Transport Teaching Theme Ideas

Are you looking for some imaginative transport teaching theme ideas that will inspire the kids in your class?

The activities below cover all strands of the curriculum. They include literacy, science, history and transport themed songs to wind down with at the end of the day, as well as much more!

I have tried to chose tasks that:

a] Motivate our children to find answers for themselves

b] Encourage them to work as a team

c] Teach them how to solve problems

These qualities are what we, as educators, aim for in our pupils every day of our teaching career. Sometimes with more difficulty than we imagine!

Anyhow please dip into the ideas below and get planning!

Transport Activities Worksheets

Would you like some worksheets to go with your transport theme?

My ebook contains 14 fabulous activities for you to use at home or in your classroom. From coloring sheets to 'dot to dot' and even a wordsearch.

Find out more

Ideas for the Home Corner

There are several transport teaching theme ideas you can adopt for your dramatic play area.

Take a glance at the ideas below!

     •    A Submarine

     •    A Jet  Airline

     •    A Pirate ship

For some more Pirate teaching ideas go to Pirate Teaching Theme

     •    A Space Rocket    

For more Space activities go to Space Activities for Kids

     •    A Hot Air Balloon

I have found from past experience when you get the kids involved in the building of their play area you find they are more likely to get stuck in!

Let them loose in the junk modelling area to make their own microwave or washing machine. Ask them what they think is a' must have' in a Victorian kitchen or what kind of food the astronauts keep in their spaceship. It takes a bit longer but is a great way to get them enthused at the start of a topic.

Transport teaching theme bulletin board ideas

Literacy Activities

Below are just a few literacy activity ideas to get you started on your transport teaching theme

     • Write an advert for a job aboard a submarine, pirate ship or space ship.       

     • Make up some safety rules and procedures. You can download my transport safety rules worksheet here.

     • Create you own application form for the job you are advertising. 

     • Write a menu for the restaurant aboard your mode of transport

     •  Design a customer complaint form

     •  Make a list of clothes you would take with you if you went to the moon for your holiday.      

     •  Write a letter to your parents telling them what it is like on the moon or under the sea.            

     •   Learn how to read a map and draw one of your own.

     •  Write a diary of '' A day in the life of a--------''

     •  Make up some special coded messages .

     •  Write a weather report for the Pirate Ship or the Hot Air             Balloon.

I have some weather vocabulary ideas that you might find useful.        

  • Make luggage Labels or passports for their holidays.

Maths Activities for your Transport Teaching Theme

Most of these math activities for your transport teaching theme will evolve naturally during the children's play. But some interaction from you might just be needed to get the most out each activity!

  1. Make a number plate for their 'box' vehicle. Perhaps they could design a personalised plate with their initials on!
  2. Create a car wash for their vehicles and provide a calculator for them to enter a code into.
  3. Car sort. Put a selection of toy cars on the table and ask the children to sort them . Allow them to use their own ideas and ask them afterwards what criteria they used..
  4. Measure their junk model vehicles with non standard units .
  5. Make a car for a teddy out of junk materials. Help them to decide what size of box they need to chose for their bear to fit comfortably into!  
  6. Make a vehicle out of 2D or 3D shapes and ask them to tell you what shapes they have used.
  7. What happens when you send a toy car down a ramp? Try different sized cars. Measure the distances they travel and discuss results. Do the larger ones go further than the smaller ones? If so why do they think this is?Can they make the car go even faster? If so, how have they done this?
  8. Ask the kids how many toy cars they think they can fit into a sock? Let them try. If they put all big cars in their sock, would there be more or less? Allow them to experiment with different sized cars and record the results. 


This is a list of our favourite classroom songs. All perfect for a transport teaching theme. You will find most of them are on 'u tube'! So if you type in the name of the song and whether you want the music or lyrics or both I can guarantee you will be lucky with the majority of them! 

Transport Teaching Theme - car
  • The Wheels on the bus .
  • Take you Riding in my Car
  • 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer
  • Piggy on the Railway
  • Puff-a Train
  • I Ride my Little Bicycle
  • A Sailor went to Sea, Sea, Sea.
  • Bobby Shaftoe
  • Row, Row Row the Boat
  • The Big Ship Sails through the Ally, Ally Oh.
  • My Ship Sailed from China 
  • Michael Row the Boat ashore.
  • 5 Little Firemen
  • Down upon the Station .

R.E. for your Transport Theme

Even RE could be introduced into your transport teaching theme. Here are some ideas.

• Talk about transport in Jesus' time.

• Investigate how people  got around in the times of the old Testament.

• Read the story of Daedalus and Icarus

• Design a labyrinth with a theme such as colours of the rainbow or senses.             

• Make a finger labyrinth.To find out more about labyrinths and how to make them.check out the 'Labyrinth Society website       . 


Science Activities : Floating and Sinking

Kids love playing in the water tray so introducing floating and sinking into your transport teaching theme will be easy! Below are just a few ideas to get the kids interested.

You might like to take a look at Pre-school Science Activities for some more fun teaching ideas!

