Choo Choo Train
Social: Begin to foster your toddler’s social skills in playing beside children or adults and set a foundation towards positive co-operative play.
This choo choo train activity will encourage toddlers to become comfortable in a social environment with another child or adult and to begin to gain a sense of cooperative play.
You will need:
- Space for your child to build train tracks
- Plastic or wooden train tracks
- Plastic or wooden trains
- The following simple, repetitive rhyme: Chugga-chugga, whoo-whoo, The choo choo train is here for you! (Davies 2005)
- Setup the materials in an open space with a bin of train tracks and another bin for the trains. A child-level table or floor area is best. In front of the bins, connect two tracks as a starting point for your child.
- Let your child wander to this area, observe their actions, then sing the Choo Choo rhyme above.
- Introduce the people you might see at a train station (i.e. train conductor, passengers, ticket collector). Keep it simple, three roles is a good start. Follow your child’s lead to bring the trains to life.
- Recite the rhyme a few times, to help the children learn the words. Encourage your child to join in on saying the words. For example, “All abroad! Time for the Choo Choo song”.
- During play, support your child’s development in social play by saying, “This is my train and that is your train”, “My train and your train are choo choo-ing together”.
Click Here For Accessibility Tips
Some children are still developing simple conversation, for example, saying “Hi” and “Bye” to the people they know. These tips will help your toddler engage in simple conversation skills.
Support your toddler's imagination by saying " the train goes chugga-chugga woo woo"
You can support your toddler's new knowledge by asking "what sound does a train make, chugga- chugga woo woo?"
Talk out loud and demonstrate the train going around the tracks by saying "Choo choo, oh here is a stop"
Introduce one person on or around the train, for example, say "This person is driving the train, here they go around, choo choo. Encourage your toddler to play with you by saying "Your turn, do the same"
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you repeat the words and sounds by asking questions
- Your toddler will develop the reponses to say when playing
Nurture, Explore & Share
- If you demonstrate a simple action on the train
- Your toddler will develop more actions and characters when playing
- Spend time being involved in your child’s play
- Feel safe and comfort in using imagination to add to existing materials or story
- Encourage your child to sing with you
- Feel safe to explore the concept of playing beside another individual through singing a song
- Repeating the rhyme multiple times
- Start to develop memory for the rhythm
- Demonstrate caring and openness to your child’s learning
- Retain the positive experience involving parallel play and sets the foundation towards co-operative play.
Enriching Learning Through the Everyday Moments
- Challenge your child to switch trains with you to foster the concept of sharing. For example you might say, “You can my train if you want” then ask “Can I play with your train?”. You may have to ask for your child’s train a few times, be patient, your child will share their train when ready.
- Another challenge can include reciting the Choo Choo rhyme as a child places stuffed toys into a wagon to pull behind them.
- Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand
- Animals on Board by Stuart J. Murphy
Everyday Moments: Play Time