You may have noticed your preschooler’s eyes widen as you drive by a construction site, tipping you off to his innate urge to gravitate toward destructive things. This type of construction equipment is meant to uproot, level and knock stuff over, a scenario very familiar to moms with young kids. Might as well work with the inevitable and plan some bulldozer activities to channel that energy.
You can find books on any subject, including themed books on construction workers and community helpers. Introduce the bulldozer theme by reading some children’s books, such as “B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC” by June Sobel, “At a Construction Site (Wheels at Work)” by Don Kilby or “Construction Trucks” by Jennifer Dussling.
2. Sensory Table
Sensory tables offer your preschooler something to stick his little hands into. Fill a sensory table, shallow rectangle plastic bin or sandbox with beach sand. Toss in some wooden blocks, plastic trees, little people and a small bulldozer toy and let your preschooler go. He’ll probably add his own engine sounds in to complete the task. These sounds must add extra horsepower to the bulldozer engine to get the job done.
3. Bulldozer Shoebox
Turn an ordinary shoebox into some construction equipment. Wrap a shoebox with white paper. Let your preschooler paint it yellow. Have him cut some wheels and windows for his bulldozer. When the paint is dry, he can glue these on with a glue stick. Fold a 3-inch by 24-inch piece of cardboard in half and tape it to the front of the bulldozer to be the blade.
4. Dress Up
Hand over some reflective clothing, a hardhat and a toolbox and you’ve got yourself an instant bulldozer driver. Kids love to dress up, so keep these clothes handy in a trunk or designated laundry basket. Throw in some other random clothes and this dress-up kit will never accumulate dust.
As you may have noticed, kids enjoy toppling things and running things over. Why not swap that destructive tendency for a more constructive bulldozer activity. Have your preschooler make a building with wooden blocks. Then hand him a play bulldozer and have him knock the building over. This could turn into an hour long afternoon activity. Tell him he can only knock over the blocks to help protect your toes, the cat and your potted plants.
6. Doughy Construction
Let your preschooler leave his tracks in this sticky situation. Open up a container or two of play dough and place it on the table. Squish it down slightly with your palm. Let him roll his bulldozer over the play dough hills and leave his mark as he goes. Wash the bulldozer wheels off when he is done.
- Western Illinois University: Dramatic Play
- B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC; June Sobel
- At a Construction Site (Wheels at Work); Don Kilby
- Construction Trucks; Jennifer Dussling
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images