Exploring Land, Sea, and Air Vehicles with Safari Ltd.

In the classroom and at home with my boys, vehicles are always a favorite during learning and play time. Whether running around pretending to fly a plane or crawling on their hands and knees shouting “beep” and “vroom,” vehicles always provide hours of open and imaginary play for young children.

Classifying Vehicles

land air and sea sorting for kids

Classifying modes of transportation is a common geography lesson with early learners. With the help of the In the Sky, In the Water, and On the Road TOOB sets from Safari Ltd., I was able to take what is usually in the form of a file folder or a cut and paste worksheet, and create a hands on, interactive sorting center. It’s way more fun to sort actual objects over pictures, and the TOOB sets from Safari Ltd. can bring your activities to life! I love that their TOOBS are realistic representations of vehicles versus toy versions.

How to Set Up the Land, Air, & Sea Interactive Sort

land air or sea vehicle sort for kids

To create this activity, I set up two sensory bins to represent land and sea and a “sticky wall” for air. All of the miniature vehicles are from Safari Ltd TOOB sets. I used the On the Road, In the Sky, and In the Water sets. My friends over at Safari Ltd. are giving my readers a 15% discount! Click on this link to shop and the discount will automatically be applied to your order or use the promo code GABRIELLED1 at check out. Their TOOBS are perfect for sensory bin play. I want them all!

On the Road Sensory Bin

land air sea vehicle sort for kids

In the “land” bin, I used the following materials:

On the Road Safari Ltd TOOB

-green shredded paper

-crumbled recycled kraft paper

-black card stock with white yarn for the road lines (I used a hole puncher and pulled the yarn through the holes)

-giant rock

In the Water Sensory Bin

land air and sea sensory bin for kids

The sea bin was my favorite one. When the weather cooperates, I will do this activity again with real water and turn it blue with a few drops of food coloring. 

In this bin, I included the following materials:

In the Water Safari Ltd TOOB

-Blue sensory rice (click here to view tutorial)


-Blue stones

In the Air Sticky Wall

land sea and air sensory bin

To make this sticky wall, I taped blue paper to the wall first, then I taped down contact paper sticky side facing out. I added little clusters of “clouds” using cotton balls, and a yellow circle to represent the sun. Also, I labeled each area with a paper strip. For the vehicles, I used the In the Sky TOOB set.

Learning Through Play

land air and sea vehicle sort for kids

By classifying the vehicles in this activity, kids are learning through play! They are working on tons of foundational learning skills, such as:

-fine motor skills 

-early math skills (counting, sorting, grouping)

-early geography skills

-reasoning skills 

-language skills

land air and sea vehicle sort

This activity was very engaging for my son (3 years old) and I know it would be a hit in any primary or special education classroom. He loves looking at all the different vehicles and learning their names. Of course, his favorite is the submarine because it can go under the water.

After he sorted the vehicles, he fell deep into play. I like to provide open ended toys as much as possible at home, which is why I love using TOOBS from Safari Ltd. Authentic learning occurs when our kids have to move with the vehicles and make the beeping sounds. Toys that already move, make noises and light up do all the work for our kids. We want to build up those imaginations! These mini vehicles now go everywhere with us. They are the perfect travel size!

land air and sea vehicle sorting activity for kids

Extension Activities

To build upon a child’s learning, you can have them:

-count the vehicles in each group and match a number or compare the amounts found on each group

-put the vehicles into an interactive graphing activity and compare the amounts that way

-match the vehicles to identical pictures (pulled from the Safari Ltd website) or nonidentical pictures of real vehicles

-match the vehicles to the vehicle name

-identify the beginning sound of each vehicle (/b/ for bus)

I know these vehicles will appear in more activities throughout the year. I am already making plans for our community helper theme. We love TOOBS!

Click here to check out the Safari Ltd. Shop and get 15% off!

Pin this for later!


*Please note: This is sponsored post by Safari Ltd. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I only team up with companies I truly love!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.