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.
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.