Sunday, August 25, 2013

{Virtual Book Club for Kids} 4 Activities for Freight Train by Donald Crews - Move, Eat, Draw and Learn with this Classic Book

The boys and I were very excited that this month's author for the Virtual Book Club for Kids was Donald Crews. He has many books the boys love, but (like so many other children) Freight Train is their favorite. We've done several activities with the book in the past, but enjoyed revisiting this month through new activities as we got busy moving, drawing (or creating art), eating and learning with Freight Train. We always explore the Virtual Book Club for Kids' books in this way. I hope you'll enjoy these four simple, but fun activities to go with the book. 

Move - I used this movement activity as an opportunity to also reinforce color learning with Caterpillar, who recently turned two. We would look at the book, and then look outside for objects in various colors to recreate the freight train. 
Later, we also picked up small/loose objects from outside to put inside the freight cars in relation to the corresponding color. For instance, their yellow plastic baseball bats went in the yellow truck bed and a green turtle went in the back of the green truck.

Eat - I loved using this book with Wild Thing to encourage healthy eating. We made a freight train of mostly fruits and vegetables to match the colors of the train cars: black mission figs for the steam engine, raisins for the purple box car, yogurt (in a blue container) for the blue gondola car, avocado for the green cattle car, banana for the yellow hopper car, carrot for the orange tank car and an apple for the red caboose. This is the only time I've gotten him to successfully try figs and avocados! 

He loved looking at the book as he ate. 

Draw - Sometimes we actually do draw, but in general our "drawing" component for the books refers to our selected art activity. This time, Wild Thing painted some train cars. Again, he loved referencing and reading the book as he engaged in the activity. 
Learn - As you saw with our movement activity, a natural learning element of the book is for this book to help children learn their colors or to reinforce their learning of their colors. With Wild Thing, I decided to add an early literacy element since he shows a lot of interest in letters, words and reading. The stapler made this activity a big hit and was a new experience and skill for him. 
I took more of the rectangular cardboard pieces that I had and wrote the colors on them (in the corresponding color, of course). Then, I cut the words up and put them all together in a pile for Wild Thing to find the letters or letter groups that would fit together to make the correct color word. Again, the book was available for reference. 

Wild Thing took a lot of pride in his train. Caterpillar liked it too. He ended up coloring on it providing another color matching activity. I love that Freight Train is available as a bilingual book in Spanish and English. We've gotten it from the library before, and I plan to get it again and do this same literacy activity with Wild Thing in Spanish and to do some color matching activities in Spanish and English like we did with our bilingual rainbow

Sharing at: Tuesday Tots, Mom's Library, Artsy Play Wednesday, Booknificent Thursday, and It's Playtime!

P.S. If you have a train lover in your house, you'll definitely want to check out my Ten for Tuesday post on Trains, the first post in a popular Things That Go Series I did on my blog last year. 


  1. We love this book and these activities are perfect for us! Thanks!

  2. I haven't seen this one at the library but looks like a fun book with lots of potential activities. Thanks for sharing! Especially since I am looking for bilingual books!

  3. Wow! These look like so much fun that they probably didn't know how rich these activities were with learning!!! Well done, mom! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina from

  4. I just want to thank you for the work that you do and your willingness to share. You have created outstanding materials and we all benefit from your generosity.