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Theme for the Week - Trains













Trains!  - Not JUST for Boys! This week, in 1855, the first railway suspension bridge opened over Niagara Falls, NY. Since we have not had trains as a theme, it seemed like a good week to do that. Make a pull train, learn "train" in Spanish and sign language and make a cute train snack.  Enjoy!


Even if you have a little girl, trains are always fascinating for a toddler, especially when you see one in person. Mom, if you get a chance this week, take your child somewhere where they might get to see a train go by, or even if there is an old car somewhere that they can see. It will make it more real for them when you and your child are doing this week's activities. 


Letter of the Week: R  - for Railroad (we recently featured T). Point out things that start with "R" -  red, rabbit, round, read. Make sure you exaggerate when you pronounce since R is a difficult sound to learn to say. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital R and a lower case r. Draw an R on paper and let him/her trace over it, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well. 


Number of the Week: 5  - For 1855. When you show your child anything say "5 red rabbits" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 5. Write the number 5 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 5 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three..."  - so your child gets used to the pattern. If nothing else, just to hear the number is good for him/her.


Songs of the Week:  I've Been Working on the Railroad - Here is a traditional railroad song. This link has the words and music and some history about the song. 


Story of the Week: Down By The Station   -  by Will Hillenbrand. This has really cute illustrations with bright colors and a small amount of words on the page.  If you can't find this at your local library, you can try Recently, I searched my local library on-line and placed holds on all the books I wanted and in a couple of days, they were ready to pick up.  Instead of trying to browse the shelves with a busy toddler, I picked them up, checked them out and was on my way.  Here's a link to public libraries in the United States if you'd like to see if your local branch is here. 


Snack of the Week:  Soda Cracker Trains - Here is a link to a cute idea for making soda crackers, cheerios, etc into tiny snack trains. You can use peanut butter or something else sticky to hold the items on the cracker. 


Language Words of the Week: train - el tren, train station - la estación de trenes, conductor - el cobrador/la cobradora, caboose - el fogón. Also check out the BBC's Muzzy from Early Advantage for teaching Spanish (or many other languages) to your child. They are fabulous! 


Do It Myself: What Does a Train Say?  - Teach your child what sound a train makes - chugga chugga, choo choo or woo woo or peep peep (if you prefer a certain blue steam engine). 


Activity of the Week: Make You Own Pull Train - Here's an activity you can customize to your toddler's level.  Maybe just a couple of toilet paper rolls tied together with some yarn. If your child is a bit older, maybe coloring or decorating the train works. You decide.  Mom will need to help if you are going to make the train as pictured.


Yoga Pose: Cow Pose - A bit of a stretch but since there are no yoga poses that have to do with trains, we figured you see cows out the window when you are on the train.  This link is from  Yoga Journal.  PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. 


Sign Language Sign of the Week: TrainCloudsTreeCow.   If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate.    


Remember to give your child a hug and tell him/her you love them. Hope you have a wonderful week!   Take this week's survey here.

Image by Jack Sloop
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