Years ago I made my now 5 year old a color parking garage. I can’t remember where the idea originally came. There are a lot of ideas for sight word garages so I may have just adapted it to use with a toddler at the time. It got a lot of use and it still looks great. Some of the colors–purple and white faded a little so I decided to update the garage for my younger son.
To make the garage, I simply laid out a file folder and traced a business card I had handy. I found the business card to be the perfect “parking spot” size for Hot Wheel cars. Then I took my markers and filled each spot with a different color. To make “white” I cut a white label sticker to cover the space.
I reorganized the format this time so I had an empty space to fill. I decided to make a gas pump and add a piece of string so my son could fill his Hot Wheels with gas before parking. I goggled an image of a gas pump and simply drew it on the folder. I have found kids are not concerned with pictures being perfect. Then I added the yarn–wrapped tape around the tip to form the nozzle and tape it to the back through a small hole I made in the folder. I am so pleased with the final product!
The boys have already started playing with the newly updated garage and they are loving it! I don’t have any pictures, but here is my 2.5 year old enjoying the old version. We had fun trying to race our cars into the correct color parking spot first. Somehow I always lost!
My 5 year old saw the new version and I could tell he liked the added gas pump. I asked if he wanted me to make him a new garage too. He does! I may add sight words to his garage. They love games so I’m thinking I may add a game element as well. I will make color cards/sight word cards to draw and they will have to drive a car to the correct spot.
Super simple and super portable as well. I think this may find its way into the backpack to entertain the 2 year old when he has to attend big brother’s activities.