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Bulldozer is not an animal kiddo, so I thought it time we choose a learning time theme for the month that would be just for him, as his big brother was spoiled during our month long study of animals. Vehicles have always been Bulldozer's biggest obsession as far as obsessions go with autistic children. Our first week of vehicles was focused on construction vehicles. However, as I struggled to find activities that would challenge Dinomite during our animal unit, I really had to think hard to find activities that would challenge Bulldozer and (Dinomite who grew out of his vehicle obsession) this week. In the end it ended up being a FABULOUS week of learning time. You'll notice some of the activities are in shamrock trays, as we combined some St. Patrick's Day activities with this week's activities. That post is coming soon!
Source: I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.
Construction Site Vehicle Match Up
I wanted to incorporate at least one construction vehicle activity, since Princess doesn't know her vehicles, but needed to make it challenging enough for the boys. Thankfully my wonderful husband helped me create this activity. He reads the kids their books before bed every night and has developed quite the knowledge of construction vehicles. I know enough about the vehicles but, only enough to survive endless conversations and sightings as we're driving anywhere.
This activity includes 2 sets of 4 construction site cards. One set has the label attached (black set). The yellow set has the words and pictures separate for matching purposes.
2. Building (I chose a sky scraper.)
The activity also includes 2 sets of 20 construction vehicle cards. One set has the label attached (black set). The yellow set has the words and pictures separate for matching purposes.
The kids could match up all of the construction vehicles-pictures to labels, OR they could group the construction vehicles with the construction site they would be used at. There were a few construction vehicles that could be used at several sites. As long as the kiddos could tell me what exactly the vehicle would be used for, they could place them where they wanted. Dinomite LOVED this activity!
Here are our groupings:
1. Road-Scraper, Grader, Roller, & Paver
2. Building-Tower Crane, Telehandler, Cement Mixer, & Pump Truck
3. Quarry-Giant Dump Truck, Giant Front End Loader, Bucket Wheel Excavator, & Rock Drill
4. Demolition-Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Crane w/ Wrecking Ball
Our floater construction vehicles included: Excavator, Backhoe, Forklift, Front End Loader, & Skid Steer.
Source: I created this activity. For your free copy, click HERE.
The basic idea of the activity was to identify the number on the backhoe and count out that many rocks.
Source: I found these cute little backhoe cards at Sparkle Box.
Source: I found this activity at monthome.com.
Science & Community:
Play Dough Construction Site
As I was looking for learning time ideas this week I stumbled across a recipe for chocolate scented play dough. I couldn't resist. After all, chocolate looks like mud or dirt right? Our learning time room smelled heavenly!
Initially it was my idea to pair up construction vehicles with the chocolate "mud." However Bulldozer could not handle his vehicles being downstairs for everyone to use, not to mention "mud" getting on them. As the vehicles disappeared, Dinomite asked if he could use Daddy's tools in the "mud." I've gotta say, his idea turned out to be FABULOUS! I loved how they "worked" with their play dough all week long. In fact, I preferred the play dough over the Styrofoam I used for our practical life activities below.
Source: I found the recipe for the chocolate play dough at Nurture Store.
A construction unit would not be complete without blocks! Bulldozer played with these EVERY DAY! This was by far his favorite activity, and why not? He's my builder. Not only did he build simple structures but...
He built entire cities!
"See Mommy! It wasn't too hard! I did it!" He then had to show everyone his completed puzzle, whether they were interested or not.
Source: We are very fond of Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles and highly recommend them!
Hammer & Nails
I figured hammering nails into wood would be way too difficult for the kiddos, so I was really excited when I saw the idea to use Styrofoam instead. However, the Styrofoam proved to be a bit too easy for the kiddos and a bit complicated as the kiddos would hammer the nails in too far and then get very frustrated when they couldn't get them out. Again, I found play dough to be much more forgiving.
Source: This idea came from A Happy Wanderer.
Screwdriver & Screws
Nuts & Bolts
I've gotta say, I LOVED incorporating tools into our construction unit! Princess in particular really liked this one. She was so determined to figure out how to screw the nut onto the bolt after finally finding the right match. I'm so glad I picked up so many different sizes. She tried the smallest first, but it seemed to be impossible, so we started with the biggest set and gradually made it through them all. Princess was literally jumping for joy when she had finished them all!
Source: I found this idea at Rockabye Butterfly.
Selecting books for the week, and well for the entire month, is quite the challenge. It's not a matter of there being a lack of construction vehicle books, it's finding books we don't own that's the challenge. Bulldozer's book shelves have very few books that aren't construction vehicle books. (Hence why Daddy has learned so much about them!)
|Bulldozer's book shelves.|
Stay tuned next week for Emergency Vehicles and a St. Patrick's Day post!