Friday, July 2, 2010

All Aboard

My boys are fascinated by big, loud, powerful things. Trains, fire trucks, army tanks, heavy construction vehicles and dinosaurs are awesome to the little ones. Take them to watch an excavation, and they will stand enthralled at the parade of front-loaders, landscapers and graders rumbling across the bare earth. Bring them to a train station and they will be thrilled as each train rumbles along the platform.Children love trains. Boys and girls find them fascinating and my two are no different. We are always on the look out for train expeditions, model railway exhibitions, basically anything that is on that involves trains - we are there! Two of the favourite train day outs have been our visit to the Thomas The Tank Engine Exhibition at Ipswich Train Museum, and of course the ever favourite Valley Rattler at Gympie. 40km of steam train action is a thrill to any young child. I also like the way the train commences at the historic Gympie Station and passes through other stations restored to capture the original character of the early 1900's. Our trips on the Rattler are a great opportunity to talk about the concept of old and new. Master 4 has been on a number of trains so enjoys pointing out the differences between the two. I find trains a wonderful opportunity to teach Master 2 his colours as we often spend time playing at the train table. After our trip on the Valley Rattler today we got all the trains out and made some tracks on polystyrene by pushing the trains back and forth in the paint! Both boys really enjoyed this train activity.

Although we have many train books in our house, I have to say the boys favourite is The Runaway Train By Benedict Blathwayt.

Chuff-chuff, chuffity chuff, whoo...oo. . oo! The Little Red Train sets off down the track without sleepy-head Duffy Driver! Poor Duffy tries everything to catch up - he hitches a lift on a lorry, clambers aboard a motor boat, grabs the chance to ride a tractor and finally makes a heroic leap from a speeding helicopter! At last Duffy gets safely back in the driver's cab, just in time for the Little Red Train to pull into the station at Sandy-on-Sea for a lovely, Lazy afternoon. Phew!

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