Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freight Train - A Read Along with Helping Little Hands

Quite some time ago, Polly from Helping Little Hands asked if I would be interested in participating in her March Read Along.

Several bloggers are reading a children's book with their kids and then posting about a craft or activity to go along with each book. Now, I'll have to admit, I am not the best at reading to my kids. I used be great at it and Sweet Pea would sit for hours listening to story after story, then Jojo came along. His window for stories is about 5 minutes and then it must be the book of his choice and he must get to turn the pages and hold the book, etc. So, it light of that we picked Jojo's favorite book for the read along, Freight Train by Donald Crews. My mom sent him huge board book version for Valentine's Day (it's a tradition that my mom sends all of her kids and grandkids books on Valentine's Day). Freight Train is about a train on a track and it's different colored cars. It moves, through tunnels, across bridges, in light in dark and the it's gone.

For our activity I cut out the pieces of the train for each of my kids out of construction paper. I used the colors of the cars in the book for the colors of each of the cars and did my best to match the shapes. The kids then decorated their train cars and attempted to reassemble their trains in the same color order the trains are in the book. The kids spent some time driving their paper trains across the hardwood floors until we found a spot to hang them and we decorated some more. It was a great learning activity, especially for 2 1/2 year old Jojo to work on color recognition. 

He mostly wanted to mess with his glue stick the entire time!

After doing this, I thought of a few other activities that would work for this book that I thought I'd share. 

- cut the pieces of train smaller and have kids glue them to another sheet of paper in the correct order
- paint match boxes, spools or other small items to make a train
- use a toy train and make it go fast, make it go in the dark, make it go in the light, make it go through a tunnel, etc. 

Please head over to Helping Little Hands and check out all of the other fabulous ideas that have been posted this month! 


  1. I *LOVE* this. I love that they're going along the trim. We're definitely going to have to check this book out. Thanks so much for participating!

  2. So fun! My little boy loves trains AND we're already going to the library today for storytime--we'll definitely be looking for this book!

    ~ Sarah

  3. Donald Crews has some other good books too - I don't remember the title, but there was one about a city at night, where the pictures were inverted - my kids loved it when they were young.


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