Jacksonville is a very unique city - it's on the coast, but it's also "the River City", and has an extensive downtown area. For little boys who are always on the move, it provides the perfect backdrop for a "Things That Go" themed week of summer fun!
On the first day of our week, we went on a Jacksonville transportation exploration (say THAT 5 times, really fast!). We started off by taking the Jacksonville Ferry. It's only $6/car, so totally affordable, and loads of fun!
Next, we drove downtown, and picked up the Skyway - a monorail that is free and part of the city's public transportation. We were totally a suburban family excited to be on/taking pictures of public transportation, but whatever! So much fun!
While we were out and about, he also got to push the button for the crosswalk, and check out a map!
Riding public transportation in your own city is a wonderful way to have new experiences and make some fun discoveries! You'll be surprised by all the fun things you'll find!
For example, a fun Willy Wonka-esque candy shop called Sweet Pete's, Hemming park had these wonderful, gigantic foam building blocks, and the main library downtown has the nicest Children's Library I've ever seen!
Which leads me to my first section: books.
We love The Little Blue Truck books! They are perfect for teaching the sounds vehicles as well as animals make!
I also enjoy Richard Scarry's books, you can find them on target.com. And, of course no week about transportation is complete without "The Wheels On The Bus". We also found a sweet book titled Choo Choo by Petr Horacek at our favorite little book shop on the beach, The BookMark.
All that reading makes a little boy hungry! It must be snack time!
I've seen a few ideas for traffic light snacks, but most of them used M&Ms for the red, yellow and green lights. I was trying to think of a healthier alternative, and came up with this:
I toasted some oatmeal bread, cut it into a rectangle, spread Nutella on top, and placed a half of a cherry, a slice of banana and had a grape on top. (Don't forget to cut round fruits in half to avoid choking - note next picture.)
Needless to say, it was a HIT!
Now that our bellies are full, we can move on to activities!
I found a great recipe for a kid-friendly and edible play dirt recipe at coolestfamilyontheblock.com. It calls for 1 large packet of instant pudding mix, one cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of water and 3 tbsp oil. It turned out perfectly, and was great for our construction themed sensory box! (As her blog says, while it's edible, it is not meant to be a snack. Just not harmful for those, like Aidan who still put everything in their mouths!)
A couple days later, after we'd had our fill of fun, I emptied out the box, saved the dirt for later, poured in some baby shampoo, water, added some bottle brushes and turned it into a car wash sensory box!
This ended up being THE MOST fun Aidan had all week, AND he washed his toys, which was an added bonus!
I also made Aidan a traffic light matching game out of felt.
I already had felt and car ribbon, and just had to buy the velcro. All-in-all, a very fun and educational activity!
Staying with them traffic light idea, I gathered up some of Aidan's plates - red, yellow and green, and some red, yellow and green toys. Then, I let the sorting by color begin!
Of course, Aidan is blessed beyond measure, and has a plethora of transportation-themed toys too!
Aidan has this adorable greentoys.com tug boat, melissaanddoug.com train and Melissa and Doug chinky puzzle!
On to craft time!!!
I cut some rectangles, squares and circles, and had Aidan glue them on paper to make a train. Then, I gave him stickers which spelled out his name, and made it a "name train"!
Another day, I put a piece of paper in a ziplock bag, squirted some paint in it, put one of Aidan's trucks inside, with the idea that he would "drive" it around, and make track marks.
This actually majorly stressed him out, because he couldn't get to his truck, haha! But, the end result was pretty cool!
Let's close out with media:
We watched one of my all-time favorites, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! (On Netflix, if you want to watch it.) That Chitty is the trifecta! She is a car that can float and fly, so all modes are covered!