I should begin this post by saying that my husband is a total gear head. He loves his car. In fact, I am fairly certain that the engine of his car is cleaner than the floor of our kitchen at the present moment. He is Zen and the Art of Car Maintenance. I have gone out to the garage to find the entire engine of his car in pieces on the floor with him examining each individual part. His running joke with Miss M is that she is going to be a race car driver when she grows up. Little Miss J spends lots of time looking at the "Big Cars" in her daddy's Road and Track Magazine. Car talk is one of the ways my husband bonds with our girls.
And this is why we were all so excited when we received our package from the wonderful Lauralee over at Switching Classrooms. As part of the #lovebooks Summer Exchange, hosted by The Educators Spin On It, Ms. Lauralee sent us a copy of If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen and some awesome activities to go along with it.
I love this book selection because it is something I never would have picked out myself. This book sings with imagination and creativity. And Lauralee's selection of activities were perfectly paired for this book.
We started off with a brainstorming activity, letting the girls talk about and write down what would make the perfect car. For Miss M, she had a worksheet to write out some ideas and then draw what the car would look like.
Here is take two. MUCH more detail.
Let me translate her description for you: "A blue car that has a roof that can fold, 2 seats and 2 red stripes at the bottom, also 4 golden wheels, and 3 strips of white at the back and front."
If I Built a Car has a retro 1950's feel to it. In the story, Jack describes to his father what his perfect car would look like. The creativity is unbounded and promotes the type of inventive thought process you want in your children. Pool in your car? Yes please!
Instant snack bar? I cannot tell you how many times I would have payed good money to have one of those in my car.
After finishing the book, my kids were chomping at the bit to get to the best part of our gift: making the dream car. Lauralee sent an adorable Melissa and Doug car making kit for us to live out their dreams inspired by If I Built a Car.
My girls LOVED this activity.
Seriously, add paint to anything, and they are ecstatic.
They spent the longest time working and reworking this car. (In truth, Miss M spent time putting the stickers on the car, and Little Miss J took time ripping the stickers back off.)
And here is their finished car.
Overall, this was a fantastic activity, and we have an awesome new book. Make sure to take a moment to go over and check out the book and activities we sent to Lauralee on her blog Switching Classrooms.