Make a stop sign and teach your toddler its significance.

Highway Sign Crafts for Toddlers

by Anne Reynolds

Your toddler is securely strapped into her car seat and ready to hit the road. Whether your destination is the mall or leaving for a longer cross-country vacation, driving is the perfect time to introduce your child to the various highway signs encountered along the way. Make creative crafts to reinforce the importance and meaning of these signs.

1. Shapes

Each highway sign is fashioned from a specific shape and denotes a particular meaning. Octagons tell you to “stop,” diamonds warn you about potential obstacles, while squares guide you along the way to your destination point. Cut out different highway shapes from construction paper, cardboard or templates printed online. Glue on craft sticks and position in various pieces of foam. Set a highway sign on a table. Demonstrate what a toy car does when it encounters that shape along the road. Make bigger signs and attach to short pieces of dowels. Hold up each sign as your tot rides a bike. Tell your child to follow the directions indicated by the shape of the sign.

2. Colors

Highway signs are painted certain colors for a reason. The three predominant colors used are red meaning stop, yellow cautioning to slow down and green guiding you along your route. Print out or make blank calendar squares. Color each square red, yellow or green. Match corresponding shapes with correct highway sign colors. Fill a jar with small pieces of colored tissue paper. Draw various highway sign shapes on white paper and cut out. Hide the shapes around the house and search for each shape with your toddler. As you find a shape, tape the correct color to the shape. Save the octagon stop sign for last to signify the end of the game.

3. Traffic Lights

Traffic lights help cars proceed on a busy highway’s on-ramp. Make three traffic lights using paper lunch bags. Draw three circles on each bag. Color the top circle of the first bag red. Color the next bag’s middle circle yellow, and the last bag’s bottom circle green. Instruct your child to run when she sees the green circle, walk when you hold up the yellow circle and stop when you flash the red circle. Make mini cupcakes and frosting. Divide the frosting into three bowls and mix red, green and yellow food coloring into each separate bowl. Place the cupcakes in random order on your kitchen table. Tell your child to arrange cupcakes according to the correct order on a traffic light. Count how many traffic lights are made and then enjoy as a snack.

4. Warnings Regarding Construction

Construction signs not only redirect traffic away from highway workers, they also provide pertinent information for drivers. Make a template for an orange detour sign and trace several copies on orange poster board. Post detour signs in your house altering a route your child normally takes to go from one room to the next. Demonstrate the difference. Create construction cones out of cylinder paper cups. Paint each cup orange and glue the openings to orange square pieces of construction paper.

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