Roadside Assistants: Give Your Trikes a Tune-Up at This Playful Repair Shop 

Girl and boy pretending to play tricycle repair shop

Give a rainy afternoon (or any day!) a fun spin by setting up a tricycle repair shop. Your child will love engaging with his favorite set of wheels in a new way—turn his trike upside down for added thrills. A crew of kids can take turns playing cashier, customer, and mechanic, or team up for a trike tune-up.

materials for tricycle repair shop

Possible Props for Pretend Play

  • Kids’ tricycles, scoot bikes, scooters, wagons, etc.
  • Toy tool set and fix-it supplies (rope, tape, etc.)
  • Safety goggles
  • Toy cash register and toy money
  • Repair shop sign

Preparation

Begin by placing all your props in an open area, and invite your children to use them to create their very own tricycle repair shop. Remember that there’s no wrong way to play: A crafty child might start by making an “Open/Closed” store sign, a counting-minded kiddo might want to man the cash register, while a tool-focused toddler might get straight to work fixing things. (It’s completely adorable to watch a 2-year old “fix” a trike with Scotch® tape and a hammer.) Give the repairs a test drive around the living room or down the block!

Boy pretending to saw tricycle

Playful Add-Ons

Make a splash with a “bike wash.” Nothing beats a shiny ride! If the weather allows, set your little ones up outside with a hose or buckets of soapy water and a sponge to make those trikes spick-and-span. If indoors, a spray bottle filled with water and a few rags should do the trick.  

Make it pretty. Once the trikes are “fixed,” why not give them a makeover? Bring out some stickers, ribbons, and streamers, and encourage your children to decorate their wheels (and handlebars, bike seats, etc.).

Girl pretend cash register, boy on tricycle

Make it realistic. Stop by a bike shop or secondhand store to find a cheap used trike and let your mechanically inclined kiddo actually take it apart and put it back together again. To get started: Loosen any larger screws, nuts, or bolts so that your child can remove them by herself and assist her in trying to put the parts back together again as well. Note: Because of the small pieces, many parts, and pointy tools that will be needed (e.g., a real screwdriver), diligent supervision from a grown-up is needed—but we guarantee your child will love discovering firsthand how beloved everyday objects work!

Learning we love: There’s a lot more to pretend play than just fun and games—imaginary play turns kids into creative problem solvers! Tackling problems in play (like fixing a “broken” tricycle) helps kids practice the focus and stick-to-it-iveness that they’ll need when real-life challenges arise.

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