Books: Freight Train by Donald Crews
Seymour Simon’s Book of Trains
I love Trains! by Philemon Sturges
Opening Activity: Quick! Touch your toes, eyes, ears, tummy, knees, floor, clap your hands!
Sing: Welcome Song: If you are ready for a story, clap your hands!
Parent Welcome: Thank you for joining us in Storytime today! Every child, like adults, has a bad day, so if you child is needing a break, please step outside the room with them so they can calm down and not disrupt the other children. However, when your child is ready, please rejoin us again! Also, pretend there is an invisible circle around my easel. This is where I have lots of our props. If your child goes inside this circle, please gently pull them back so they do not block the view for the other children. Let’s get started!
Introduce topic: Look at the books I have! What do you guess we will be talking about today? Trains? Yes! And, what sound do trains make? “Chug, chug, chug, Whoo! Whoo!” Yes! Can you say that with them?
Read: Fright Train by Donald Crews
This is a delightful book because it is so simple. Follow a train as we “see” the Red Caboose at the back, then the orange tank car, then the yellow hopper car, and all the way to the black steam engine go past us in the pictures. For each page, I asked the kids to help me, and me made the sounds, “Chug, chug, chug, Woo! Whoo!”
Possible Aside for parents: It can be hard sometimes to read to kids if they are active, or distracted. One trick to keeping them interested in the story is to make them participants. Find a sound they can repeat with you on each page. They will not want to miss their cue, and often will pay much more attention while reading.
Write: I wrote the letter T on our white board, and asked if the kids knew the letter, and what sound the letter made. I then wrote the word, “Train” below the T. For fun, I asked the kids to help me find the letter T in the word train. I pointed at the n, then the a, then the r, to the kids great amusement, and then I finally pointed to the letter T. Kids like it when adults make mistakes and they can correct them, and what a great way to reinforce letter recognition.
Read and Talk: Seymour Simon’s Book of Trains
Beautiful pictures of trains of all kinds. This book has lots of text, so I did not even try reading it. However, we instead picture read through the book, talking about what color each train was, naming it using the text to help us, counting how many cars the trains were pulling and any other observations the kids had. The kids all had comments, and our groups were small enough that I was able to let the kids talk, add to what they were saying by introducing new vocabulary for them, and keep the book moving.
-1, 2 Shake it on Your Shoe,
Read: I love Trains! by Philemon Sturges
Fun story about a boy who loves trains, real and toy! A few of the book’s pages talk about what the cars are carrying; wheat, apples, logs, for example. It is fun to ask the kids what color car is carrying the apples. It also keeps them engaged during the end of Storytime when many begin to drift off.
I forgot to make the felt board, but here were the pieces for you to download. I have attached the credit directly to the image themselves. Just print, color, laminate, glue on Velcro dots, and you have a train felt board ready to go!
How it went:
This is one of my favorite Storytime themes. Having the kids help me read though the books by repeating, ““Chug, chug, chug, Woo! Whoo!” kept them engaged.