Trains, trains, and more train play. Who thought a walk through our neighbourhood would provide so much interest and excitement about trains.
In trying to teach the children to cross the street in a safe manner, the educators asked the children to pretend to be a train so that we crossed in a straight line. We created a few trains by placing our hands on the shoulders of the friend in front of us. As we crossed the street we repeated “chugga-chugga, choo-choo!”.
To extend the train interest, the educators offered a small group of children to play train in the hallway, thinking we would practice moving in a line and learning more about the prepositions behind and in front of. To the educators’ surprise, the children brought chairs out with them and formed a line with the chairs. This was mainly organized by a few of the older children, but the whole group followed suit as many toddlers will do. (They are great collaborators).
The children were now ready to go on a trip. Wasting no time we began to engage in dramatic play and fastened our seat belts. When deciding where to go, one child suggested we go see a baseball game. Because there will be no more baseball games in Toronto this year, we decided to go to Cleveland, Ohio. Beverages and snacks were served, and pillows were handed out for the night time nap. We looked through the windows as we crossed a small set of mountains and then saw a herd of cattle in North Dakota before arriving in Ohio.
The following day, we listened to train whistle sounds and the chugga-chugga sound that a steam train makes. We watched some fascinating footage of a steam train puffing out black smoke. Other train related experiences we took part in were reading train stories and singing train songs.
As much fun as those experiences were – still our favorite thing to do is to go on train rides with our chairs all lined up behind each other. Just this morning we went on another trip. This time the trip was facilitated by a different educator and the children reminded her that they needed tickets. So, real tickets (paint chips) were handed out and the conductor punched one hole in each of the tickets. After the trip ended and the chairs were put away, it was delightful to see how many children held onto their ticket as they continued to explore different centers in the room. So parents, if you are wondering what that paint chip with the hole in it is doing in your child’s pocket or backpack, just know that it was a real keepsake from a memorable, imagined play experience we had this morning.
Have a playful weekend everyone!