On the Go: A Storytime About Vehicles

At the end of last week’s storytime at the park, we were startled when two deer came running towards our picnic area, followed by a garbage truck. The kids were briefly excited by the deer, but they were absolutely enthralled by the garbage truck, and sat spellbound as it picked up a dumpster and emptied it. So this week, I decided to do a storytime about trucks.

Here’s what we did:

Books:

No Honking Allowed by Stephanie Calmenson; illustrated by AntonGionata Ferrari

I was originally planning to read Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman, but I couldn’t get hold of a second copy (since the families are spread out pretty far apart, we usually try to have a second copy to hold up, to make sure all the kids can see the pictures). This book was a fun alternative. Rex, the dinosaur, really wants to honk his car horn, and keeps trying to find excuses to do it, but his friend points out the sign that says “No Honking Allowed…Except for Safety.” Finally, an opportunity arises: a fire truck can’t get through the traffic. Rex eagerly honks to let the other cars know. Still, he can’t resist honking just a bit more. The kids enjoyed joining in on all of the “Honks!”

Bulldozer’s Big Day by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohman

It’s Bulldozer’s birthday, but no one seems to remember or even be interested, until suddenly all his friends start making noise, and pull out an enormous cake. This book features lots of popular construction vehicles, and opportunities for the kids to join in on the motions: scooping, lifting, etc. Always a hit!

The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage

Short and sweet (literally!), this is a cute story about a cement mixer that keeps mixing up the wrong white powder. He mixes flour into a giant cake, and sugar into frosting before he finally gets it right.

Songs:

Five Dinosaurs by Nancy Stewart

This is a really fun song I learned from another librarian years ago, and it fit perfectly with No Honking Allowed. Here’s a YouTube video with the tune:

[C] There were five dinosaurs, [F] driving in cars,
[C] Having a really good [G7] time.
They said, [C] “We’ll step on the gas, and [F] go really fast!”
And they [C] did…until one [G7] had a flat [C] tire.
Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk!
She said, “Go on without me!”

Then there were four dinosaurs…

Repeat, until the last dinosaur has a flat tire, then say,

“She said, ‘I know! I’ll fix the tire! and then I’ll pick up all my friends!”

Then there were five dinosaurs,
Riding in a car, having a really good time.
They said, “Step on the gas, and go really fast!”
And they did, and down the road they went flying.

ROAR!!

Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck!

This one is always a lot of fun, especially if you have time to repeat the whole song and sing it faster. I usually have the kids pretend to put on their fire fighter gear, and then we slide down the pole before climbing into the truck. There are lots of different versions, but these are the words I use. Here’s a video from Kiboomers with the tune.

Hurry, Hurry, Drive the fire truck!
Hurry, Hurry, Drive the fire truck!
Hurry, Hurry, Drive the fire truck!
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!

Hurry, Hurry, Spray the water…

Hurry, Hurry, Climb the ladder…

Hurry, Hurry, Save the kitty cat…

Hurry, Hurry, Back to the station…

My Garbage Truck

I wrote this one to use as an instrument play-along at the end, but you can also just sing it and come up with your own motions. You can also invent your own verses with your favorite vehicles.

[C] Don’t you want to drive my garbage truck,
My [G7] garbage truck, my [C] garbage truck?
We’ll drive around town and collect the muck,
And [G7] come back home for [C] tea.

Don’t you want to drive my concrete mixer,
Concrete mixer, concrete mixer?
If the sidewalk’s cracked, we’ll be there to fix her,
And come back home for tea.

CHORUS:
Don’t you want to ride in a [C] big machine,
With the [G7] biggest wheels that you’ve [C] ever seen,
We’ll build new roads, and keep [C] them clean,
And [G7] come back home for [C] tea.

Don’t you want to drive my excavator,
Excavator, excavator?
Dig a hole in the ground like a great big crater,
And come back home for tea.

Don’t you want to drive my giant crane,
My giant crane, my giant crane?
We’ll lift beams high as an aeroplane,
And come back home for tea.

Don’t you want to ride in a big machine,
With the biggest wheels that you’ve ever seen?
We’ll build new walls, and keep streets clean,
And come back home for tea.

Don’t you want to drive my fire engine,
Fire engine, fire engine?
We’ll rush to fires with our loud siren
Until it’s time for tea.

Don’t you want to drive my big tow truck,
My big tow truck, My big tow truck?
We’ll help people out when their cars get stuck,
And come back home for tea?

Don’t you want to ride in a big machine,
With the biggest wheels that you’ve ever seen?
We keep you safe, and make streets clean,
And come back home for tea.

Stay and Play: Paper Plate Cars

I got this idea from Glued to My Crafts, who made theirs a Garbage Truck. Basically, you cut a paper plate in half, then cut off the top right corner to make a car or truck shape. I also cut out wheels from construction paper and hole-punched them ahead of time, then provided brass fasteners to hold them on (I provided tape to tape down the ends of the fasteners, so they wouldn’t poke the kids while they were playing with them). The kids had a great time decorating them, and love the spinning wheels.