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How Things Move! Transportation Arts and Craft Activity Ideas

16th Mar 2022
How Things Move! Transportation Arts and Craft Activity Ideas

The world is constantly changing and evolving though, for all the technological advances nations and societies have made in the last few decades, many still solely rely on the simple concept of getting from A to B. 

Transportation and all the different guises it comes in often keeps the world turning and moving and often people take this fact for granted. 

All forms of transportation are a real privilege so children should be taught how to cherish the types they have access to. 

Children should learn about all types of public transport and how they help societies function. Students that have the privilege of a personal family vehicle should be taught how fortunate they are and to not take this form of private vehicle for granted. 

In some nations, students have to wake up at the crack of dawn, walk or run distances of up to ten to fifteen kilometres to get to school and then repeat the journey to return home. 

More on how some unique ways students travel to school can be found here: 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/07/health/school-transportation-parenting-without-borders-intl/index.html

Another good reason to teach people about transportation is to stress the importance of safety like crossing the road and how to behave when in cars for their own well-being. 

Examples of Child Safety Activities Can Found Here:

https://classroom.synonym.com/teach-transportation-preschoolers-8187987.html

Why Walk to School?

If it is safe and logistically possible, parents/guardians can walk to school with their children. Experts say there are many benefits to strolling to school and back again. 

Firstly, it is good exercise as studies have shown that kids who walked to school in kindergarten had lower BMI scores in fifth grade while the 7-year study of 1700 high school students in New England, USA, predicted that rates of obesity would decrease by 22 percent if middle schoolers walked or cycled to school four or five days a week.

A student’s academic performance is shown to improve if they walk; research has shown students who walk have higher academic results, greater cognitive performance and improved executive functioning.

Lastly, walking is not only cheaper but also lessens emissions and is environmentally friendly. 

Transportation Options 

Hong Kong itself has one of the World’s best transportation systems and infrastructure. In 2020, itself, there were roughly, 8.930,000 million passenger journeys are made on Hong Kong’s public transport system

The highest number of those journeys is normally on the Mass Transit Railway and not only does it have a record breaking number of trips, the network is the largest in Hong Kong with about 266.3 Kilometers of train track.

In terms of buses, KMB is one of the largest road passenger transport operators in Hong Kong and in 2020, the total fleet carried an average of about 2.12 million passengers a day. The New World First Bus Services, also a large provider, carries an average of 348 000 passengers daily.

In 2020, there were roughly  3 341 green mini-buses vehicles while Red mini buses carried, on average, about 183 300 passengers a day.

Taxis all around the world have their own unique features and Hong Kong is no different. There are roughly 15,250 urban taxis (red), 2 838 New Territories taxis (green) and 75 Lantau taxis (blue) and they carry up to 650,000 people per day.

All children should have seen or experienced each of these modes of transport at some point and for many, it is an enjoyable experience. Many children’s perspectives of transportation are formed by how they see their parents/guardians travel. 

If parents/ adults took more greener (if logistically possible) forms of transportation like cycling or walking then these environmentally friendly habits could be passed onto their children. 

DIFFERENT FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION - ARTS AND CRAFT ACTIVITIES

Here are several different interactive hands-on activities tied to the concept of transportation and the various modes of vehicles that can help people travel from ‘A’ to ‘B’. 

Idea 1 - Windy Race

Make this as a race or challenge for kids to increase the excitement. This gives children the opportunity to experience how things move without much explanation. Use a table or door as a goal which gives them something to aim for. 

You will need a paper plate and tissue paper. Ask children to draw a vehicle on the tissue paper. Let them fanning their paper plate to blow the tissue paper to the goal. Beside paper plate, straw is an extended material you can use for this challenge. 

Idea 2 - Move the Car with Air

This activity is to teach children how things move with the air, how air can fill up a space, and how it can move things. For this experiment children can choose vehicles, pom-poms to put in front of the straw to try to move with the air pressure that flows from the child putting pressure on the bag. 

For this activity you will need:

Materials:

Simple Instructions:

  • Simply place the two kitchen sponges, one on top of the other, inside the plastic zip lock bag.
  • Place the drinking straw between the two sponges so that one end of the straw is inside the bag and the other end is sitting outside the bag.
  • Seal up the bag.
  • Blow into the straw to inflate the bag.
  • Now place a pom pom on a flat surface and place the bag behind them so that the straw is positioned to blow the car.
  • Press down hard on the sponges and watch the car move.

Idea 3 - Cardboard Box Racing Track

Here is a simple idea for a DIY toy that has the potential to become your child’s new favourite.

Materials: What You Need: 

  • Toy Cars
  • Cardboard box (a light coloured one)
  • Pencil, black paint, paintbrush
  • Knife - optional (we used a craft knife)

Instructions: 

  • Draw a road on each side of your cardboard box. 
  • We drew them in the shapes of letters A, B and C but you can choose any shapes or letters you like (the shapes can connect to make a longer road). 
  • Letter O or S will work nicely as a road or you can go for your child’s initials! 
  • Paint the roads black, leaving white stripes in the middle of the roads. 
  • Take your toy cars for a ride on each of the roads you made, turning the box when needed.
  • For extra fun, cut out holes along the roads (an adult needs to cut them out), drop the car in one of the holes and let your child find a way to rescue the car. 
  • Will they put their hand inside the hole or hold the box upside down and shake the car out? Try and find out!

