This floor road map activity is perfect for kids who love vehicles!
Having a cheap, indoor toddler activity that can entertain your child independently for an extended period of time is vital. For the child that loves to play with cars, the floor road map activity is the perfect play plan to have on hand.
Both of our kids loved to play with toy cars when they were babies and toddlers. We now at the end of preschool and beginning of kindergarten, the boys still frequently pull out our large bucket of vehicles to play with.
I love that when they choose to play with toy automobiles they are working on hand-eye coordination and hand dexterity all while having imaginative play.
When our younger son started crawling he would constantly pull the car bin off the shelf. His older brother loved this as he spent a great amount of independent playtime driving the toy cars on the sofa, the floor, the windowsills and on tabletops. Every surface that is drivable became a road!
Creating a play environment
While we were debating the idea of purchasing a car or train activity table for the boy, we wanted to see how much they would like being confined to a set driving space. I created a play environment to see if providing the boys a road map would enhance their play.
During one naptime, I grabbed some painter’s tape that was left over from a previous DIY project and I created a road map on our floor. I made the roads wide enough so even our largest cars could drive through the streets easily. Finally, I placed some of their favorite cars and trucks along the roads so our road map was ready for play.
When the boys came into the living room, the baby squealed with delight that the cars were out for play and my toddler clapped his hands with excitement to see the roads laid out. They sat down and began playing with the cars independently.
My older son loved to line the cars up and push them down the roads in a line. His little brother watched and then started rolling his car through the lines.
Adding buildings to your floor road map activity
After a few moments I decided that they needed to have some buildings to give their city a 3-D effect, so I collected some empty boxes from the recycling bin, grabbed the empty car toy bin and added them to the blank spaces of the road map.
Adding the buildings created a challenge for my toddler, as it required more cautious movements through the city. He enjoyed circling the same building with his lined up cars to test it out the addition.
The building addition was more of an obstacle for my younger son. He started collecting cars in one area near a box. We declared that this was a parking lot and cars soon came and went from this area.
We have been working on “Stop and Go” with our kids and this was the perfect opportunity to continue practicing. I would say “go” and our toddler would push his cars while baby would roll his car or wave it in the air.
When I said “stop” they both froze (and usually giggled). Then we repeated the game. After a few rounds of the game, my older son would attempt to repeat stop or go when I said them.
The boys played with their cars on the road map independently and together very well. Never once did they leave with a car to drive it away from the area. We did have a little driving on one of the building boxes, but maybe it was a parking deck.
A great indoor activity throughout the years!
As a military family we have lived in locations where we are stuck inside for extended periods of time because of storms. We’ve had to dig out of snowstorms and we’ve waited out hurricanes and tropical storms. Additionally we’ve had to stay for extended periods of time at a hotel during a PCS.
Keeping your young children entertained can be challenging in any of these situations. Having the floor road map as a cheap, indoor toddler activity that can entertain your child independently for an extended period has definitely been a sanity saver!
While we did eventually purchase a train table, we have still used the floor road map play plan in all of these situations throughout the years!
The floor road map is not only a great toddler activity, but is wonderful for any child who likes to play with vehicles. The creativity of making a city can be fun for younger elementary students as well making this play plan a long-term winner!
- cognitive development: understanding stop/go; experimenting with cause and effect
- physical skills: strengthening hand-eye coordination and improving hand dexterity;
- engaged senses – touch, sight, and hearing
- creating a traffic light to enhance stop/go learning
- have child participate in decorating landscape and buildings
Level of mess: