Monday, August 19, 2013

Alphabet Train Matching Activity for Kids {Donald Crews Virtual Book Club Blog Hop}

This post contains affiliate links. 

Last week was filled with lots of adventures with my kids and some special mommy/daughter crafty bonding time while my oldest was out of town.

This week we are kicking off our Donald Crews Virtual Book Club Blog Hop and we are sharing a special train themed alphabet matching activity that goes along with the book we read-- Freight Train.

We just bought Freight Train by Donald Crews this summer after hearing so many great recommendations about the book!

My toddler (2.5 yr old) and I loved it because it was short, easy to understand, and filled with great colorful pictures! The pictures were also simple and not overwhelmingly busy. I also really enjoyed the language in the book. It begins by describing each section of the train and then briefly describes the train's journey using simple descriptive words ("moving. going through tunnels..."). The pace of the book was perfect for my daughter's attention span.

My daughter really likes trains and is really interested in colors and alphabet letters lately, so I created an alphabet train matching activity for us to do together. 

We kept our alphabet train simple and just made a steam engine and box cars. 

Here's what we used to created this alphabet matching activity:

Here's how we set up the activity:

First my daughter helped me punch out 28 circles from colorful cardstock. She loves pressing down on the punch as my assistant.

Then she explored the big stack of punched out colorful circles and played with them while I cut out a steam engine from black cardstock. I hand drew our steam engine but you could easily print out a coloring page to use as a template. Next I cut several colorful cardstock pieces in half to create several box cars (I think we used 8 pieces).  

Once everything was cut, we sang the ABC song while I wrote alphabet letters on each box car and on each cut out wheel. Then we taped the engine and box cars onto our wall using painters tape.

Next I added rolls of tape underneath each box car so that my daughter could add the alphabet letter wheels to the box cars!

Typically train cars only have two wheels on each side (four wheels for each box car), but we made ours have three wheels per side (which saved some wall space and some paper).

Once the tape was up for the wheels, we poured the colorful alphabet letter punched circles onto the floor and I told her she could start matching!!

Her goal was to find an alphabet letter circle on the floor and match it to the alphabet letter on the box car and then stick it on as a wheel underneath the matching letter.

We had fun using and reusing this activity a lot since the paper wheels came off the painters tape easily. We even moved it into our kitchen later in the week so that we could see our train more frequently and talk about the colors and letters. If you want yours to be extra durable, make sure to laminate it.

Our alphabet train has been a great resource to have in the house because it gets us talking about alphabet letters a lot! My daughter will notice the letter c and say, "that letter is in my name" or will notice an e and say, "that letter is on the cereal box." We also talked about the box car colors and the colored circles as we moved them around! 

Have you done any train themed activities that you can share with us?

Have you read Freight Train by Donald Crews yet?

What is your favorite Donald Crews book? If you have blogged about it, we'd love for you to link up your post in the linky below! We can't wait to see all of your amazing ideas! 

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them: 

  1. Link up only posts inspired by Donald Crews that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you'd like.
Here's the button you can grab if you are participating!


PS- If you missed any of our other Virtual Book Club Posts you can find them below:

June- Mo Willems
July- Don and Audrey Wood
August- Kevin Henkes
September- Lois Ehlert
October- Amy Krouse Rosenthal
November- Tomie dePaola
December- Jan Brett
January- David McPhail
February- Dr Seuss
March- Julia Donaldson
April- David Shannon
May- Leo Lionni
June- Gail Gibbons
July- Jez Alborough

You can also find loads of Virtual Book Club ideas organized by author and topic on our Virtual Book Club for Kids Pinterest Board that we just started and will continue to be adding to!

Come sign up for our Virtual Book Club Newsletter too and check out our new Virtual Book Club for Kids blog!

Virtual Book Club for Kids participating bloggers;

Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book- This Reading Mama - Fantastic Fun and Learning

Disclaimer: This post contains affilate links. 


  1. I love this activity. I've been thinking of doing an alphabet train activity and now I'm even more inspired.

  2. Oh, my son will love this! Super cute matching activity. Thanks so much for the idea!

  3. Freight Train is one of our favorites. I love your alphabet train!

  4. greatings from Greece!!! my son and I had geat time with this activity.

  5. What a fabulous activity - I will be trying this with T very soon.

  6. Just linked up! Thanks for hosting!!! What a great idea.

    Debbie Clement

  7. Nice post. Our point of view, although most children are naturally choked with energy, today's society sadly encourages way an excessive amount of time spent ahead of the tv. Whether or not they are looking at a show or taking part in a computer game, these hours are just about wasted. They are doing nothing to encourage a child's development, and that they may well be far better spent with physical activity.

    Encouraging your kid to physically move and be active is very important for you furthermore. Youngsters tend to mimic their oldsters, and if your own health habits are but ideal, your youngsters are probably to imitate. Rather than setting a poor example, let your kid see you partaking in regular exercise. Simply thirty minutes every day is enough to expertise an excellent health boost, and although your kid does not seem to be listening, they are.

  8. This is a nice idea, it goes on the same theme as the birthday countdown train we did a while ago :-)

  9. What a fun idea for kids to practice their letters. We LOVE that book =)


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