May 19, 2014

Preschool Construction Theme: Diggers and Dumptrucks

Start a Construction Theme at Circle Time

Begin the theme at group circle by asking the preschoolers what they know about heavy equipment, like diggers, and then about construction. Soon, the true "digger" lovers will be found. Ask question like:

•"What is another name for a digger?"
•"Where would you see a digger or dump truck?"
•" What other big trucks do you know?"
•" Why do we need these vehicles?"
•" How is a house made?"

Record some of the children's answers, and display them in a large dump truck, or coming out of an excavator's shovel, for the parents to view.

Heavy Machinery Companies and Construction Sites

For brochures and to learn about the vehicles, visit the nearest Caterpillar, Komatsu or Hitachi dealerships, to name a few, before program planning for the preschool theme. The companies may offer some of their brochures to place into the classroom or for the use in craft projects. Perhaps the preschool children may have a field trip to view the lots full of heavy machinery, or even better, the employees might allow the preschoolers to crawl into some of the big equipment. Plan a walk to a local construction site where the children can view the excavators and other machinery being operated.

Preschool Books for a Construction Theme

There are many kinds of heavy equipment and learning the names is a chore. Choose several construction vehicles to teach to the children, such as excavator, backhoe, bulldozer and cement truck. There are many books that will also introduce the topic to the preschool children. In addition, some great DVDs are available for preschool children to observe about diggers and trucks, for a special activity. Following is a suggested list of both preschool books and DVDS for this construction theme:

•Dazzling Diggers by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker (Kingfisher, 200
•C is for Construction: Big Trucks and Diggers from A to Z (Chronicle Book, 2003)
•B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel (Harcourt, 2006)
•Cody's Crew – The Big Building: DVD directed by Malcolm Marcus
•Diggers and Dozers Starring Mighty Machines (DVD-2007)

Felt Board Activity: Ten Dumptrucks All in a Row

At circle time, have the children participate in this felt activity with dump trucks by thinking of their own ideas for what to fill a dumptruck up with. Suggest to the preschoolers to imagine whatever they wish, and then give some suggestions, like dolls or chocolate. Make ten dump trucks out of felt with the following poem:

Ten dump trucks all in a row. All filled with something and a place to go.
(Child's name) truck is filled with______, that's fine, and now there's only nine
Nine dump trucks all in a row. All filled with something and a place to go.
(Another child's) truck is filled with____, that's great, and now there's only eight.
Eight dump trucks...oh heaven and now there’s only seven
Seven dump trucks...what a mix and now there’s only six
Six dump trucks...are they alive? And now there’s only five
Five dump trucks ...ready to pour and now there’s only four
Four dump trucks...could it be? And now there’s only three
Three dump trucks ...what to do and now there’s only two
Two dump trucks ...weighing a ton and now there’s only one
One dump truck ...oh what fun and now there is none.

Preschool Song about Construction Workers and Safety

A great lesson to bring into this theme is to talk to the children about safety on the construction site. Here is a song that will help teach the message:

(To the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Safety, safety when we work
All day long we watch and look
Hats and gloves, and goggles too
Steel toe boots for the crew.
Safety safety when we work
All day long, we watch and look

Preschool Craft Suggestions for a Construction Theme

1. Painting with dumptrucks through paint

2. Pasting pictures of construction vehicles onto a large paper or construction site scene

3. Have a picture of a dumptruck and collage items for them to fill up the truck with or use bingo markers!

Dump Truck Clipart Image: Dump Truck Coloring Page

Construction Theme in Other Preschool Areas

The construction theme can be included into many other areas or sections of a preschool curriculum and environment. The following list provides some suggestions:

•Drama: Construction Site lunchroom or office set up
•Sensory: sand and lots of mini vehicles
•Puzzles, Magnet activities with diggers, dump trucks, bulldozers and so on
•Wood blocks for constructing buildings 

Further Resource: Pinterest Board on Construction

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