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Monday, March 7, 2022


"If you want to catch a rabbit, you have to have a rabbit trap."  That's what Wood Smethurst, one of my favorite professors, used to tell us.  Toy cars can certainly be a "rabbit trap" to engage children in centers and games.  Best of all, they are inexpensive and can be found at garage sales and dollar stores.

Ask children to sort the cars. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way?

Left to Right
Put a green dot on one side of a poster and a red dot at the opposite end. Children use the cars to drive from green to red on the curves, zigzags, and lines.

Write lower letters on sticky dots and put them on the cars. Make paper houses with uppercase letters. Can they match the cars with the houses?


Numerical Order
Write numerals on sticky dots and place them on the cars. Can children arrange them in order?

Place Value

Use cars for tens and ones.

Sets and Numbers
Make a parking lot with different sets of dots in each space. Children match up numbers on the cars with the correct space.

Roll and Add
Write numerals 1-12 on a long strip of paper. Children roll two dice, add up the numbers, and then move their car to the correct space.