Friday, 7 September 2012

Trains - Toddler crafts, activities and resources

One of my son's first words was 'choo choo', and since he could first push things about he has been fascinated by trains. We have several different train sets, and he has access to more at my parent's house (who have now earned the name 'Train Grandma and Grandad'). His train set is the one toy which he never gets bored of, even when it is left out for weeks.

A little bit about the history of train travel - the steam locomotive was invented in 1803, although it was originally used only for goods and not passengers. The first public railway was the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which was built in 1825.

There are also lots of different type of train. Although probably my toddler is most fascinated by steam trains, any type of train will do. We've taken him on several outings by train, and afterwards when asking him for his favourite part of the day he has chosen the train ride, no matter what other exciting things we saw during the day!

Train crafts

Toilet roll tubes are brilliant for crafting with, and here is a wonderful and simple toilet roll tube train.

There is a printable train here to colour as you choose, and of course you can add as many carriages as you like!

If you have a train set you can make some buildings and scenery to decorate. You could paint simple wooden blocks, or you can find some fantastic printables here for all sorts of different buildings.

Train activities

Making a simple train from egg cartons is a great fine motor skills activity for toddlers.

There are also lots of other things in the recycle bin that you can use to make trains - pile them up with some glue and sellotape and let your toddler choose how to build a train!

If you have some larger boxes you can make a train that is large enough for your toddler to sit in, or else some favourite stuffed friends.

Collect train tickets from journeys to use for role play.

If you live near a station then your toddler will be happy for ages watching trains go in and out. Of course ideally you'll be able to take a short journey yourself! Many parks have narrow gauge railways that you can ride on, or you could find a local heritage railway and ride on a real steam train.

Train books

That's Not My Train - This series of books are fantastic for little ones, with simple repetitive language and a different texture on each page.

Noisy Trains (Bright Baby Noisy Machines) - A great book for little ones with lots of bright, colourful drawings.

The Little Red Train: Green Light - We love the books in the Little Red Train series, and this one is our favourite. The stories are fun and interesting and there is plenty to spot in the pictures.

Busy Books: Busy Railway - The illustrations in this book are wonderful - simple yet detailed enough to encourage plenty of conversation.

Trains (Usborne Beginners) - A more factual book for older toddlers with plenty to learn about for grown ups too!

Train toys

Make a Picture Sticker Book: Trains (Make a Picture Sticker Books) - A really simple sticker book with large colourful stickers, really good for younger toddlers.

Complete Wooden Train Railway System - 43 piece Figure of Eight Train Set (Compatible with leading wooden rail systems) - Wooden Toy - We've tried several different train sets and this wooden set is our favourite. This basic set has all you need, but it's compatible with all the different wooden train sets on the market so it's easy to make it as large as you like, and a great thing for friends and relatives to add pieces to for gifts.

 Ride On Train - What toddler wouldn't love to ride around on his own train!

Heimess H762570 Pram String (Train) - Even tiny babies will love to watch a train across the front of their pram or car seat!

Fisher-Price Stacking Surprise Peek a Boo Choo Choo - This is a great train toy for younger toddlers, bright, colourful and interactive.

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