Sep 19, 2013

Making Tracks - A "Freight Train" Activity

For our last train activity for our Transportation Tuesday - Train Week, I wanted Kingston to do a craft! One of the most popular books about trains for youngsters is definitely Freight Train by Donald Crews. This was one of the books that I featured in our Train Board Book Round-Up and definitely the train book that we read the most at home. Kingston loves the colors and is drawn to the simple, straight forward text. It is an awesome book for color recognition, so I set up a craft based on that.

Using paint in all of the colors used in the book (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and black), I made a color wheel for us to dip Kingston's one and only toy train in to make colorful tracks.

Before we painted, we re-read the book so that it was fresh in Kingston's mind. He intensely listened. The look on his face was hysterical. 

Next, I let him explore the little steam engine. I found a train set (or bits and pieces of a train set) on the side of the road recently and picked it up. After cleaning everything thoroughly, I put it away for later use. Kingston somehow found this little engine and was so intrigued by it. He loves that the puff of steam goes up and down as you roll it. 

Then we started making tracks. I put the paint on the train according to the way they are introduced in the book. First we started with red. 

I planned on demonstrating how to make tracks for him, but he was a natural. He knew exactly what to do! Not once did he throw the train or put the train in his mouth. He was a pro, moving the train back and forth and watching the color appear on the paper. We went over each color as he made tracks. After each color, I cleaned the train off with a wipe. 

He made beautiful straight tracks and then added his own artistic license by blurring the lines with his fingers. We worked our way through all of the colors, making train noises and singing songs from "Choo Choo Soul" .. ya, that's the way we roll! 

He was very focused and concentrated adorably on what he was doing. (My baby is getting so big!!) After he was done making tracks on the paper, we put down another piece and I helped him make straight lines using a mixture of all of the paints. He liked working with Mama to make clean, straight train tracks. Then we made the letter "K" together and went over our favorite letter! 

Kingston's Creation (I think it is gorgeous!!):

Mama and Baby creations: 

He was still having so much fun after this that I smooshed the entire plate of leftover paint onto his highchair and let him have at it! I got some really cute action shots of him wildly finger painting. 

Then he made tracks on his tray with the train!

This activity ended up being much more than a craft! It turned into quite the learning activity. Kingston loved it. We will definitely be making more "tracks" in the future! 

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