Train Theme and Activities

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Children love playing with toy trains. There are many train activities that will be popular among young children. Add these ideas to a larger transportation theme, or focus solely on trains.

Trains Fingerplays and Songs

Engine, engine Number Nine,
Running on Chicago Line.
If she's polished how she'll shine,
Engine, engine Number Nine.

Choo- Choo Train...
This is a choo-choo train, (Bend arms at elbows)
Puffing down the track. (Rotate forearms in rhythm)
Now it's going forward, (Push arms forward, continue motion)
Now is going back. (Pull arms back using same motion)
Now the bell is ringing. (Pull cord with closed fist)
Now the whistle blows. (Hold fist near mouth and blow Toot, Toot)
What alot of noise it makes. (Cover ears with hands)
Everywhere it goes. (Stretch out arms)

A peanut sat on a railroad track
His heart was all a flutter.
Around the bend came number ten
Choo, choo, peanut butter. 

Train Crafts

Let the children be creative and come up with ways to make their own locomotive trains! Large cardboard boxes and even egg cartons can be used to make box cars.

Train Whistle - Have children decorate a toilet paper tube with paint. When dry, punch a hole about a half-inch down the tube. Put a circle of wax paper over one end secure it with a rubber band. When children Blow through the hole, it makes train sounds.

Patterned Trains with Choo Choo wheels - Give children construction paper rectangles in different colors. Have them glue rectangles in a pattern order to look like a train. Glue Choo Choo wheel pasta on bottom of train for wheels.

Train Activities

Take a Train Ride - Line up chairs. Put a number on each chair. Give each child a train 'ticket' with a number. Choose one child to be the ticket taker and mark the tickets with a hole punch (or something similar). Let each child find their seat number.

Play Conductor Says - Train variation of Simon Says. Have the child who is the Conductor, wear a Conductor hat.

Train Snack - Provide children with Saltine crackers, Club crackers, Ritz Crackers and cheese cut in triangles or rectangles. Allow them to create an edibile train using the snack items.

Train Dramatic Play Area - Set up a dramatic play area with hats, train whistles, tickets, a hole punch or stamps, suitcases, etc.

Loose Caboose - This game can be played outside or in a large area. Choose one child to be a caboose. Have the rest of the children create one or more trains by hooking together. 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 catches a train, the engine of that train becomes the next caboose.

Human Train - Put masking tape down on floor to look like train tracks. Have children line up (have children line up by height, what color they are wearing, by birthdays, in boy-girl pattern, etc.) Children put their hands on the shoulder of the person in front of them. Walk around like a train. Make sure each child gets a turn as the engineer and lead the train.

Other Train Resources

Connect the Dots Train Coloring Page

Trains Coloring Book

Train Story Stick

'The Little Engine That Could' Preschool Crafts

Books About Trains