Updated: May 12
Are cars (or trains) one of your toddler’s favorite toys? When you ask your kid what they want to play, is the response always “choo-choo” or “vroom”? Well you are in luck! Today, we will explore new ideas for games you can play with your little one and their favorite toy. Keep in mind that I used a toy car in all of these examples, but feel free to swap in a toy train if that is your kid’s vehicle of choice.
Car Wash: Use sponges, washcloths, tissues, or brushes to “wash” your child’s toy cars. You can play this game with water or without!
Ready Set Go: A classic game! Say “ready, set, go” before pushing your car across the floor. After you get a routine going, pause after “set” and see if your little one tries to say “go!”
Crashing Cars: For whatever reason, toddlers love, love, love crashing toys. Line up a bunch of cars on the edge of a coffee table, couch, or box and call out “uhoh!” while you push one car off the surface. You can also dramatically say “crashhhhh” when it hits the ground. Continue knocking down the other cars one at a time.
Let’s Get Messy: Take the toy cars outside and find a little dirt to drive the cars through. You can talk about how the car is “dirty”, “icky”, “muddy”, etc. If you really want to spice it up, bring out a little water and make actual mud in the dirt for the cars to drive through. Have a towel nearby!
Special delivery: Have your kid “deliver” different items across the room or your home. These can be physical items (e.g., putting a toy food item on top of the car or pushing a block) or imaginary (e.g., pretending to deliver a package).
Musical Instruments: Did you know that toy cars make exciting musical instruments? Show your toddler a new way to play with the cars by grabbing two and pretend to play the drum. You also can bang them together to make cymbals. Sing into it and now your car is a microphone! You can put music on or sing by yourself to create a concert in your own living room.
Paint The Car: Find some old paint brushes and encourage your kiddo to brush the car to “paint” it. You can talk about different colors while doing this activity. Actual paint is not needed to make this a fun game.
Fix The Car: Pretend to fix the wheels, the trunk, and the hood of your kid’s toy cars. You can use toy tools, similar looking toys (I often use a toy block as a “hammer”), or just your finger to imagine.
Body Parts Simon Says: Simon says put your car on your head! Simon says put your car on your foot! Simon says put your car on your nose! Need I explain more? The “Simon says” game while playing with your kid’s favorite toy can be a great activity to teach body parts.
The Wheels On The CAR Go Round And Round: A classic song with a twist! Have your kid’s cars out while singing this new variation and actually show them the wheels going round and round, people on the car going up and down, doors opening and closing, etc. Be creative and make up lyrics!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a just a few ideas to keep the both you and your toddler excited to play with this fun and versatile toy. What is your family’s favorite way to play with toy vehicles?