Early Explorers Transportation

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Boy was this month’s theme from our Little Passport’s subscription right up Travis’s alley – the blog title says it all! The booklet was chock-full of info on some of Travis’s favorite things in the worlds (trains, planes, firetrucks) plus fun new ones like tuk tuks and tobaggans.

Transportation Craft:

Without a suggestion for an art project in this month’s booklet, we turned to Little Passport’s blog to further our exploration about cars. Bigger kids can truly tackle a Lego Technic car, but we had fun simply designing cars with our Duplo. Travis created this hybrid train/bus.

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Transportation Science:

Next up we tried out balloon-powered racing. Much as with the juice-pouch stomp rocket we made recently, this project runs on compressed air. That’s the science behind it; now here’s the fun.

First, cut a paper towel tube in half; set aside.

Tie two lengths of string (about 4 feet long) to the back of one chair. Position a second chair about 3 feet away, but don’t tie the second end of the strings yet.

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Next inflate two balloons. Instead of tying off, secure with clothespins.

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Tape each balloon to half of the paper towel tube and slide the tube onto one string; tie to the other chair, making sure the strings are taut.

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To race, position the balloons near one chair. Release the clothespins, and watch them fly forward. Does one balloon win? We found this worked best when the balloons were inflated big to begin with, and when you release the clothespin very quickly.

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Transportation Keepsake:

The souvenir for this kit was a puzzle featuring a track that a wind-up car can zoom about. The wind-up car was a huge hit.

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The puzzle was a little uneven in places – a fact I’ve noticed with several of the keepsakes from Little Passports – so the car didn’t run on it very well. That didn’t stop Travis from vrooming it all about the floor!

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Transportation Field Trip:

We had to double-dip on transportation-themed excursions, since there was so much to do! First, I recommend visiting any transit museum near you, whatever is closest – a car museum? Plane museum? Fire station? We opted for the New York Transit Museum since it focused on a type of transportation not in our booklet – the subway!

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Travis loved it, that and “driving” NYC buses.

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Finally we couldn’t resist a trip to the NY Auto Show – taking the train there to double up on transportation!

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Transportation Further Activities:

The booklet suggested a family bike ride, which would have been ideal, but my husband and I don’t have bikes! We settled for the next best thing, taking a walk while Travis used his tricycle.

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Calmer, at-home activities included inventing our own mode of transportation. Travis dictated as I drew: a double decker car with a propeller, which he made sure included carpets on the floor.

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You can also have fun coloring in pictures of your favorite transport modes (that meant trains over here!) or drawing the pictures if your kids are older.

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Next up, we made a tally of what transportation modes we saw in our neighborhood – coming up with a list of 8. No tuk tuks or toboggans though!

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Finally, we checked out books from the library to continue our exploration, on everything from snow plows to race cars.