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By Judith Harriesteacher

Explore ideas for arts activities using different types of wheels. Try painting, cutting and gluing, printing, clay and dough, weaving, baking and lots of songs, rhymes and musical games.

Toy car

The wheels on the bus

The Wheels on the Bus - interactive

Sing the well-known song ‘The wheels on the bus’ with the children and add actions. You could use the Interactive resource , ‘The wheels on the bus’ as a fun starting point. Let the children suggest different vehicles to sing about such as car, bike, train, etc. Invent new verses together. Try ‘I turn the steering wheel left and right’, ‘I ride my bicycle up and down’ or ‘The wheels on the train take us into town’, and so on.

Multi-coloured wheels

Develop fine motor control using circle templates. Provide lots of different-sized circle templates for children to draw around. Let them use coloured pens and pencils to create multi-coloured circles. Show them how to change the circles into wheels by drawing spokes across the centre of each circle using a ruler.

Printing with wheels

Make a collection of plastic vehicles such as cars, trucks, tractors, with different-sized wheels. Provide shallow trays and bottles of squeezy paint so children can select their own colours. Let children drive the vehicle through the paint in the tray and when the wheels are well-covered drive them across white paper creating tracks as they go. Repeat with a different car or truck and a new colour. Refine this by asking children to drive their painted wheels along thin strips of paper. How straight can they make the tracks?

Water wheelies!

Go outside on a dry day and help the children to ride or dip their sit’n’ride toys and bikes in water so that the wheels get wet. Then ask them to ride on the pavement and look at the wheel tracks they create. Can they make patterns, parallel tracks, different shapes? What do they think will happen when the sun shines on their artwork?

Giant woven wheel

Sit in a circle around a large plastic hoola hoop. Explain to the children that you are going to work together to transform the ordinary hoop into a fantastic woven wheel. Start by tying lengths of coloured wool or string across the hoop to make the spokes of the wheel. Secure them in place with sticky tape. Work with a partner to weave long twists of wool, ribbon, fabric or paper in and out of the string spokes.

Try creating seasonal wheels, for instance, make an Autumn wheel by using red, orange, yellow and brown colours and adding leaves and twigs to the finished weave.

Mini woven wheels

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