  • Put everyday objects in water and sort them into sets of things according to criteria: floats /doesn't float
  • Children make boats out of junk using different materials ie wood, plastic , paper,  polystyrene  etc.  Test them to see which floats the longest.
  • Can children make a boat that will carry  objects?  How many do you have to put in the boat before it sinks?
  • Try floating different materials such as foil,  pieces of material,  cotton wool , feathers , sponges, grease proof paper, paper and paper towel. Record which materials stay afloat the longest.
  • What changes do you notice and what happens when you push the floaters to the bottom of the tray?   Write down your observations.
  • Put floaters in different strengths of salt solutions .  What do you notice?
  • Try floating ice cubes.  Observe what happens.
  • Investigate how you can make a sinker float.
  • Investigate displacement.  Put different size objects in a jar full of water.  What do you notice? Record results.

Pushes and Pulls

Science related tasks are always a great way to get kids involved in a topic. Pushes and pulls can sound rather dull but if you chose the right activities it can be a great way of encouraging the kids to solve problems. An important part of the learning process.

So take your pick from some of the transport teaching theme ideas below and watch how the kids get fired up!

•  Getting dressed and undressed.  Get the children to notice what kind of force they use to take their jumper off.Then do the same putting it on again. Is it a push or a pull or both? Get them to do it again slowly and shout out 'push' or 'pull' as they proceed through the task!

• Moving about in the hall. The children investigate moving slowly and moving quickly, stopping and changing direction.

• Move a heavy box. How is it easier to move? To push or pull it? Let the kids have a go You could discuss the Egyptians and the problems they must have had moving those giant stones when they made the pyramids. What do we use today?

• Mime opening a door or pulling a cracker or riding a bike.  What force is used?

• Nothing moves on its own. Everything needs a push or a pull. Some need more force than others.Once something starts to move it will need a force to make it stop. Heavy things need a stronger force to stop them than a lighter objects

• Children can investigate all the above with different weighted cars.

• Try sending cars down a ramp. Which car goes the furthest/fastest? How can we make a fair test? Allow time for their predictions.

• Allow the kids to report back to the class and explain their  results.

• Discuss dangers of moving objects  In the park or on the road or even in the playground. Why would it be dangerous to try and stop a moving object?

Transport Teaching Theme: Art Ideas

Transport Teaching Theme - Futuristic Car Idea
  • Design , draw and label a car from the future. What futuristic gadgets could it have inside and out?

     • Look at road signs .  Design a new one of your own

     • Design a Grand Prix race track using parallel lines .

  • Give each of 2 kids a tube of different coloured acrylic paint and let them have a race, They squirt   the paint round the track keeping on the inside of the parallel lines. Whoever is the first one to arrive at the finishing line is the winner! [ good for fine motor control!]

     • Design and draw your own racing car.

  • Make 3d road signs. Draw large road signs on card. Cut each one out and paint it in appropriate colours.
  • Draw a road layout in the outside play area and use your road signs here.
  • Make a car out of a cardboard box for your road. Paint it with acrylic paint, [don't forget the number plate!] then cut out the bottom so they can grab the sides and tear round the play road to their hearts content! Be careful to stop at the traffic lights though!
  • Make a pirate ship or a space craft out of cardboard boxes.


I never mention the word 'history' when introducing the following tasks to the kids because it puts them off straight away.  I usually start this part of the topic with a story. 'Mr Gumpy's Outing' is a good choice.

[see book list below]

Then during circle time having read the story through once, I talk to the children about how Mr Gumpy's car is different from cars they see today. I try and have some pictures of old cars as well as new ones so we can discuss the differences and similarities. Also we try and make a collection of old and new toy cars for the classroom. Below are just a few activities you can do to bring history into your transport teaching theme.

  • Investigate old cars. How are they different from modern ones?
  • Find out about the first aeroplanes . Who was the first person to fly in one?
  • Who invented the first train?
  • Look at pictures of the penny-farthing .  Why do you think we don't ride them today?
  • What makes racing bikes different from mountain bike

Transport Teaching Theme:
Story Books

All of the books below can be found on Amazon. If you should want to buy any of them, just click on the title.

They all fit into the Transport Theme well and the kids love a good story! So do try and use one at least in your topic.

Mr Gumpy's Outing    J. Burningham

Mr Gumpy's Motor Car.    J. Burningham

Bears on Wheels.    Stan and Jan Bernstein

Mrs Armitige on Wheels.  Quentin Blake

Hey Get off our Train!   J Burningham

Hop on Pop.   Dr Zeus

My Truck is Stuck.  Kevin Lewis

If I built  a car   Chris Van Dusen

Who was Amelia Earhart?  Nancy Boehm

Whatever Next?  Jill Murphy

I hope you have found some of these ideas useful and if so please check out some more ideas on my site.


The Art of Science  B Hume and C Galton  [Belair]

Art for all seasons  M. Barnes  [Belair]

A Corner to learn  Neil Griffiths   [Belair]

Go to TopTeachingIdeas Home from Transport Teaching Theme


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