I can't believe I have written over a dozen posts for this blogging project and haven't yet made a post exclusively about a truck! Cars and trucks and things that go are what got me started down this road with Mikey (see "The Wheel") and we have added gears and robots and various other mechanical what-have-you into our repertoire but the power and utility of working trucks remains the crux of our preschool engineering education.
"Front end loader, you're as good as gold!" ~ "Front End Loader" by Rob Gardner.
Indeed, the front end loader is the perfect partner to your truck-lover's dump truck. Together these two trucks can move sand, dirt, or any other rubble deemed suitable for dumping by your child. And while it seems like there is no end of dependable dump truck toys, good front loader toys are harder to come by. Many loader toys are built in a way that they can't actually dig AND drive AND dump. However, Mikey has had a LOT of good play time with the Battat Front End Loader. The boom is articulated enough so that a toddler can scoop, lift, drive and dump a load of dirt. My only complaint is that the screws that hold the hinges together occasionally get lost in the debris but they are easy to replace at the local hardware store.
Music always seemed to be a nuisance to Mikey. His interests are so deeply rooted in things he can experience and understand that lyrics cannot be notional. Luckily, we discovered the musical talents of Robert Gardner via this YouTube video.
You can buy a DVD with music videos for ten working trucks including this front end loader video but most of the videos are available on YouTube. Unless you want to bundle the whole Twenty Trucks package (two DVDS, a CD and a t-shirt available at Twentytrucks.com), then I would just skip the additional screen time stuff and go for the CD. Music is more mobile.
For us, Truck Tunes was a stepping stone into music. Now that he has warmed up to music and I understand his requirements for "good" music, I have been able to introduce him to a bigger variety of musicians. My most recent accomplishments are "I Like Dirt" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles.