• Kim Bogren Owen

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles! Vehicles that Take People to Their Vacations


How will you get to your vacation this year? On plane, in a car, or maybe even on a bus, train, or boat?

Following our theme this summer of vacations, adventure, and exploring, this week I am adding some books about how people move from one place to another. These books will be perfect to add to your vacation study and a great expansion for a dramatic play area full of cardboard trains, boats, buses, cars, and planes. As you read these books, talk with your child about what type (or types) of transportation you use to go on vacation. Do they have a favorite?

Three wonderful books that are very appropriate for infants and toddlers are Beep, Beep by PetrHoracek, and Planes Go and Cars Go both by Steve Light. These books are full of the sounds that vehicles make and will delight the youngest child.

Pigeon talks about all the things that go in Pigeon Loves Things that Go by Mo Williams. These books were my son's favorites when he was beginning to read. Enjoy this one and all it's silliness. Follow-up by creating a graph listing who went on vacation (or to do a special summer activity) by which mode of transportation. You can either have them pick one or all the types used (such as car or bus to plane), and then total up each column to find the most popular form.

Did you take a trip to a big city? Learn about what happened to the Little Blue Truck in Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry on his visit to the city. A great book to start a discussion about how things are the same or different at home and the places you visit.

Both Planes Fly! by George Ella Lyon and Mick Wiggins and Boat Float! by George Ella Lyon, Benn Lyon, and Mick Wiggins explore different types of boats and planes. For a science experiment, have the children make paper airplanes and see what types flies the best and furthest. My son's school used tape to show how far each plane went and then gave the children a measuring tape to measure how far each one went. You can also make boats out of paper or aluminium foil to see which ones float best.

Learn about different kinds of cars in Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming! by Patricia Hubbell, Megan Halsey, and Sean Addy. This is another one full of car sounds which children love to hear and make. After reading this one, have the children move like different types of vehicles while making their sounds.

To explore different types of wheels and their sizes, let your child paint with different types of cars from big ones to small ones. Talk about the different types of lines they make, as well as the different trend marks. Don't worry they will clean up easily, and if you want can put the paper in shallow pans or boxes to keep the lines from going off the paper.

For book recommendation about traveling by train see my blog Riding the Rails in Books: Books About Trains.

As always, I hope you enjoy these books! You are welcome to use this blog, in whole or part, with credit to Kim Bogren Owen and Words Reflected. Please add your recommendations for additional books about different types of transportation in the comments.

(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title and purchase through Amazon, you are supporting us! If you don't purchase through these links, please, be sure to support your independent, local bookstore or find them at your library!)

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