Markers on “wheels” provides a wonderful exploration of speed in the act of making marks.

With this Play Invitation children can explore concepts such as speed, direction, fast, slow, acceleration, and deceleration – and build on their observation, analyzing, comparing, and fine motor skills.

What Could Lead Us to This Play Invitation

  • Children are curious about maps, paths, going from A to B;
  • Children are excited about using different tools to create marks;
  • Children have been exploring trajectory and velocity.

Materials Needed

  • Small matchbox cars
  • Masking tape
  • White bulletin board paper or large sheets of white paper
  • Markers

Setting up This Play Invitation

  1. Tape the markers onto the bumpers of the cars with the marker tip touching the “ground.
  2. Put the paper down on the table with the Racing Markers.

    Tips: Protect the work surface, or use a washable top, because the cars will likely race out of the paper area!

How to Create the Drawing

  1. Invite children to the table and let them explore freely.
Child driving toy car across white paper with marker attached by tape to it

What other kinds of moving things could you attach markers or colored pencils to?

How to Nurture the Natural Unfolding of the Child’s Identity During This Play Invitation

  • Children have the right to be engaged in play for extended periods of time. When planning play invitations, we must consider that there are children who will need more time to explore. This means they will leave and come back to try new ideas. The educator must leave the proposals out long enough to allow for this deeper exploration and learning.

The Academic Learning Opportunities

  • LANGUAGE: Use language to engage in conversation with their peers.
  • SCIENCE: Explore velocity, trajectory, direction, and use observation to analyze and compare results.
  • SOCIAL: Develop listening skills, dialogue, negotiation, and respect for others.


Cover a ramp in bulletin board paper. Let the cars travel down the ramp and watch what kind of marks are left behind! Are there any differences in the marks when the car goes faster vs. slower?

Book Recommendation

A book filled with prompts where you choose a path and tell your own story.