Trains seem to hold an enduring fascination over some children. How often have you gone into a doctor’s office, toy or book store and saw a train table set up for the kids? Are you the parent that secretly groans when you see the train table because you realize how difficult it will be to peel your child away? Over the years, many play time and therapy hours have been spent at the train table. While it can be challenging to find ways to connect while the trains seem to suck every ounce of attention from the child it is well worth the effort. There are many lessons and skills that can be taught at the train table. Try our train activities for kids and enjoy seeing the child learning through play.
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It is always easier to build skills by tapping into a child’s interest. We have found many ways to use trains to create teachable moments.
Teaching Sharing with Train Activities
Some children can be very rigid when playing with trains. Just touching one of their trains may elicit squeals of protest. Come prepared with patience and humor. Sometimes it is easier to start with building the track. Take control of all the pieces and hand them over one by one while building. Once the track is made make positive statements like: “I know that you are so good at sharing. What train are you sharing with me?” Sometimes the child will still refuse to share. This is where persistence and a sense of humor are your best tools. Find ways to play with the train set without taking a train. Put blocks on the track to knock down. Keep trying to take a train. If/when you manage to hold on to a train for a while make sure to comment on how much fun you are having playing with trains. Don’t drive the child to frustration. It’s a dance if they are getting frustrated give in and then try again later. Anytime you get a turn celebrate with cheering and praise. With persistence, even the most rigid child will eventually share.
Discovering Colors Train Activities
You will need trains, colored blocks, and colored paper.
Make a tent with the colored paper. Have the child load up the colored blocks and deliver them to the matching color tent.
Try Mom Inspired Life’s Train Color Sorting Activity. It’s a vibrant, fun color matching game the kids will love!
Discovering the Alphabet Train Activities:
You will need paper letters and random toy items.
Game 1: Tape the letters onto the trains. Put them in alphabet order. Sort them into vowels and consonants.
Game 2: Put the letters in various “stations”. Take one of the toys and have the child drive the train to the matching letter.
Game 3: Arrange the trains into short words.
Discovering Numbers Train Activities:
Categories Train Activities:
Oh no, all the toys are in a confusing mess! Can you take them to their home? Gather up a bunch of toys like animals, cars or shapes. Make a place for each category. Maybe the place is putting them away or you can use boxes or papers with a picture label. Make a game of sorting the toys by driving them to where they belong.
Paint with Trains!
This is a classic painting activity. Get out those trains and use them to paint with. Be aware, though, this activity can get messy!