Trains and Building (January 2023)

For this six-week session, I am trying a new plan where I don’t do storytimes based on themes. I am going to pick books that I like and that I want to read and find a way to connect them. This week I ended up wanting to read a few books about trains and then I connected building a train to building a school for the preschoolers. For the toddlers, I am reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear every week as a choral read and I used the colors in that book to connect to the colors in Freight Train.

Books we Read

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (toddler) – this is a choral read

Freight Train by Donald Crews (toddler and preschool)

Let’s Build a Little Train by Julia Richardson (toddler and preschool)

If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen (preschool)

Songs we Sang

Hurry Hurry

Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (x 3)

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

Verses: Turn the corner, Put the Ladder up, Spray the Fire Hose

Credit: Jbrary

Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go

Round and round (x3)

The wheels on the bus go

Round and round

All day long

Verses: people on the bus go up and down, doors on the bus go open and shut, babies on the bus go waa, wheels on the bus go round and round

Credit: childhood

Flannel Board

I made tons of things that go for this storytime and handed them out at the beginning of storytime. We sang a fun song I adapted from Storytime Katie!

To the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man:

Do you have a blue airplane, a blue airplane, a blue airplane

If you have a blue airplane,

Please put it up here

They all took turns bringing their things that go up to the flannelboard and creating a hectic city. It was a huge hit and was a lot of fun.

Early Literacy Tip

For the toddlers, we are going to repeat Brown Bear, Brown Bear every week in this 6-week session. They learn by repetition, so this will be great for their brains and at the end, they will tell the story to you which will make them so confident!


I put out scrap paper, precut squares, triangles, and circles, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks and let the kids go to town. I told them they could make a train or make a school or build anything they wanted. Almost all of them chose to make a train of some sort and they turned out so cute.

How it Went

This storytime was a lot of fun and the choral read was very popular with the babies and toddlers. I had a picture book of Brown Bear, Brown Bear and every kid got their own board book copy to use during storytime and they loved hearing their parents with me and turning their own pages.

Trains are always very popular and I love this Chris Van Dusen series. The train craft also went so well and was super easy to prep. I love simple crafts where the kids can do whatever they want. The flannel activity was really fun and was a good amount of prep, but was so worth it because they got to practice their colors and interact with the flannel board which they LOVE. This storytime was back in January and I have had kids ask me to bring it back during the next session.