Construction Vehicles

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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!

Language:
Tool Identification
Dinomite and Bulldozer know their construction vehicles backwards and forwards, so I decided to go with tool sight words this week.  After all construction workers used tools right?  Dinomite enjoyed the activity, however Bulldozer didn't select it once.  Princess was sick during the first part of the week, but she did use it once when she was better.

Source: I created these cards. For your free copy, click HERE.

Construction Site Vehicle Match Up
This activity looks quite sloppy in it's tray.  Princess decided to stamp the entire bottom of the tray, so I was trying to cover up all of the stamp art.  Ha. Ha.

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.

1.  Road
2.  Building (I chose a sky scraper.)
3.  Quarry
4.  Demolition

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.

Math:
Backhoe Counting
All three kiddos can count out objects to 10 with no problems, however counting objects to 20 is still pretty tricky for Bulldozer and Princess.  Bulldozer LOVED this activity, especially since he was able to pile rocks as he counted.  I found the rocks at our local craft store.

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.

Wrench Order
Princess has been struggling to put items in order from biggest to smallest, so this activity was primarily for her.  It took her a while to figure it out, but she did succeed and she was super excited about it.

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.
 
In case you can't see all of the tools above, we included a wrench, flat head screw driver, Philips head screw driver, level, hammer, nail, clamp, and pliers.

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!
Bulldozer's City!
Some days the buildings would be color coded. Other days he would sort them by the shape of the blocks.  Every day he did something new.  I loved watching the creativity, and of course after every new city came a  MAJOR demolition!

Construction Puzzles
Princess has been obsessed with puzzles lately.  Sadly we only have two girlie puzzles.  Poor girl!  Thankfully she was okay with trying out construction puzzles for the time being.  Not only was she okay with it, but Bulldozer was determined to try.  Mind you, the biggest puzzle Bulldozer has ever put together by himself had eight pieces.  Hence why I put out two puzzles, one less complicated just for him.  He was not amused by this idea and for three days practiced putting together the larger puzzle.  In fact on the third day, when he finally completed it (with assistance from Daddy), he says to me,

"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!

Practical Life:
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
So inspired by the idea above, I decided to also introduce the kiddos to screwdrivers.  This activity went better than the hammering, however when it came time to unscrew the nail, a couple of the kiddos found it much easier to just rip the screw out.  Still, it was a great fine motor activity, as it required a lot of coordination.  Bulldozer became a little frustrated with it.

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!

7 comments:

  1. Hi! Thank you for visiting my site. OMG I love this idea! My son would definitely love this! Will try this out this summer :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love each of these activities. I wish I were a bit more computer savvy but we are going into an unplanned construction week. Time and time again I am searching for something and your site comes up! Awesome!

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    1. Sarah, anytime you see a printable that I created, and there's not a link, feel free to e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com. As long as you tell me which post and activity it is, I can send you the free printable in an attachment. :)

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    2. Oh wow I would love that! I will email you!

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  3. Anyone who would like a free copy of any of the printables I have created. Please feel free to e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com with the name of the activity and the name of the blog post.

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  4. These are awesome!! My kids love The Truck Book too!
    And I bet they'd love to twist some screws into foam--what a great idea!! Pinning!

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  5. Great activities...as always. Thank your for sharing today!

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