Tag Archives: train

Things that go…and go…and go!


Oh, the things that go. There are many and they go far. One of the best parts of this theme is asking the kids to talk about the things that they know that go! How did they get to storytime? Yes, strollers and feet count as going things. Did anyone come by boat? by helicopter? by train? You may think you know the answers – but there is always room for a surprise, right?

My little tricycle has wheels so fine
One in front and two behind
I steer it left, I steer it right
Then I go so fast I’m outta sight!


Toot Toot Beep Beep (Garcia)


I really like this book for both Toddler and Preschool. It is simple and quick but has some intriguing aspects. Firstly, all of the vehicles are different. From the red jeep to the pink limousine, there are many colors to practice. Then, each vehicle has a different sound. Once they all start making their sounds at the same time – fun! Lastly, there is a tiny one page mystery  at the end when it is suddenly quiet. Where did they all go?

The pictures are charming and the interaction is fun.

Digger Dog (Bee)


I like this book because the machines keep getting bigger! Unfortunately, this means that you have to keep a vigilant eye on the fold out pages and have book tape at the ready. My Preschoolers were intrigued by the ground being so hard and Dog needing more power. Everyone got a good gasp and laugh at the end reveal.

Truck Jam (Stickland)

Despite the brevity of this pop up book, it always elicit gasps from the audience. Stickland’s trucks are big and bold and are doing interesting things. My library doesn’t buy pop-ups (although my former did and they lasted surprisingly well) so this is my personal copy. Technically it is my son’s – but yeah, no, it’s mine.

I share this with Toddlers and Preschoolers and always have parents who want to take it home. (They end up taking pictures of it when they find out it is my personal copy.)

Diggers Go (Light)


One of the best experiences I’ve had with join-in read alouds! Each page of this oversize board book has a picture of a construction machine and then spells out the crazy-town sound it makes. I mean, who knew that the excavator goes, “chumma chumma hufft hufft FALUMP?!”

The letters are big enough that parents can see and read along. Once they got the hang of it, all of the adults in the room were making the noises the first time with me and then we would do it again so all the kids could join in. It was a hilarious/wonderful cycle of weird noises and laughter. Magical.

That’s How! (Niemann)


I read this funny picture book to Preschoolers because they see the absurdity in it. Each time the girl asks the boy how something works he gives an imaginative explanation of the inner workings (my favorite is probably the hungry monkeys running toward the soup pot on a conveyor belt). She takes his word and is sufficiently awed but when he doesn’t have a quick answer to offer – she comes up with her own impressive explanation.

This title opens up lots of discussion about mechanics and silliness.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Willems)

Most everyone I meet has heard of this book but there are still a few folks out there that have not seen a youth librarian read it. This is your chance to bring a modern classic to life! Encourage your audience to continuously say, “no!” to the pigeon and you will be off to a good start.

Show these parents and kids how to get the most out of this book – and let the hilarity ensue!

The Construction Crew (Meltzer)


I read this to Toddlers and Preschoolers (with a slight abridgment for the younger crowd). This is a good middle of the program book that encourages the kids to chime in if they know the machine. The rhyme is ok – not to much of a stretch but the pictures are bright and colorful and keep the kids’ attention. I really like that the construction crew is diverse and that it all ends with a family getting a new home.

The interstitials (the space fillers):


Green means Go!

Green means go!
Go go go! (move feet quickly, pump arms like running in place)
Yellow means Slow!
Slow slow slow (speak slower and move in slow motion)
and Red… means… Stop! (freeze)

Go go go!
Slow slow slow….

I repeat this several times. It is an easy rhyme to remember and the motions are easy enough for everyone (including parents) to catch on quickly. Going fast and then slow and then freezing helps with gross motor skills. This is also a good reminder to parents to drive safely! 😉
Flannel Play

Four Little Rockets

Four little rockets winking at me.
One shot off and then there were three!
Three little rockets with nothing to do.
One shot off, and then there were two!
Two little rockets afraid of the sun.
One shot off, and then there was one!
One little rocket alone is no fun.
It shot off, and then there was none!

I make a big deal of the ships rumbling and shaking and blasting off from the flannel board. By the last two, the kids are making the noises with me. I originally saw this on Storytime Katie’s post. I found the ship by searching google “rocket ship clipart” and then printed them on cardstock and laminated them for sturdiness.  A square or two of velcro on the back and voila!


(update 2/5/15)

Another fun flannel is a variation of Brown Bear, Brown Bear. I call it

Red Car, Red Car

Red Car, Red Car what do you see?
I see a blue car driving with me.
Red Car, Red Car what do you see?
I see a red train chugging with me.

white plane … flying
blue boat … floating
yellow bus … riding
stoplight … blinking at me

red car red car

I put the lens cap in the picture for scale – you do not need to create one for the flannel 🙂 . The red car is regular die cut size but everything else is much bigger. Little eyes need big things to see across the room. Upscale!


Little Red Caboose

Little red caboose chug, chug, chug
Little red caboose chug, chug, chug
Little red caboose behind the train, train, train, train.
Smokestack on his back, back, back, back
Comin’ down the track, track, track, track
Little red caboose behind the train
woooo! woooo!

I’ve known this song since I was a little girl. I actually had the 45. You can hear the melody here – I usually only sing the first verse. If you are feeling energetic, sing this one while you march around the room!

red caboose

Bumpin’ Downtown (original tune with Raffi)

Bumpin’ downtown in my little red wagon (x3)
bump bump bump bump bump

Flyin’ along in my little blue airplane (x3)
down down down down down – bump.

Spend the first half of the song bumping and the second half with your arms out – flying. If you sing this with your baby time, enjoy the magic of all those flying babies in the audience. It really is a happy happy sight.

bumpin downtown

Zoom, Zoom Zoom!

Zoom zoom zoom
We’re going to the moon! (x2) (clap hands in an upward motion – see Jbrary video below)
If you want to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship! (climb hands up ladder)
Zoom zoom zoom
We’re going to the moon! (clap hands again)

in 5,4,3,2,1 Blast Off!! (show finger countdown, arms in the air for blast off)

I first heard this on Jbrary and I use it almost every week – the kids love it so much.

You can also change up the lyrics to
Far far far we’re going to the stars!
Fun fun fun we’re going to the sun!
Cool cool cool we’re going off to school!
More more more we’re going to the store!

I love this train whistle that I got at the NC Transportation Museum (obviously). You can find them in just about any toy store and I recommend getting one. The whistle sound is lovely and the kids will have a blast following you around the room making a train.

train whistle


Spaceships and Aliens

I used the spaceship die cut in lots of different colors and had the kids glue them on to half sheets of black construction paper. I set out all of my colored and white chalk and told the kids to draw aliens, astronauts, stars, planets, whatever they wanted! Of course theirs were much better than mine. I like the open-ended possibilities of the craft and I really like what the kids end up doing with the chalk. They enjoy using it because the texture is different than crayons or markers and it is the best kind of messy – it washes right off.

The glue stick and the chalk help work the fine motor skills.


These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Toot Toot Beep Beep (Garcia)
Wheels on the Bus
The Construction Crew (Meltzer)
Green Means Go!
Four Rocket Ships flannel
Truck Jam (Stickland)
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:
Digger Dog (Bee)
Wheels on the Bus
That’s How (Niemann)
Train whistle
Green Means Go!
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Willems)
Four Rocket Ships flannel
Toot Toot Beep Beep (Garcia)
Bumpin Downtown song
Truck Jam (Stickland)
Zoom Zoom Zoom (extended version!)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear