My toddler really likes to play with his construction vehicles; every time we see a construction vehicle along the road, he shouts, "Back Hoe!", "Cement Mixer!", "Bulldozer!"

He likes cars but when we go to the toy store he always chooses construction vehicles.

I heard on television that parents should support their children with what they like, especially in their formative years, so I wonder: can this possibly be his passion in life? What can I do to nurture this?

He doesn't like playing blocks so I think he don't like to build things, he just wants to play with construction vehicles.

What can I do to support my child?

  • 11
    I'm pretty sure my daughter doesn't want to be snowman, but that's one of her favourite toys. :-)
    – Tim Galvin
    Jul 17, 2016 at 15:21
  • 71
    I'm just wondering what toddler doesn't like construction vehicles...?
    – Jules
    Jul 17, 2016 at 19:17
  • 6
    Agreeing with @Jules. I went through exactly that same phase back in kindergarten. Today, I'm a computer programmer. Jul 17, 2016 at 19:20
  • 3
    @Beofett I suppose that's the whole rationale to this amazingly nonsensical crossover concept: construction vehicle dinosaurs!
    – clacke
    Jul 18, 2016 at 15:20
  • 1
    @clacke Perhaps not surprisingly, my son loves that show! Fortunately, he's watched every episode enough times that he's moved on, although he plays with the toys still.
    – user420
    Jul 18, 2016 at 15:38

6 Answers 6


Who really knows what goes on in a toddler's mind? Maybe he will be a construction worker, but if a toddler's favorite toys are any indication, he will not. It's most likely a phase he's going through now.

How to nurture him now, though, is easy enough. The library should have lots of children's books with construction vehicles; check some out and read those to him. Build him a sandbox in which he can use his vehicles to do "work" (include other objects as well.) There are probably videos somewhere of the same. You can write him a book yourself with drawings (if you can't draw, you can cut pictures out) and include other elements that he likes. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

However, please don't pin any hopes on this phase of play, because that is what they most often are: phases.

  • 5
    Good answer, to which I'll add: Interactive toys are always much better (as suggested) but if you do allow your toddler screen time, check out the series Mighty Machines. There are lots of episodes on YouTube. They show how the vehicles do their work, and unlike cartoons, they aren't loaded with obnoxious jingles and dialogue. And, it's most likely true it's a phase; my boy spent 4 years obsessed with firetrucks, and has now moved on to national monuments. You never know where their imagination will take them next.
    – Jax
    Jul 17, 2016 at 16:17
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    Also, "How It's Made" and "Mega Machines" (two Discovery Channel series) are educational and great for kids.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jul 17, 2016 at 17:00

Children often enjoy playing with vehicles!

Have wheels, which makes them easy to move around on the floor. Construction vehicles often have moving parts that are easy to manipulate at their age. Then, real construction vehicles are huge. To a toddler, they're absolutely massive. They can do things that humans and animals can't do. This can be rather awe-inspiring and amazing. It's why airplanes, helicopters, tractors and semi-trucks are also exciting.

My son also loves these things. We encourage his interest by teaching him the names of the vehicles, and what they do. We have several books about these types of vehicles. He has toys of these vehicles.

However, the primary ways we continue to engage his interest are:

  • Pointing out the machinery when we see it. Building and road construction is very common in our town. We point out cranes, and ask him to describe them. Big? Color? What's it doing: building a house, lifting a block? Where is the driver? We do that for all vehicles.
  • We take him to places where he can interact with these vehicles. There's yearly event in a town nearby where they bring all sorts of trucks and tractors, and the kids can climb inside of them. He's been in tractors, firetrucks, police cars and a few other types of large vehicles. We have relatives that have owned tractors, so he's been able to get up close to them.

These methods of encouragement can be applied to any interest in real objects. Get them to think about them (the describing, pointing out) and realizing what they do (like breaking up a road, or digging a hole) and that they're ground in reality (actually doing something, have a person behind the controls, are approachable).

By engaging their mind and giving them as much information as possible, you'll let their interest grow. It's important to remember that children absorb information by experience as much as by being told descriptions or seeing pictures.

I want to point out that we do this with all of his interests. Interests may come and go, but we're teaching him how to discover things on his own and relate to the world around him.


As other people have pointed out, it's simply too early to tell if this will be your son's passion in life.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't support it and nurture his interest.

As a toddler, the best way to do this is to gradually expose him to a wider variety of construction vehicles, and provide increasingly detailed contexts in which they're used.

As CreationEdge mentioned, pointing them out when you see them, and bringing your son to places with a variety of vehicles at work, is a great way to nurture his interest.

Rory's suggestion of "How its Made" and "Mega Machines" (we watched "Mighty Machines", which was geared for young children; I'm not sure if that's different from "Mega Machines") are great choices for TV entertainment, but, as with all TV entertainment at that age, it is best if you watch with him, and actively engage him throughout the show with questions and discussion.

Depending on your area, local farm shows, town fairs, and conventions might be great activities where these vehicles can be viewed, and possibly even directly interacted with (our annual town fair includes a section of modern farming equipment where kids can climb into the seats and play with the controls).

As his verbal skills grow, talk with him not only about the vehicles, but about how they're used, and why what they do is important. Talk about the people who drive them. Talk about the people who design them. Talk about the people who build them. The goal is to show him that there are lots of different ways people can be involved in these cool machines, which will help him decide which areas he might be most interested in.

There are, after all, some very different careers that all work directly with these machines. Construction crews, mining companies, engineers, assembly line workers, sales representatives, etc., all have very different roles, but work with the same machines. Discussing these different jobs with your son could open up entirely new areas of interest.


What I have seen, is that when a child attaches to a specific toy or type of toy, it isn't necessarily that they want exactly the face value of the toy. Instead you may want to look at the feelings or ideas behind the toy. Children do not have a lot of life experiences so they do not know how to fully express themselves. On your child attaching to Construction Vehicles, I would say that he is enjoying the idea of the power behind the machine. He doesn't like other cars because they do not have the same kind of force. So this could show you early on that he enjoy being in more leadership roles, and wanting to achieve a striving for more than the common man's goals. I would support your Child by making things more complex for them, helping them develop their brains so that they will view the world in a different light than everyone else. Put them into boy scouts, teach them how to build an engine, advanced math. Because then when his peers may encounter a problem and not engage because they do not know how to solve problems, he can take charge and show them it is easy. He will have the mind power equivalent to a construction vehicle while all of his peers may have the power of a car.

The alternative is he is really young and he just likes construction vehicles


My kid is similar. I sometime wonder if he think these are all wild animals that we are able to domesticate. There's no guarantee that this will be his passion in life since later he will learn more complex things.

We gave him small toys for this purpose but we don't exaggerate. I took the opportunity to teach him a lot of things using his trucks. He learned colors, size, up, down, under, over, fast, slow. Also, we played games like waiting our turn to dig holes, waiting for the red light. Learning processes (we do x, after we do y, after we do z, repeat). Learning all the parts (wheel, motor, wiper, ...).

Later you can slowly transition the activity, play with the trucks and then add the blocks, add figurine, ...


This is a common passion for toddlers at this age. My 3 year old is the same way. I think its too early to tell if this will be he passion since he'll probably become obsessed with something else in a few years. We'll go to the library and pick out stories about construction vehicles. His night night stories are about actual vehicles and learning all about the different types. On Netflix, there is a program called "Mighty Machines" that teaches kids about the different types of machinery. They have "touch a truck" events were I live and kids get to sit in real vehicles and explore about them. Its a fun thing that bonds us together and he enjoys it.

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