Kiddley visitor Kathryn sent us her brilliant ideas for ways to entertain a toddler who can’t get enough of trucks, tractors, cars, trains and earth moving machines that go beyond singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round” time and again.
“1. Visit a train station
If you and your child travel most of the time by car, there’s very little opportunity for him or her to see a train close up. See if you can get to a train station that is out in the open; then it’s more likely you can walk to the front and see the engine cars and the driver, and more likely you will be able to see those wonderful wheels under the carriages!!! A local bound train, of course, won’t stay at the station long enough for much of a look, so try to find a long distance train which will be at the station loading and unloading for some time before taking off.
I took Jack to Cairns central station recently to see the Kuranda Train. We walked all the way up to see the drivers’ carriage. The drivers were very sweet to him and allowed Jack to sit in one of the driving seats, which I’m sure is not generally possible, but it is certainly worth it for you to at least see the head carriage. If finances permit, buy a ticket and go for a local train ride, even just to the next station and back. (or walk back).
2. Catch a bus to town!
Buses may seem duller than dishwater to us ‘jaded’ adults but to children buses are a rich source of vitamin fun. Make sure you let your son or daughter get to press the buzzer for the stop you want to get off at! Big thrills when they realise they can control when the bus will stop.
3. Find a construction site
Somewhere close to you in this age of the building boom, there is a construction site just begging for a toddler to marvel over it. There may be cement trucks, diggers, forklifts, graders, dump trucks, bob cats……it’s all happening, it’s all fabulous.
4. Go watch the planes land, load and take off
This one may not be for every toddler’s parent, especially if you live in a city where the airport parking costs are extreme, but much, much fun-apalooza can be had sitting in a domestic airport that affords you a good view of the main tarmac events. Never mind you don’t have a ticket to fly, your wheely-mad child will have a hoot watching not only the planes moving about, taking off and landing, but also watching the little airport buses, tractors, fuel trucks, catering trucks and luggage wagons whizz around. It’s wheel mania.
5. Pay a visit to your local car yard/ tractor dealership/ ride-on mower vendor
Sure, you might have to let on a bit like you’re interested in purchasing a car/tractor/ride-on mower, but most outlets are happy enough to have you look around.
There are other wheel-associated games and activities you might not have thought of yet: playing Spot the Transport… make up a simple card listing or illustrate all the different types of trucks, emergency vehicles, transport haulers, etc, you know the stuff. Go for a walk to the closest main highway and tick off each as you see them. Good to have this same game going in the car for just driving around. If your child is old enough he or she can tick them off for themselves, or if they are a bit too young for knowing how to use the list, make a mental list of the ones you see, ticking them off together when you get home.”
Thank you Kathryn! We love it!