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Have fun with your kids - that's what it's all about. If you're looking for fun places to go in Rochester, NY (ROC), awesome
crafts to make, and yummy treats to bake with your kids - as well as some ideas for Date Nights - then you've come to the
right place. Welcome to ROCmomma. Happy reading, and please share your comments. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Backyard Summer Camp: Things That Go Week

If your kids are fans of cars, trucks, trains, and planes, then this Backyard Summer Camp theme week is for them. There are plenty ideas to get you started here, plus have fun allowing your kids to come up with their own.

By the way, in case you've missed them, be sure to check out Wacky Sports WeekUnder the Sea WeekOuter Space WeekIn Our Neighborhood WeekDinosaur WeekMessy Stuff WeekGames WeekAnimals Week, and Pirates Week, too. Enjoy.

Things That Go

Active Play
  • Backyard Car Wash. Materials: shaving cream (foam, not gel), toy cars, containers, a hose. Instructions:  for each child, fill a container with shaving cream for the car wash; fill a second container with water to rinse the cars. When the fun is done, hose everything off and leave them out to dry.
  • Chalk Roadway. With sidewalk chalk on the driveway (or painter’s tape indoors), this is perfect for racing toy cars around.
  • Marble Race Track.  PARENTS ONLY: Cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise with a serrated knife for instant marble race tracks. Add an empty box to catch the marbles at the end. 
  • Wash the car! Grab a bucket and some sponges or rags, and let the kids go crazy. Be sure to lock the doors first to prevent your helpful little ones from washing the inside. (Yes, it’s happened.) If your kids are too young to wash the car, turn this into a field trip and drive the car through a car wash together.

Washing the real car...
..."washing" the toy cars.
Quiet Play
  • Make box cars. (large boxes, paint) Although when we tried this, it turned into painting a vehicle onto a small box. Oh well; it was still fun!
  • Make paper airplanes and race them.
  • Clothespin Airplanes. Materials: clothespins, popsicle sticks, paint, glue. Check out the link for easy instructions. 
  • Make and race bottle-cap sailboats. Materials: cap from gallon of milk; glue dot; toothpick; triangle of felt, paper, or foam, container for water. Instructions: Attach a triangle of felt, paper, or foam to a toothpick. Place a glue dot inside the bottle cap and insert toothpick into the glue. Fill a container about half-way with water and launch your sail boat. Older kids may want to try a milk carton sail boat.
  • Make a counting maze or analphabet maze – kids can drive a toy car through the maze, following the numbers or letters in order.
  • Paint with vehicles. Pour washable tempera paints onto paper plates; have kids drive through the paint with toy vehicles, then run the vehicles over paper to compare the tracks they make.
  • Use Play-Doh to make your favorite things that go; or flatten Play-Doh and drive different toy vehicles over the dough to make tracks.
  • Color-Sorting Parking Lot: use painter’s tape in a rainbow of colors to create a parking lot on the floor (alternatively, line up pieces of construction paper); gather toy vehicles and “drive” them to their appropriate parking space by matching the vehicle color to the tape (or paper).
  • Make LEGO vehicles
  • Read stories about cars, trucks, planes, trains, boats, etc.
  • Write a story together about the fastest car ever. Let kids illustrate.
Painting box cars
...or painting cars on boxes.
Bottle-cap Boat Races
Closer look at the bottle-cap boat.
Painting with vehicles.
Play-Doh roads for toy cars.
Field Trips
  • Visit the airport and watch planes take off & land.
  • Play and picnic at a park near train tracks to watch for trains that pass by. (Rochester Area: Kings Bend Park in Pittsford, NY and Perinton Park in Fairport, NY each have train tracks on the perimeter)
  • Attend an airplane show in your area.
  • Visit a train museum or model train display. (Rochester Area: Visit the NY Transportation Museum and take aride on the trolley on Sundays only, or visit the Edgerton Model Railroad on the last Saturday of each month)
  • Go for a walk along a nearby canal or river to watch the things that go. (Rochester Area: walk along the Erie Canal to see boats and kayaks)
  • Go to the library for books about cars, trucks, planes, trains, boats, etc. Some examples: Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey-Rinker, Cars Galore by Peter Stein, Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo & Alex Ayliffe, Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton & Tom Lichtenheld, The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore, Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry, Thomas & Friends series by Rev. W. Awdry, Terrific Trains by Tony Milton, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince, Bob the Builder series, Road Work Ahead by Anastasia Suen, and books by Kate & Jim McMullan: I'm Dirty, I'm Fast, I'm Mighty, I Stink.

We hope you enjoy your Things That Go Week! Be sure to Post a Comment with your favorite ideas for this theme. As always, thanks for reading.

P.S. If you like this post, check out Kids Birthday Party Idea: Race Cars for even more ideas.


  1. Great post Kim! If you want some computer games for your quiet play you can check out www.earlylearningcollaborative.org under the PlayGround tab, let me know what you think!

    1. Aliza, I always love it when you stop by ROCmomma! Thanks for the link; those games look really cute. I'm going to show the boys later to keep them busy while I'm making dinner. :) Thanks again!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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