Thursday, January 22, 2009

Choo Choo Chew

There's no doubt about it -- trains are very fun. My little boys have always loved trains, but after getting a train set from the grandparents for the winter holidays, train play is a part of our daily routine.

BOOKS: There is something really magical about Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis. It's a simple, quick read with illustrations by Daniel Kirk that just capture the imagination of our littlest conductors. And of course, the classic The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper is a wonderful, inspiring story that will bring back memories from your own childhood. And another story that we enjoy these days is Terrific Trains by Tony Mitton.ACTIVITIES: All Aboard! I cannot even count how many times we gather all the chairs in the house, put them in a row, and pretend this is a train. We cut up little pieces of paper for our tickets, and we take turns on who gets to be the conductor and who plays the passengers (sometimes stuffed animals). We can go anywhere. We can take anything -- freight, luggage, etc. (Sometimes there's even a dining car.) These train rides can sometimes last a very long time and be very adventurous.Choo Choo Chew: We have some very cute train cookie cutters. But after the holidays, the last thing I felt like doing was make more sugar cookies. So today we used our cookie cutters with cereal treats. I followed the basic directions on the rice cereal box, and then let them cool before getting my sons involved. I let my oldest cut out the train shapes, and we all decorated them. I took some O's and dipped them in blue food coloring for the wheels. My eldest son was extremely pleased to see all the colored sugar and decorating candies come out of the pantry again. My little sweet-tooth even exclaimed, "I am so happy" during this activity.

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