These transportation math activities for preschoolers get the kids engaged and excited about learning. You definitely need to add them to your own collection of math activities for preschoolers.
There’s just something about cars, trucks, trains, and planes that capture young children’s attention. Some children love anything and everything that moves, while others seem to pick one type to focus in on.
When my son was younger, it was all about the trains! And I’ve had students who were seriously into construction equipment, airplanes, and fast cars. What are your students really into right now?
Transportation Math Activities for Preschoolers
Whichever transportation method they’re into, the kids are going to have a blast with the math ideas below. We’ve got a mix of hands-on activities and printables that support them.
Transportation Math Printables
Let’s kick things off with some preschool printables you can use with a transportation theme (or just because!). I put together a mini pack for you, and you can grab it at the very bottom of this post.
Related: Snack Math
The mini-pack includes:
- 12 number clip cards
- 4 number puzzles
- 2 dice games
I’ve used each of them with my preschool students, and everyone had fun. You can pair the printables with toy vehicles, loose parts, and math manipulatives to extend the math practice.
Prep and Use the Number Clip Cards
The clip cards help children with counting, fine motor skills, and one-to-one correspondence. They’re super simple, but they definitely deserve a place in your transportation math activities for preschoolers!
Print the number cards (use cardstock if you want them extra sturdy) and cut them apart. Then laminate the cards so they last longer.
How to use:
- Children can use clothespins with the number cards, pinning the clothespin on the appropriate number after counting the transportation vehicles.
- Give the kids toy vehicles to make this even more hands-on. For example, if they have a card with three cars on it, the kids grab three toy cars. Have them work together to match the pattern of the cars on the picture card. Then they determine the appropriate number to choose.
Prep and Use the Transportation Number Puzzles
These puzzles are self-correcting, as children can see if the picture is coming together correctly.
First, print out the number puzzles. Then cut the puzzles into strips and laminate them, if you want the puzzles to be reusable. The puzzles can also be printed out in greyscale for each child to use and take home.
How to use:
- Children can work independently or with a friend to complete the transportation math puzzles. Once the puzzles are assembled, children point to each and count.
- The puzzles can be completed, then broken apart (but kept in numerical order). Children can then bring out toy cars to match the numerals. Underneath the number 2, they place two cars. Under the number 5, they place five cars.
- If printing so each child gets a copy, the kiddos can cut the strips apart themselves.
- Then they’d mix them up and reassemble the puzzles.
- If they want, the children can glue the puzzle back together on a piece of construction paper.
Prep and Play the Dice Games
There’s just something about dice that preschoolers (and older kids) inherently seem to love! I think that’s why dice games always seem to be a hit with my students.
I usually have the kids play this game in pairs, with each person using a different color crayon. They share one piece of paper.
How to play:
- To begin, player 1 rolls a die and determines the amount of dots on the die. Then they find the appropriate numeral on the paper and colors it in.
- Next, player 2 goes and does the same.
- Play continues until there are no numbers left. Whoever has the most can take the paper home.
More Printable Transportation Math Activities
I couldn’t leave you with just one set of printables! Once you’ve grabbed mine at the bottom of this post, check out 7 more printables for your transportation theme. Click on the highlighted text links for more information.
Related: Transportation Theme Pinterest Board
Printable Train Numbers from Fun-A-Day (not pictured)
Truck Pattern Cards from The Measured Mom
Bus Calendar Numbers from Fun-A-Day (not pictured)
Racing Racecars Printable Game from Mama Jenn
Up in the Sky Counting Printables from Natural Beach Living
Transportation Pattern Block Mats from PreKinders
Cars Number Recognition Cards from Totschooling
Construction Site Counting Mat from Teaching with Children’s Books
Hands-On Transportation Math Activities for Preschoolers
Now let’s take a look at even more ideas for your transportation-lovin’ kids! You can definitely tweak these activities based on what items you have on-hand and the type of vehicles your students are into right now.
Related: Preschool Transportation Theme
Challenge your students to see how many cars equal one pound. This idea from The Educators’ Spin On It will have your students investigating with scales in no time.
Break out the fun manipulatives for a transportation sorting activity. Still Playing School used colorful vehicle manipulatives, but you can use whatever you have in the classroom.
Set up a numbers car wash like Inspired By Family. Cars AND spray bottles?! What’s not to love? Again, you can switch things up based your students’ specific interests.
And Next Comes L’s school bus shapes busy bag would be fun to assemble in your math center. You can even expand it by creating felt shapes for a variety of other vehicles.
Help the kids explore transportation sorting and graphing like Life Over Cs. I love how she used simple materials for a variety of low-prep transportation math activities for preschoolers to do.
Use the toy vehicles you already have for Mama.Papa.Bubba’s car and truck color sorting idea. Colorful construction paper comes in handy for this, as well.
Finally, try School Time Snippets’ counting trains activity. You can use number flash cards, printable numbers, or handwritten numbers for this counting invitation.
Now you have to decide which of these transportation math ideas you’re going to try first!
Transportation in the Preschool Classroom
These transportation math activities are a great place to start when planning a transportation theme for your students. But I’m sure the preschoolers in your life would be happy to play with vehicles all year long. Here are some transportation items to keep in your classroom for various learning activities, including free time!
I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
- Train set
- Train table
- Pull back vehicles
- Emergency vehicle set
- Small cars and trucks
- Toy planes and helicopters
- Monster truck toys
- STEM vehicles
- Road rug
- Track set
- Street sign set
- Toy school bus
These items are just suggestions, of course. Your preferences will change depending on how your classroom is set up, what your schedule is like, and the age of your preschoolers. Try a few different products out and see which spark the imaginations of your students the most. And which ones challenge the children the most. Either way, the kids are going to love the opportunity to play with the transportation items.
Preschool Transportation Lesson Plans
If you and the kids loved these transportation math activities for preschoolers, you need to check out Preschool Teacher 101’s transportation lesson plans.
The 150+-page lesson plan pack comes with book suggestions, weekly plans, detailed daily plans, skills checklist, and 15 related printables. Click the image below to grab it for yourself:
And our Transportation Circle Time Songs and Activities are worth checking out as well! They get the kids moving, singing, and exploring early literacy in fun ways. Click on the image below to get yours:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers
Materials for Your Transportation Math
Here are some items that pair well with your transportation math activities for preschoolers (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
Get the Free Transportation Math Printables
This transportation math printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re already a member, enter your information to get the printable sent to your email inbox.
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Originally published February 2015
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