Follow Up Activities To Try

Turn a large cardboard box into a car and invite your child to sit inside and pretend they are driving.

Join this catchy singalong on transport and have fun making sounds for every vehicle in the song: We All Go Travelling By

Watch this farmer driving his tractor and see what animals he picks up on the way: Driving My Tractor

Idea 4 - Create a Straw and Paper Aeroplane

Here’s another DIY paper toy for you to try! 

Materials - What You Need 

  • Straw (paper ones will be best but use what you can find in your cupboard)
  • Paper (construction or coloured paper) 
  • Felt tip pens or crayons
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape

Instructions:

  • Cut one short and one long strip out of paper.
  • Let your child decorate them with pens or crayons.
  • Connect the ends of the strips with tape so that they are shaped into circles.
  • Tape your smaller circle to one end of the straw and your larger circle to the other end. Your plane is ready!
  • Find a safe target (such as a bed or a sofa) and aim your plane at it. Throw it and watch it gently fly across the room.

Follow up activities to try

Look at other means of air transport: helicopters, hot air balloons, rockets. Try these crafts that fly! 

Here is our favourite hot air balloon singalong: Up, Up, Up.

Get moving with these aeroplane yoga videos: Aeroplane Pose and an exciting sequence for the little ones: Space Picnic - Kids Yoga and Nursery Rhymes

Idea 5 - Float Your Boat - Sensory

Many children love playing with water and will engage with this sensory activity for longer periods of time (make sure they are always supervised while playing with water). They will develop fine motor skills by squeezing toys and squirting water. Free and uninterrupted play will allow them to deeply engage with their experience and enjoy the process.

What You Need:

  • Rubber boats (or any other floating toys you have)
  • Blue washable paint or a drop of blue food colouring
  • Container for the water (older children could use the sinkor, the younger ones can play in a plastic tub)
  • A Drop of Bubble Bath

What to Do:

  • Fill your container with water, add a drop of blue colour and bubble bath. 
  • Drop your floating toys in the water and let your child play. 
  • Show your child how to squeeze the toys to spray water out of them. 
  • Point the stream of water at other boats to make them rock on the water.

Idea 6 - Park the Car 

Materials - What You Need

  • A few Toy Cars 
  • Masking Tape 
  • Piece of Paper or Cardboard
  • Felt tips 

What to Do:

  • On a piece of paper, draw a few parking spaces and mark it down with numbers or counters. 
  • Write a number on the masking tape and stick it on the car. 
  • Now ask your child to match the cars with the parking spaces. 

Idea 7 - How to Build a Toilet Paper Roll Balloon Car

Some children would love to construct their own moving cars from simple items. In this instance children can craft a balloon car using the items below. Parental  guidance is advised for this activity 

Materials Needed: 

  • Toilet Paper Roll Balloon Car Supplies Needed
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Masking tape
  • Paper straws
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glue / Super Glue (Parent / Guardian Should Supervise) 
  • Balloon
  • Rubber band

Instructions:

  • Cut a U shape in the cardboard tube to make the opening for toys to sit in the car. Fold the U up and cut it again to make it smaller.
  • Paint the toilet paper tube white and set it out to dry.
  • Let kids decorate their cars with markers, stickers or paint.
  • Hot glue the wheels on and it’s ready to play with. Vroom Vroom!

Further Instructions, on how to build the Model Cars, can be found here:

Idea 8 - How to Make a Parachute 

Why not learn about gravity and motion and combine it with interactive hands on work and create a simple parachute. Children can learn about air resistance and gravity as they safely drop objects from a height.

This activity can be extended further by tying different weighted items to the parachute and see the different times to which items fall to the ground. 

Materials:

  • Parachute material – For Example - Carrier Bags, Envelopes and Ziplock Bags
  • Tapestry Needle (Large-eyed needle)
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Loom Bands (Optional)
  • Loom Band S Clips (Optional)
  • Scissors (Please ensure parental supervision before using)
  • Sharpie permanent markers

Different Instructions on How to Make a Parachute below:

Idea 9 - Make Your Own Zipline 

Children can enjoy the rush of fresh air and items moving at super speeds at home by building their own zipline. With adult guidance, the ziplines can stretch out in areas like corridors though of course, adapt for your home accommodation. 

Materials:

  • Toilet Paper 
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Making Tape
  • Markers
  • Long String or Lanyard 
  • Two Chairs (or something similar) to Tie 

Instructions on How to Make An InDoor Zipline

For Reference: 

By Queenie Wu, Catherine Ho, Neetu Sharma, Ania Gradkowska, Christopher Lau