· Go!: poetry in motion, by Dee Lillegard and illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev, Alfred A. Knopf, 2006 – Assorted short poems (from three lines to eight lines in length) about various modes of transportation are highlighted with cute illustrations of animals in the described vehicles.

· Go!, text and illustrations by Daniel Kirk, Hyperion Books for Children, 2001 – wonderfully fun illustrations in a variety of media (watercolor, photo collage, sculpture, cut paper etc..) accompany each poem/song.  The book had a CD with each song on it but unfortunately our copy from the library did not include it.

· I Spy A Freight Train: Transportation In Art, devised and selected by Lucy Micklethwait, Greenwillow Books, 1996— Each page has a different painting of various artists around the world like Van Gogh and Salvador Dali and the fun comes in trying to find the mode of transportation in each picture.




Materials: Coloured paper, stickers with various modes of transportation on them (cars, trains, airplanes, boats, motorcycles, bicycles, etc..) markers and/or crayons.

Step 1: Give your child the stickers and paper and have him/her either make a scene or a collage with them.

Step 2 (Optional): See if your child wants to embellish the picture with markers or crayons by drawing a setting for the modes of transportation (like roads or buildings).

Step 3: Display or glue into your Family Theme Day Scrapbook.



Materials: Coloured paper, child safe scissors, glue stick, damp cloth for sticky fingers, (Optional) markers or crayons.

HINT: You can either pre-cut the shapes for this craft ahead of time or work along with your child.

Step 1: Cut out Brown a long brown stripe to fit a full sheet (we choose yellow) to be the bridge.  Cut out two smaller brown stripes for the pillars of the bridge.

Step 2: Cut out a wider blue stripe for the water and cut along one long edge to look like waves.

Step 3: Cut out various other shapes in different colours.  To make an airplane cut out an elongated oval with two small rectangles for wings and one smaller one for the tail.  For a card cut out a half of an oval and then two black circle for tires.  For a truck cut out a rectangle and then a smaller square for the cab, plus two small lack circles for the tires.  For a sail boat cut out half an oval or circle and then a triangle for the sail.

Step 4: Show your child how the various shapes make different modes of transportation.  Then help him/her glue the cut outs onto the page.  Glue the bridge on first, and then the water and then the vehicles.  HINT: I used this as an exercise to question where each vehicle went.  “Does a car on in the water, on the bridge or in the air?”

Step 5: (Optional) See if your child wants to embellish the picture with markers or crayons by drawing  windows or people in the vehicles.


HINT: You can change this craft easily and let your child’s imagination soar.  Encourage them to make other modes of transportation and then together come up with the shapes needed to make that vehicle.  We made a helicopter.



Materials: Various empty small boxes (like soap, Jello, pudding, soup etc.), coloured paper, clear tape, glue sticks and/or white glue, child-safe scissors, crayons or markers.

Step 1: Have your children pick the boxes they will use and then pick the colours they want.

Step 2: Cover each box in coloured paper as if you were wrapping a present.

Step 3: Cut out windows, wheels, and head lights out of coloured paper.

Step 4: Add any embellishments like faces in the windows with crayons and markers.

Step 5: Glue the embellishments in place with a glue stick.

Step 6: Glue boxes together with white glue and let them dry.




Cracker and Cheese Transportation Snack:

Ingredients: Various shapes and sizes of crackers, your favourite cheese sliced into rectangles or cut into shapes with small cookie cutters, chopped vegetables (strips of and diced red peppers, carrots cut into rounds...), pepperoni sticks chopped into rounds.

Step 1: Put the various ingredients in different bowls and invite the family to use the parts to create their own edible modes of transportation by arranging them on their plates.


Serve some Wagon Wheel Cookies for a special treat on this Transportation Theme Day.




Print out my Transportation Chart and as a family write in examples of various modes of transportation to fit in with the headings: land, water and sky.



For a review of safety rules for riding the bus or subway or walking check out this Public Transportation Safety Kids Page -




Q:  What did the ocean say to the airplane?

A:  Nothing. It just waved.


KNOCK KNOCK! Who’s there? Cargo. Cargo who? Cargo beep beep!


Q: Where do sick boats go?

A: To the dock-tors.


Q: What’s the best way to find a lost train?

A: Follow its tracks.


Q: Where do you find roads with no vehicles?

A: On a map.






Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand or the Video Store) to find your child’s favourite shows with a transportation theme or characters in them (like Thomas the Tank Engine or the movie Cars).

For young children try these titles:


· Baby Einstein On the Go: Riding, Sailing and Soaring


· Barney’s Round and Round We Go


Try to find this non-fiction title at your local library:


· My Community: Transportation, Schlessinger Media, A Division of Library Video Company, 2006 – a short DVD for Pre K to Grade 2



Explore the options around where you live and see if there is a automobile, airplane, or train museum near you.

Transportation Challenge: How many modes of transportation can your family use in one day?  Take the bus, tram, train, car, walk, bike...

Sticker Collage/Scene


Soap/Jello Box Cars

Cracker and Cheese Transportation


Australian National Maritime Museum

Sydney, Australia


Photo: C Wright


Paper Transportation Scenes

Warren Thomas Josephburg Aerodrome

Josephburg, Alberta

Photo: C Wright