This Laptime Program outline provides several train storytime ideas to bring little ones’ love of trains to your laptime. Below you will find plans for toddler and pre-k laptimes. To gear the laptime program to toddlers, it should ideally last about 20 minutes using a few songs/rhymes and one or two books, followed by a play activity. Preschoolers attention spans are lengthening and so they stay engaged for two books (not more than three), a flannel board activity, songs and fingerplays, and a play activity. They often want to carry on with the theme so a take home activity idea or an in-house craft or activity are great extensions to provide.
Train Storytime Ideas
5 Train Engines: This original rhyme counts down 5 engines to 1 engine and incorporates rhymes and colors.
If You Have a Train: This song/chant focuses on colors and includes a free printable of trains in different colors to use in a flannel board activity.
Ride the Train: This song is sung to “Row Your Boat”
Choo-Choo: This is a full-body action rhyme! Great for getting wiggles out and practicing gross motor skills.
Here is the Engine: This fingerplay teaches the names of different train cars in a cute rhyme.
The Good Morning Train and The Good-bye Train are great welcoming and closing songs sung to the familiar tune of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain.”
Books for Train Storytimes
Night Train, Night Train
by Robert Burleigh and Wendell Minor
The nighttime ride of the train shows a young child the colors still present during the night. With rhyming text and engaging illustrations, this book is a fun read aloud. Read more reviews of Night Train, Night Train on Amazon.
Snakes on a Train
by Kathryn Dennis
Snakes on a Train is Kathryn Dennis’ debut picture book, but these snakes have come a long way with several more picture books featuring their adventures. This story is great for building phonemic awareness through the use of sibilance. Read more reviews of Snakes on a Train on Amazon.
Train Activity Ideas
Round the Rails Train Rug by Melissa & Doug
A transportation rug and a bucket of cars, trucks and trains is usually a hit with toddlers and preschoolers. This is a great extension activity following a train storytime program. Find this train rug on Amazon.
Flannel Board Trains
This free download contains trains in 9 colors. Use with the song/chant If You Have a Train or print two copies and make a matching game.