On the right track!




Set out building materials, such as small boxes, short cardboard tubes, margarine tubs, thread spools, egg cartons, yarn, glue, tape and child-safe scissors.
Let your children work together to create a train, using the materials any way they wish.
Extension: Make tracks on the floor with masking tape for the finished train to travel on.
Here is a fun activity using empty egg cartons and toilet paper tubes.

Start by cutting the egg cartons in-half, lengthwise.
Give one of the egg carton halves to each child.
Have your children paint the bottom side of the carton halves black for a train.
Next, cut off 2” sections of the cardboard tube and give one to each child.
Have your children paint the 2” sections red.
When dry, have children set the red section on top of the first cup of the black train for a smoke stack.
One child is chosen to be the engine of a train.
This child chugs around the room and then backs up into another child.
The new child connects onto the train by grabbing on to the waist of the engine.
Then these two children chug around the room and back into another child.
The game continues until all of the children have hooked onto the train.

Paint (or cover with paper) five shoe box bottoms.
Make each box (or train car) a different color.
Now hook the boxes together with string or large paper clips to create a color train.
Set out a pile of small toys with at least three toys per color of train car.
Let your children take turns placing the colored toys into the corresponding train car.
Variation: NUMBER TRAIN – You could add numbers to each train car and have children put the correct number of objects into each car.
This game will require at least 12 children. For smaller groups, just use two or three different colors of paper.

Cut out 2”x 3” paper tickets from four different colors of paper.
Pass out the tickets to your children.
Now, chug around the room pretending to be a train.
When you stop, call out “All Aboard the Red Train”.
Only children with red tickets can come up and hand you a red ticket, then hook onto your back for a ride around the room.
Chug around the room, then call out “End of the Line, All Off The Train.”
Continue the game, by next calling “All Aboard” for a different color train.

Choose one child to be a caboose.
Have the rest of the children create one or more trains by hooking together.
In this game the caboose tries to catch onto the back of one of the trains.
Trains chug around and try to avoid being caught by the caboose.
When the caboose finally does catch onto the back of a train, the engine of that train becomes the next caboose.
Continue playing while interest lasts.

Create a train track on your floor with masking tape.
Set a small table over the track and drape it with a blanket on two sides to create a train tunnel.
Encourage your children to pretend to be trains as they crawl along the tracks and go through the train tunnel.

Place train items in your dress-up area to encourage train play.
Provide engineer hats, train whistles, tickets and a hole punch.
Be sure to go to your library and check out train books to read to your children. Some favorites are:

The Little Engine That Could
Thomas The Train
The Polar Express

Sit in a circle and have your children take turns telling about any train experiences they have had.

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