Pretty much all toddlers love tunnels and things that move. Here’s a quick way to combine them both and have an afternoon full of fun. You’ll need to prep the tunnel/road ahead of time. It takes about 10 minutes.
– file box or moving box
– construction paper- black & white for road and a variety of other colors to cover the box
1. Draw arches on both ends of box that are high enough for your child’s trucks/cars. Cut holes out of cardboard to create entrances/exits to tunnel.
2. Cut 2-3 pieces of black construction paper in half (lengthwise) to make 4-6 strips of paper. Tape them together to make a road that can fit through your box.
3. Cut little strips from the yellow paper to make double yellow lines along the road. Glue the yellow strips to road.
4. Use colored paper to cover the box. You can use either glue or tape to stick the paper onto the box. I always use tape because it is quicker.
5. Lay the dried road through the tunnel and start playing!
This activity provided for a lot of fun and the ahead of time prep was quick and easy. My little guy loved playing with the tunnel and it fostered a lot of good conversations.
For this activity I taught/practiced prepositions with my little guy… such as over, through, under, behind, in front of, in between, and around. I used prompts/questions like… “Can you make the car go over the tunnel?”… “I’m driving the car through the tunnel?” (while modeling what I am doing), “The truck is stuck behind the car.” Mostly we just played and had fun, but I narrated what we were doing to help teach some new vocabulary.
Idea from Gymboree Toddler Play by Wendy S. Masi