Things That "Go" Play for 0-2 Year Olds

Help your active child learn with these tremendous activities that explore the world of vehicles.
By Michelle Anthony, PhD



Things That "Go" Play for 0-2 Year Olds

Vehicles: Movement and play are tremendous ways that young children learn. Below are a number of activities that combine both while exploring the fascinating world of vehicles. Both boys and girls and intrigued and enthralled by cars, planes, trains, etc.! 


  • Wheel Prints: Cut grapefruits or limes in half and dip in paint or stamping ink. Use these to make wheel prints. Invite your child to draw a vehicle, or do that yourself and create a team art project! What else can you use to make wheels? Think pasta wheels, fingerprint wheels, bottle cap wheels, cracker wheels!
  • Make Your Own Car Wash: This can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. Create multiple “stations” with plastic bins filled with the following: one with shaving cream to zoom around and get sudsy with, another fill with colored bubbly water for washing, another with clear water for rinsing and a final step, with the help of an adult, create drying station wtih a hairdryer and towels to dry the cars. 

Thinking, Literacy, Problem Solving: 

  • Car Painting: Dip cars with different sized tires into paint, colored yogurt, or pudding. Roll them down a papered ramp or across a flat page. Instant art! For older children, see if they can drive and describe the different sized tire tracks. Do some cars zoom faster? Why might this be so? 
  • Shape Roads: Using masking tape, electrical tape, duct tape, or thick black ribbon, outline “roads” for your child to drive his car down – or have your child help create the roads! These can take the form of letters, numbers, shapes, etc. Your child will be using gross motor play while learning how to recognize and form letters! 
  • Tube Ramp: Prop up a cardboard tube (e.g., wrapping paper or carpet roll) against a couch and invite your child to launch her cars down the ramp. Take the opportunity to use words like friction, stuck, too big, etc. Ask your child to predict if a car is too big or just right to fit in the tube. What other items will roll down the ramp? For cleanup, slide the toys that fit down the tube to their awaiting bins! Create a car ramp with a piece of strong cardboard propped against the couch. Cover it with various surfaces and see how it affects the way the cars roll: tinfoil, saran wrap, wrapping paper, sand paper, etc.
Age 1
Age 2