My toddler loves trains! The whistle, the clatter, the cars filled with fun treasures- he is totally into all of it, so of course I knew we had to do a week of train themed learning! So climb aboard and let’s learn about locomotives!
–Train car name spelling: This activity from Toddler Approved was so cute and my little ate it right up! I made a train with a letter on each car that matched my little’s name, stuck the cars on the wall, then wrote the same letters on sticky notes. I gave a letter at a time to my little, identifying it for him, then asked him to find the matching letter on the train and stick the letter on its match. I did two sets of letters and he was excited to match them the whole time!
–Train track name painting: I wrote each of my little’s names in “traintrack letters” (see picture) on our giant roll of easel paper, then let them drive a toy train on each of the letters as I said what the letters were (for my preschooler, I had him name the letters himself). Then I had them try it with paint by rolling the train in paint, then on each of the letters. I got this from Happy Toddler Playtime.
–T is for train sticker activity: Since toddlers don’t have the fine motor skills to write, you can do ABC practice with them using stickers or do-a-dot markers. For this activity I just wrote a large upper and lowercase T on a page (with “is for train” and a picture of a train at the bottom just for fun!) then had him make the letters by covering the lines I drew with dot stickers. He loved it so much he asked for “more” when we were through!
–Prewriting practice- draw a track: Though toddlers are too young to make letters yet, they can start making purposeful lines at a very young age, so I thought we’d give this activity from Dream Big Little One a try! I drew two horizontal lines, then showed my little how to connect them with vertical lines. Once he got the hang of it he went right to town!
–Build a track: My little LOVES blocks, so I thought he would love this “build a track” activity too! We tried it first with popsicle sticks, but I think they were too light because they kept moving around which made him frustrated…so being the innovative mommy that I am, I grabbed the Jenga blocks instead and they worked MUCH better! I set up the two sides of the track and had my little place the cross bars in the middle- it was great find motor practice!
–Thomas the Train craft: I cut out pieces to build Thomas out of construction paper, then instructed my littles where to glue what to put him together! This was a great way to go over shapes too!
–Toilet paper tube train craft: This is a fun little craft for making a toy train that I got from Kids Activities Blog. You can make it with several cars, but I thought it would be easier to play with if we just stuck to the engine! So- you cut a U shape out of the bottom edge of a toilet paper tube on both sides (so it’ll fit snugly on top of the round part of another tube) and trim the top. Then have your little paint the cut tube and a plain one in a color they choose. When they’re dry, hot glue the cut tube on top of the uncut tube to make a smokestack, add some bottle cap wheels and you’ve got a toy train engine! Choo choooooooooo!
- popsicle sticks or Jenga blocks
- toy train
- easel paper
- dot stickers
- popsicle sticks or Jenga blocks
- toilet paper tubes (2)
- bottle caps (4)
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