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TRAINS

TRAIN ART

CREATIVE TRAINS
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.
 
EGG CARTON TRAINS
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.
  TRAIN GAMES
 
HOOK ON THE TRAIN
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.
 
COLOR 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.
 
COLORED TICKETS
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.
 
LOOSE CABOOSE
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.
 
TRAIN TUNNEL
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.
 
DRAMATIC PLAY
Place train items in your dress-up area to encourage train play.
Provide engineer hats, train whistles, tickets and a hole punch.
TRAIN LANGUAGE
TRAIN STORIES
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
 
TRAIN TRIPS
Sit in a circle and have your children take turns telling about any train experiences they have had.
If they have never been on a train, have them tell where they would go if they could travel on a train.
TRAIN DISCOVERIES
FREIGHT TRAINS

Discuss freight trains with your children.
Show them pictures of freight trains in books.
Teach your children the names of the different types of cars on a freight train.
  • Hopper Car – an open top car that carries cargo that is poured into the top of the car, such as; coal, wheat, and sand.
  • Flat Car – a flat floor on wheels that carries large loads that are usually tied on, like; lumber, machinery.  Also carries large containers stacked on top.
  • Box Car – is a four sided rectangular car with a large side door.  It carries boxes of cargo.
  • Tank Car – is a metal tube shaped car.  It carries liquid, such as; milk, oil or gasoline.
  • Caboose – is the last car on a train.  It is a home and an office for the train workers.
     
TUNNELS AND BRIDGES
Just Me – Marie H. Ets
A Friend Is Someone Who Likes Me – Joan Anglund
The Important Book – Margaret Wise Brown
Peter’s Chair – Ezra Jack Keats
Are You My Mother – P.D. Eastman
 
MODEL TRAIN
Look for someone who could bring in a model train and set it up for your children to observe.
Perhaps your children could make small box houses or stores to set out with the model train.
TRAIN SNACKS
TRAIN CAKE
A cake can be made to look like a train, by cutting a sheet cake into six rectangular pieces.
Turn the pieces sideways and cover them with frosting.
Place a marshmallow on the front section to represent a smoke stack.
Cut additional marshmallows in half to create wheels.
Attach the wheels to the sides of the train cars with toothpicks.
 
SNACK TRAINS

Cut empty egg cartons in-half lengthwise.
Give one half section to each child for a train.
Set out snack “cargo” in bowls, such as; raisins, mini-marshmallows, tiny crackers, cereals, plus serving spoons.
Have children run their trains along in front of the snack bowls and fill up their freight trains with “cargo”.
 
TRAIN MUSIC

CHUG, CHUG, CHUG
Tune:  “Jingle Bells”

Chug, chug, chug; chug, chug, chug,
Chugging down the track.
See our little choo-choo train
Chugging down and back.
We are cars – all lined up,
Chugging just like so.
Hear our whistle toot-toot-toot
As down and back we go.
                        Elizabeth Scofield

 
DOWN BY THE STATION

Tune:  “Down By The Station”

Down by the station
Early in the morning.
See the little puffers
Standing in a row.

See the station master
Turn a little handle.
Chug, chug, chug, chug,
Off they go!
                        Traditional
 

LITTLE BLACK TRAIN

Little black train chugging down the track.
First you chug down, then you chug back.
Then you blow your whistle and come to a stop
And all the happy passengers jump right off!
                                                Jean Warren