I'm pretty sure that most toddlers and pre-schoolers are obsessed with diggers, excavators and other construction vehicles. We can't be the only embarassed parents that have to stand outside building sites for hours! My son's love of diggers has taught me a lot though, here are some interesting facts that I've picked up:
- Diggers are also called excavators.
- Some diggers have wheels, other diggers run on tracks which stop them from sinking into the ground.
- The three main parts of a digger are the cab, the arm and the attachment.
- Different attachments include the bucket (to scoop up or dig into the ground), the grab (for picking up rubble) and the ripper (for breaking up hard ground).
- The largest excavator in the world is used in coal mining.
- Mini-excavators are used for small building jobs or in gardens.
Create a construction play mat to use with toy diggers. You can make a really basic one with just a large piece of paper and some felt pens, and you can add some sand or stones to make it more interesting.
Learn how to draw a realistic excavator - this is probably one for the parents!
Use toy diggers to play with in sand, rice or mud.
Visit the JCB website for lots of printable games, crafts and activities, with games like trumps cards and wordsearches for older children.
Pour some paint out into flat trays and use the wheels of a toy digger to paint with.
Diggers (Mighty Machines) Amanda Askew - A really good introduction for young children to different types of digger and excavator.
Dig Dig Digging (On the Go!) Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe - Bright, colourful illustrations, with plenty going on to talk about.
A Ladybird Sound Book: My Very Noisy Digger Andrea Pinnington - A simple book all about diggers, which even makes a digger noise!
Diggers Sticker Book Alice Pearcey, Dan Crisp, Louie Stockwell - Toddlers love stickers, and this book will teach your toddler (and you!) about different diggers and excavators.
Early Learning Centre - Light and Sound Mighty Digger - This toy digger has been a huge hit with my son, it makes appropriate digger noises and has three workmen to play along with. It's suitable for young children as there are no small parts.
LEGO DUPLO LEGOVille 5650 Front Loader - Duplo is brilliant, and your toddler will love using the digger to move the Duplo blocks around.
Constructive Eating Utensils Set Not exactly a toy, but this Constructive Eating Utensils set looks brilliant, perhaps a way to get a reluctant toddler to eat their dinner!