Teaching children about modes of transport

At the moment travel is very much on the forefront of my mind, but while I’m sorting out insurance, car park stays (nightmare) and who is going to be in charge of Yoda while we’re away – how will he maintain his Instagram account? – the boys are very focused on a different aspect of travel.

The mode.

Will we go in a plane mummy? What kind of plane mummy? Will there be a ship? Can’t we just drive there? So. Many. Questions.

All day, every day, a world of questions. So it got me thinking, could this be a fun opportunity for them to learn a little bit, after all they are very into it and that usually guarantees co-operation! So I came up with a few ideas for teaching children about modes of transport.


  • My in laws very kindly bought us a “50 things to spot at the airport” card set, which has all the different types of planes, along with other vehicles that are in fact an essential part of airport life. I’ve put this in our hand luggage and we’ve been going through the cards to figure out different types of planes that we might spot.
  • Go online and grab the details of the plane you will be travelling in, and Google for the info about that aircraft. It’s a brilliant way to learn about the way you will be travelling. We’re travelling with Thomas Cook, so I can search for their flight number and it *should* tell me what aircraft we will be in.
  • Make use of printables, you only need to search “plane printables” on Pinterest for a whole host of fun!

Ships and cruise liners

  • I remember going on my first cruise years ago now and it was fabulous! We had the best time, and when I’ve told the boys about this they have been fascinated by the idea of being on a big ship. If you visit the website for your cruise they should have a list of the different ships, or if you choose your specific cruise path, they will tell you what ship you’re on. Then google and go!
  • Utilise Pinterest again. Great printables on there, lovely for colouring and you can even colour code different parts.
  • As a child I was always mesmerised by the fact that such a HUGE object could float. Why not talk about some science – why does it float? How does it work? Such a fun lesson for kids to learn.

Trains and coaches

  • Yes trains and coaches are holiday vehicles! Kids don’t realise this as they are often just a part of mundane life. Get those printables and get colouring.
  • Visit a train museum, our local one is totally free and it has trains from all over the world. It also has a brief explanation about how trains (different types) work, and how they can take us under ground as well as across it.
  • Visit the local train station or bus station, draw the buses you see and learn about the different colours. Great one for toddlers.


  • Beep beep! A great chance to chuck some geography into the fray. How does a car go from one country to another? Drives over the border. He boys were amazed when we explained to them that you CAN drive to another country.
  • Google the different parts of a car, print out some pictures and see if they can guess what is what and where it goes. For example: Engine, tyres, exhaust… Endless fun!
  • Fuel the fires of imagination (ha, sorry, corny but so fun to type) and get the kids talking about fuel. This really could apply to any of these things, not just cars, because they ALL need fuel.

What else can you think of?



  1. Avatar September 2, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Travel is such a great learning experience for everyone. Love your ideas!

  2. Avatar September 1, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    My little ones have used most modes of transport except ships and cruise liner we have yet to try those.

    • Harriet September 3, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Ooh next holiday maybe!?

  3. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    I can’t think of any other tips to be honest I think you covered them. It is a lot of fun learning with kids about different modes of transport.

  4. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    These care such great ideas its always good to make learning fun.

  5. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    I suppose the best way to learn is to do! I hope you have a great holiday! 🙂

  6. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 10:58 am

    such a good idea, i don’t have kids myself so never really thought about that learning process but love the methods you’re using

  7. Avatar
    August 31, 2016 / 9:49 am

    I can’t remember learning about all of this when I was little but I’m sure I really enjoyed it!

  8. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 9:15 am

    This will be a very handy post for when my niece get a little older. Bother of her parents don’t drive so it must be tricky to travel with a child on transport. xx

  9. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 8:57 am

    I love those ’50 things’ card sets – so clever and so great for keeping wee folk amused!

  10. Avatar August 31, 2016 / 8:10 am

    I love these ideas 😛 keeping them occupied and their minds stimulated. Hmm…this has me thinking now x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.