I have this photo of my twins from when they were toddlers where they are both trying to squeeze through the front door at the same time with wide google eyes. What were they so eagerly trying to get outside to see? Trucks of course.
The neighbors across the street were having some major work done on their house and a digger and dump truck had taken up residence on the corner. I doubt that the neighborhood was overly thrilled about the commotion and dust, but my toddlers thought it was the best thing ever. A construction site right across the street.
Most toddlers go through a phase of being infatuated by these giant machines. When you stand less than 2 feet tall I can only imagine how huge these trucks look when they rumble past. The noise. The bright color. The immense-ness of it all…
Now that I’m thinking about it I am kind of wondering why were aren’t all in awe of construction trucks.
Anyways, if you have a toddler who loves trucks then you are going to be super excited. The Virtual Book Club for Kids theme for this week is Construction and one of our favorite books is the featured story. So grab your construction hats and get ready!
Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table. At the table there is an invitation of some sort that works on another one of the developmental skills they are building. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!
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Read. Our 11 Favorite Books about Construction
Construction books are plentiful so it is sometimes hard to narrow down which ones to add to your collection. These are our absolute favorites. The ones that we are still reading years after that initial toddler construction truck fascination.
1. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker*
This is the * featured book for this unit and with good reason. It is a hit. A bestseller and for a good reason. What toddler doesn’t want to end their day by saying goodnight to their beloved construction trucks? I cannot possibly count how many times I have read this to our twins. A pure delight.
2. I Love Trucks! By Philemon Sturges
Fun and simple. This is a perfect truck book for toddlers!
3. Trucks by Byron Barton
Bryon Barton is a master of nonfiction for young kids. This has simple language and illustrations. Your toddler will read this again and again and again.
4. Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
Emma Garcia has a darling collection of energetic board books for little guys. This is one of our favorites. Check them all out!
5. Big Wheels by Anne Rockwell
How do all of those big trucks get all of their important work done? On big wheels of course. Anne Rockwell is another master of nonfiction for little kids. I’d consider this just a little step up in complexity and length from Bryon Barton’s work. Perfect for slightly older toddlers.
6. Dump Trucks by Linda D. Williams
I think my kids loved this book because of the photographs. Cute illustrated trucks are fun, but sometimes it is nice to see the real deal.
7. Trucks Go by Steve Light
This is another great series for toddlers. Steve Light is one of my most favorite authors for kids and this is one of my favorite books. It is full of awesome truck noises and fun bright illustrations. My five year olds still adore this one.
8. Demolition by Sally Sutton
The illustrations are beautiful in this book, which is a bit surprising given the topic. This covers the fun topic of knocking things down and really what is more fun than that?
9. Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo
Full of all kinds of vehicle favorites and lots of repetitive language that make this book a fun read aloud. Another great book for toddlers.
10. Alphabet Under Construction by Denise Fleming
Watch a little mouse build an alphabet one letter at a time. There aren’t any trucks involved in this one, but it has some awesome construction vocabulary.
11. Giant Vehicles by Rod Green
This is one for children that are a little bit older. It has awesome truck sketches and tons of flaps that you get to open to learn more about the largest vehicles in the world. My son finds this book utterly fascinating.
Songs + Rhymes about Construction Trucks
What Do You See? Construction Trucks from Dream English Kids (Watch on YouTube)
Bumpity Bumpity Goes the Dump Truck from Jbrary (Watch on YouTube)
Group Activity about Construction
Constructing a Story Printable and Kids Book List from Chickadee Lit
This is a great activity from one of my co-hosts for teaching kids about the basic parts of a story and to work on the skill of retelling a story. See more great activities from my co-hosts below!
Table Invitations about Construction
After story time, we moved to the table and did a fun sorting activity. It works on color recognition, sorting objects, and builds construction vocabulary as you use the pretend trucks to move the counters.
Digger Color Sort with Loose Parts
Bottle Caps of Varying Color (or other objects / loose parts)
Provide the kids with a large collection of loose parts that are a variety of colors. We used bottle caps, but gems, buttons, plastic counters, etc would work. Put the bottle caps in a pile.
Explain that there is a huge mess at the construction site! The construction trucks need to organize the mess. Can they help sort all of the bottle caps by color to organize the construction site?
Provide each child (or pair or children) with a digger. Older toddlers and preschoolers should be able to manage this task without much more instruction. Encourage them to Vrrrooom! and BeepBeep! as they drive and back up their truck.
For younger toddlers: provide them with a visual for each color. You can use the FREE printable below to help designate a spot for each color in your work space. It is helpful for them to have something to match each bottle cap to when they are sorting.
For younger toddlers: you will also want to use fewer colors. I recommend having them sort just 2 or 3 colors at a time until they are more confident with this skill.
More Construction Themed Table Activities
Making stations or setting up centers to go with your Construction themed story time? Look no further. Here are some great ideas from my Virtual Book Club for Kids co-hosts:
Construction Truck STEM from Building Beams from Preschool Powol Packets
ABC Dig + Construct Site from Growing Book by Book
Construction Themed Letter Crafts from Book and Giggles
Cloud Dough Construction Site Sensory Bin from Powerful Mothering
Digging Up and Sorting Construction Equipment from JDaniel4’s Mom
Design and Build a Truck from Mama Smiles
Construction Site Counting Game from To Be a Kid Again
Rock Cakes from Rainy Day Mum
Magnetic Construction Site from The Educators’ Spin On It
Painting with Trucks from Clare’s Little Tots
4 Easy Construction Play Ideas from Toddler Approved
Number Construction Site Sensory Bin from Adventures of Adam
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Join us next week for our Gingerbread themed Virtual Book Club feature the book The Gingerbread Man by Aylesworth