Friday, January 1, 2016


Train Challenge with The Little Engine That Could

This train challenge is the perfect gross motor exercise to get your kids moving after reading The Little Engine That Could!

One of my favorite aspects of gross motor activities, and this one in particular, is that they are so good for my child who sometimes has issues balancing his sensory processesing system.  On days when the weather makes us spend more time indoors, this child can get more stir-crazy than any of our other kiddos.  Getting to use those growing child-muscles in an active way is the best calm-down technique I've found.

So what is the challenge?  Simply to pull each other in a "train" like the little blue engine pulled the train full of toys!

To build the train I cut two pieces of fabric about 6 inches wide and 3 feet long.  I tied a big knot in one end of each strip and poked two holes in a large box we got from our last diaper order from Amazon.  I passed the un-knotted end through the holes so it looked like the picture below.

Voila!  Instant train!  One child could now sit in the train and be pulled by the other child.  Our children may have been wearing costumes this morning.  Don't worry--they do know it's not Halloween.

They absolutely loved this!  All our kids between two and eight years old thought it was insanely fun, and had a blast taking turns being the little blue engine and the train that gets pulled around the room.

Then one of our kiddos sat too far back in the box and the box almost tipped over on a sharp turn!  So we turned this into an impromptu physics lesson!  We talked about weight distribution and how that would apply to loading a train or trailer.  I was impressed when they transferred what we were talking about and applied it to moving trucks!  By now you know that I love to include science anywhere we can, so I was quite happy about this little turn!

Of course, most of the time they spent just driving each other around!

We love the Virtual Book Club!!

January's Virtual Book Club book is The Little Engine That Could:

Amazon Affiliate Link:

Every month the Virtual Book Club brings you hands-on activities that you can do along with a book to read!  Visit the Virtual Book Club's Facebook page here and click here to learn more about the book club and its schedule!  AND, be sure to stop by these other blogs for more fantastic Little Engine that Could themed ideas, activities, crafts, and more:

Train Challenge with The Little Engine That Could by Preschool Powol Packets
The Little Engine that Could ABC Activity by Growing Book by Book
Train Science with the Little Engine that Could by Inspiration Laboratories
Tracing Shapes with Trains by I Can Teach My Child
Counting on and back with trains by Rainy Day Mum
I Think I CAN Sight Word Activity by Still Playing School
Train Themed Treat for Kids by Toddler Approved
Build A Train Game by Mama Miss
Train Color Sorting Activity by Mon Inspired Life
Train Math Game by 3 Dinosaurs

I may share at any of these parties!

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Devany said...

My kids would love this!

Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories said...

My kids do this with boxes every chance they get! I love how you added a handle for them.

Anonymous said...

My son will love this idea!

Unknown said...

My girls would just love this one!

Rainy Day Mum said...

Next big box we have we will be investigating this the kids will absolutely love it.

Kim Vij said...

all week long I've been trying to think of an easy train idea with boxes... problem solved. Thanks for sharing we are off to go reuse some of those christmas packages.