Content in this page

Cars and other vehicles are popular toys for toddlers.

  • Talk about getting in and out of the car.
  • Point out the trucks and buses on the roads.
  • Use toy cars and trucks in your playtime.

Word List- Early acquisition

bike, bus, car, boat, fire engine, helicopter, motorbike, plane, train, truck

Download our take-home word list below.

Play Themes

Make sure you have some different cars, trucks, trains and planes.  A road mat/track, stop signs, trees and people are also great accessories.  Set up your road or construction site.

Here are some ideas for play themes to encourage transport related vocabulary.

1. Road Mat

Set up a road for the cars on the pavement/floor or a cardboard box or on a track. Lots of opportunities here to practice at ‘stop’ and ‘go’.

2. Train set

Load up the trains on a track.

3. Boat / water play

Floating activities in the bath or pool are great fun for using transport words like boat, float, go.

4. Sandpit play

Make up a construction scene in the sandpit with diggers, shovels and other construction vehicles.

Toys I Love at Kmart

Town Playmat
Train set
Rescue vehicle set
Duplo Recycling

Downloads & Worksheets

Kids Books

This theme is often a popular one with toddlers.  Who doesn’t like to push their trucks and cars around?  Our list of recommended books contains some simple books for babies through to some longer stories and picture dictionaries for preschoolers.

  • Baby’s Very First Noisy Book – Things that Go. This is a book with push button sounds for each vehicle.  A great way to introduce baby to some playsounds and single words.  (nee naw,  brmm brmm,  car, plane).  Although we don’t tend to advocate books with batteries, this type is a good one to mix in with your other books.  Noises to Try – nee naw,  brmm brmm,  car, plane
  • Lift the Flap Things that Go.  A lift the flap book with plenty of vehicles to look at.  Suitable for toddlers and older.  Words to Try – fire engine, helicopter, police car.
  • Usborne’s Very First words – Things that go.  Another simple book for babies and toddlers which names about 50 different vehicles.  Don’t worry about the written words for babies, you can just label the pictures (car, bike) and talk about what they do. (You ride your bike).  Words to Try – car, bike, train, plane.
  • Dig Dig Digging. A classic first picture book with a rhyming phrase on each page.
  • Maisy’s Book of Things that Go. As we have mentioned before, the whole Maisy series is wonderful for language learning.  This book has included many of the basic vocabulary needed to talk about transport.  Great for toddlers and younger preschoolers.  Words to Try – bike, boat, hot air balloon, rocket
  • Little Hide and Seek Things that Go!  A Spot What type of book where your child needs to look on every page for the red tractor.  A great way to make learning new words fun!  You can talk about lots of interesting vehicles whilst looking for the red tractor.  Words to Try – tractor, fire engine, digger, car
  • The Pigeon Loves Things that Go! From the classic Pigeon Bus series.  In this funny book, the Pigeon imagines driving lots of different vehicles.  A story for preschoolers about the sounds of different transport and a nice way to discuss some ideas about how he would manage driving these machines.
  • The Big Book of things that go.  and  Richard Scary’s Cars and Trucks and Things that go.  These are both picture dictionary books for children to look through and point to things of interest.  Great for preschoolers who need to expand their transport vocabulary further than car, truck, bike.  You can also use these books in lots of different ways.  Perhaps matching up with toys at home?  or Looking for an item via descriptions from one person?  Excellent for vocabulary expansion.
  • Let’s Build magnetic scene.  Another great way to learn new words is with one of these fun magnetic scenes.  In Lets Build there are pieces to add to the construction scene.