Train obsessed is probably the best way to describe my twins when they were toddlers. Our floors were constantly covered in tracks, train engines accompanied us everywhere, and choo choo was the most popular two word phrase.
Our toddlers went through a train obsessed phase and while I wanted to support their interest, I also felt that they should occasionally diverge their play away from the train table. Awesome children’s books about trains and the drawing prompt I’m sharing today are two ways I helped them branch out a little while still encouraging their train enthusiasm.
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Freight Train Creative Invitation
Featured Book: Freight Train by Donald Crews
This week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids theme is transportation and we’re focusing on one of our favorite forms of transportation – TRAINS!
Freight Train is an award winning, classic children’s book that, in my opinion, should be part of every home collection. It is genius in it’s simplicity and absolutely perfect for toddlers.
Freight Train Drawing Prompt
You can create this simple drawing prompt with materials you most likely have already and it kept my toddlers engaged much longer than a normal coloring activity.
- White Paper
- Colored Pencils/Crayons/Markers
To create this simple drawing prompt, take a stack of white paper. Use a sharpie or black marker to draw a simple train track pattern across the bottom.
Place the papers in a basket near some drawing implements. Make them visible in your art area or wherever you typically create. Arrange crayons in an attractive way to invite one over for a look.
Start by reading the story together. Make sure to point out the train tracks in the illustrations.
Afterwards, have this drawing prompt available in your play space or art table or on the kitchen table.
As with all drawing prompts, there is no wrong way to approach this piece of paper. We are process-oriented lovers and believe expecting a two year old to sit down and draw what you dictate is unlikely and developmentally inappropriate.
When my son first saw the paper he ran to get his Thomas train to drive back and forth. However, soon he became interested in the colored pencils and drew swirls across the tracks and declared it a “red engine.”
The drawing prompt is there to start a conversation and make a suggestion, nothing more. Sit with your child(ren) as they show interest. Listen to their comments and respond. You could ask things such as “what do you see?” or “what do you think could drive on those tracks?” but avoid too much prompting.
Proudly display whatever they create on your art wall or other available space. Ask them to tell you about their drawing and maybe even add a card with their thoughts next to the paper on the wall.
Drawing Prompts are a simple invitation to create that we typically make on small paper for individual use, like our original train drawing prompt above. My kids loved this one so much though that I offered it again on a bigger scale.
A cooperative Railroad Track Drawing Prompt.
Murals like this are wonderful opportunities to practice social skills and encourage language. This one is very open ended and toddler friendly. Help your toddlers negotiate space, share crayons, and navigate any disputes by providing them with needed language.
Read Also: Polar Express Story Time with Train Yoga
More Transportation Learning Activities:
Are you a member of the amazing Weekly Virtual Book Club community on Facebook? It is free and fantastic weekly fun. Together a team of co-hosts (including yours truly) share a favorite children’s book and related activities each week. Join our community of over 6,000 creative parents, teachers, and childcare providers!
These are the activities from our team of co-hosts this week! I can’t wait to see what you do with our bookclub book this week.
- Train Carriage Counting Game from Rainy Day Mum
- Transportation I Spy and Graph Printable from School Time Snippets
- Chocolate Train Cookies from Inspiration Laboratories
- Geometric Shapes Train from Mama Smiles
- Train Track Card Game for Preschoolers from Preschool Powol Packets
Science, Technology and Engineering Activities
- Transportation Playdough Mat from The Moments at Home
- Transportation Sand and Water Play from My Bored Toddler
- Fingerprint Train Ornament for Kids from The Educators’ Spin On It
- Easy DIY Paper Train Table for Kids from Toddler Approved