Thursday, January 24, 2013

Freight Train: Recap

So this week we read the book Freight Train by Donald Crews and completed the lesson plan that I posted on Monday.  Overall it went really well.  I don't have any photos of Caroline and I reading the book.  It is kinda pointless to try to photograph her with the book because she just crawls away.  Anyway, we've read it at least once a day all week.  Repetition is soooo important for little ones.  Albeit extremely boring for adults.  We had fun patting each of the different colors.  We are working on patting pictures instead of trying to rip them out of the book :)  

Onto the activity.  If she was a bit older she could have helped me cover the box in paper or even paint it.  I  tried to see if she would be interested in it by ripping up the paper that I planned on using to cover the box but she didn't seem interested so here is what I ended up with.  I later added black circles for wheels which you will see in the pictures below.  I hope someone with an older child was able to make this into a fun project! 

If she was older I would have covered three different boxes in paper.  One red, one blue, and one yellow.  But because she is only  9.5 months old it didn't matter.  I made her a few bean bags for Christmas so I pulled those out to help us fill up the train car.  We ended up loading up the train car with all sorts of toys.  My goal for her was to work on putting in and taking out.  It is what is most developmentally appropriate for her right now.  I narrated what she was doing and made sure to say the colors since we are focusing on color this month.  

She did a great job putting in!
Examining her handy work.  
 If you child is a bit older you can have them name the colors or objects as they toss them into the box.  Or you can have them go around the house finding blue things to put in the blue box, red things to put in the red box, and yellow things to put in the yellow box. 

The play continued the next day!

Next we did one of my lesson extensions from the lesson plan.  We pretended that the train car was a real train.  I pushed her around the playroom and made train noises (chugga-chugga chugga-chugga choo choo!) and naming things as we passed them.  If she was older I would have tried to encourage her imagination and ask her what she saw.  I would prompt her by saying things like "Wow look at the ocean over there!  Do you see that forest?  Hmmm I wonder what animals live there?"  Things like that.  We aren't there yet so I did LOTS of labeling.  So our conversation was one sided and was things look, "Look at the blue elephant (and patted the blue elephant).  Look at the giant purple ball (my yoga ball)."  She looked at each thing as I patted it so hopefully she is starting to connect words with objects in her mind.  She loved me making the train noises and was smiling from ear to ear as we went around.  I've left the fort up that we made a few weeks ago which you can read about here if you missed it the first time.  So the fort became a really cool tunnel for our train to go through.  

Mommy why did you put me in a box?

We even read the book while in the train!
 Our dog was super interested in what we were doing so he joined in on the fun!  

Look Mommy I'm helping!

This is tough work!
I also tried to get her to push the train around herself and put things in it.  The pushing was a bit difficult but she did a great job of putting things in!  

Did anyone else have a great train ride?  Any super creative train cars out there?  What did you load your trains up with?  Foam letters are all the rage in our house right now.  



  1. Finally - a use for all of my empty diaper boxes! Seriously though, love the idea of decorating them for new purposes. Smart :)

    1. Doesn't it feel good to reuse stuff that would otherwise be trash?! I think I may be driving my husband nuts because I keep saving containers that I think I will be able to re-purpose. He will love it in the end though when I save us money :)