Have the child identify the colors on each of the train cars. Challenge him or her to find the same color on more than one train car. Which colors are found on all of them?
Talk to the child about what each of the train cars is called (engine, coal car, cargo car, passenger car, freight car, box car, tanker, caboose) and the function of each kind of train car.
Have the child count the wheels on one train car. When he or she is able to count them independently, have him or her count the wheels on two train cars, then three, etc. Have the child count other details, such as windows, rectangles, or stripes.
Have the child connect the train cars in order, based on clues you give. For instance, you might say, "Please start with the engine, then add a red train car, a car that carries people, a car without windows, and then one with stripes." Give the clues one at a time for younger children; increase difficulty by asking the child to remember more than one clue at a time.
Have the child stack several train cars on top of each other. How far can he or she roll the tower of trains before they topple over?
Encourage the child to tell a story using the train cars. Have him or connect all of the train cars and then tell you where the train is going and what stops it will make along the way. Perhaps the train picks up passengers at the first stop, drops off coal at the second stop, drops off passengers at the third stop, and ends its route by delivering packages. Ask the child to tell you about what the train might pass on its trip--mountains, cities, farms, etc.--and through what kind of weather it might have to travel.
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