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“All of those cars were once just a dream in somebody's head.” Peter Gabriel, Mercy Street

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Numeracy and Literacy

Car Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes to help develop pre literacy skills in Car Crazy Kids

I never really got into nursery rhymes with my Car Crazy Kid until very recently. We do plenty of singing together, usually when we’re out and about in the car we make up silly nonsense rhymes that we take turns singing.  They usually go something like this:

“Car Par pudding and pie

Kissed the letterbox and made it cry

When the trees came out to play

Car Par ran away”

 

I must admit I’d always thought of nursery rhymes as, well, a bit silly really. Cutting tails off blind mice, poor broken humpty who couldn’t be mended, Jack’s broken crown and poor old Miss Muffet being terrorised by a spider.  Really?  What is that sort of stuff meant to be teaching kids about the world?

Turns out I was wrong and that there’s a reason that nursery rhymes are beloved by children around the world. It also turns out that by memorising nursery rhymes it’s actually helping them to develop the language and learning foundations that will help them with literacy, reading and writing skills.  Apparently if a child has memorised 8 nursery rhymes by the time they’re 4, it’s highly predictive of being an accomplished reader by the age of 8.

Car Crazy Kid’s nanna is a bit of a YouTube gun and has found several car themed nursery rhymes that he just loves. I catch him singing them to himself throughout the day and he’ll often ask me what comes next if he can’t remember.  I’ve had to brush up on my humpty dumpty and incy wincey spider big time.

And we’ve got some new fodder for our silly songs while we’re driving in the car as a result of listening to kids nursery rhymes.

 

“One, two, my car’s blue

Three, four, hear it’s engine roar

Five, six, I’ll show you some tricks

Seven, eight I’m drivin’ straight

Nine, ten let’s race again”

 

These two free YouTube nursery rhyme channels will be loved by car crazy kids and before you know it you’ll be humming along too.

 

Vehicle Songs by Little Baby BumVehicle Songs by Little Baby Bum

There are some rather annoying ads throughout this but aside from that it’s a great little compilation interspersed with some road safety messages about using crossings and looking both ways. Apparently there is some type of free software that will remove the ads for you – but I’m not tech savvy enough for this (that’s Car Crazy Kid’s Nannas job!).

 

Car Nursery Rhymes, Songs and Videos by Little Red Car on Kid’s Channel

This one is Car Crazy Kid’s favourite, despite having the creepiest car spider you’ll ever see performing Incy Wincy Spider. It has all the classics, from Hickory Dickory Dock through to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  It’s all about the cars.

car nusery rythms
Hickory Dickory Dock featuring a car as a mouse AND the clock!

 

No affiliate links in this post, just some links to a couple of car crazy nursery rhymes on YouTube that parents of Car Crazy Kids will hopefully find as useful and fun as we have.  Who would have thought about combining vehicles and nursery rhymes together.

 

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Printable Roads: My Fave Free Car Games for Kids

Rainy day ideas for Car Crazy Kids

When I first discovered the world of free printables online, I admit I went a bit crazy myself.  There are so many amazing free car games for kids that you can simply print out at home for instant play and entertainment.  The toner in our laser printer copped a boot camp style workout and our  bargain laminator that we picked from Aldi recently has also been working overtime with all of these free printables.

When you have a Car Crazy Kid, roads in every form imaginable fill your waking and dreaming hours.  I’ve spent a fortune on various toys, roads and play mats to facilitate imaginative car play so it’s nice to come across some free car games for kids obsessed by wheels.

Here’s my Car Crazy Kid’s favourite top 3 printable roads

Picklebum’s Printable Roads

These are by far our favourite printable roads.  There are also some really cool printable street signs and traffic lights too.  There are so many things to love about these simple roads.  They can also be a great scissor practice exercise for older kids to cut out.

We printed ours on regular printer paper and then I laminated them as at the moment most of the Car Crazy Kids games end in total annihilation, destruction and spectacular road mangling car crashes.  The lamination saves our poor printer from working too much overtime. The downside with laminating them is that they slide around but this is easily fixed with a small piece of tape connecting each road together.

These printable roads worked for a while as stand alone road play props but their real beauty has been as highways joining other play roads around the house.  A little bit of effort to set up but we had several days straight play from these.  Like our car play mats, I rotate these type of roads to keep things fresh, so our Picklebum roads and road signs are currently on a rotation hiatus in the cupboard ready to re-excite in a few weeks time.   You’ll find Picklebum’s free printable roads here.

Highway numbers from Make Learning Fun

My Car Crazy Kid has become totally obsessed with numbers recently, almost to the point that we thought of changing his name to The Count.  He LOVED these number shaped roads.  I printed and then laminated for longevity.  They also have alphabet letters in upper and lower case which have also been printed and laminated.

As wonderfully educational as these roads look to adults, they didn’t spark the same level of open ended imaginary car play that plain roads and car play mats seem to stimulate.  Although the excitement level was super high, it wasn’t long lasting.  You can find the highway numbers and letters from Make Learning Fun here.

Disney’s Cars Radiator Springs Play Set

We have a set of mini plastic Car’s cars that I mistakenly bought off Ebay last year thinking that they were the normal diecast style and size.  They have been a firm favourite with the Car Crazy Kid ever since.  This free printable Radiator Springs play road works perfectly with these mini Cars.  Like the others, the road has been laminated for longevity and is the perfect size for travelling.  We haven’t printed off the mini paper car figurines that come as part of it but will do so the next time we have a long trip ahead of us.

Like the highway numbers, this printable road doesn’t inspire the marathon play sessions that other roads do, but when it’s been tucked away for a while it’ll easily give us an extra 30 minutes in bed on the weekend.  I simply leave it on the bedside table with his mini cars so it’s there ready for when the Car Crazy Kid comes in for his morning snuggle.  Dad’s feet at the end of the bed become Foot Mountain for some extended value added play time and extra snoozing.  You can find the free printable Radiator Springs play set here.

 

* this is not a sponsored post in any way.  I’ve downloaded and printed a LOT of free car games for kids and these free printable roads have been big hits in our house with the Car Crazy Kid so I’m simply sharing the love.  Oh, and they’re free!

 

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