Sunday, May 6, 2007


You know when you have a song stuck in your head? Well, I've had one stuck for a few weeks now. I think my brain is telling me that I have to pass it along and tell it to the world ;)

The song:
Dan Zanes' Catch That Train
OPL Link

I warn you, you listen and you will get it stuck too. From here on out, it's on your head if you continue!

If you are going to ignore my warning, I better at least give you a few ideas to add to your list of Train ideas:


To Stop the Train

To stop the Train
        start with arms going in a back and forth choo choo motion, then hands up in stop motion
In cases of emergency
        hands up waving 
Pull the cord
        pull on an imaginary cord 
Pull the cord
Penalty for improper use
        wag pointer finger in a no-no gesture 
Five pounds!
       make fist and pound palm of other hand

now let's try it faster!

Good job! Let's see how fast you can really go!
...go until you can't anymore - or it's just lost it's fun

Bill Grogan's Goat
(kids repeat each line after you)

Bill Grogan's goat
Was feeling fine
Ate three red shirts
Right off the line

Bill took a stick
Gave him a whack
And tied him to
The railroad track

The whistle blew
The train drew nigh
Bill Grogan's goat
Was doomed to die

He gave three groans
Of awful pain
Coughed up the shirts
And flagged the train

That's all there is
This story's done
I hope you had
A lot of fun

A Peanut Sat on a Railroad Track

A peanut sat on a railroad track.
His heart was all a-flutter
Engine nine came down the track
Toot Toot! Peanut butter!

This is the Choo Choo Train

This is the choo choo train
      bend arms at elbows 
Puffing down the track
      rotate arms forward in train motion
Now it's going forward
      move arms forward, still in train motion
Now it's going back
      arms come back, still in train motion
Now the bell is ringing
      pull bell cord
Now the whistle blows
      pretend to blow a whistle
Everywhere it goes
      arms out

Clickety Clack

Clickety clickety clack
         fists together, side by side then clap on the 'clack'
Clickety clickety clack

Clickety, Clickety
        fists together side by side 

Clickety, clickety
          click sides of hands in an 'x'

Clickety, Clickety
         clap, clap
          back to sides of fists together side by side

Big Black Train
(from the Out-of-Print Fireside Book of Children's Songs, by Marie Winn, pub. 1966)
(teach kids the chorus to join in with you - use shakers to keep the beat)

Oh, what do you do with the big black coal
I asked the big black train
Do you really swallow the big lumps whole?

The train said, 'No, I choo,
I choo choo choo choo choo
That's all I ever really do,
I choo choo choo choo choo"

Oh what do you do when the fire gets hot
I asked the big black train
If you swallow flames an awful lot
Your tummy must complain

(repeat chorus)

Oh, what do you do with the big black smoke
I asked the big black train
Do you swallow the smoke until you choke
I wish you would explain

(repeat chorus)

Down by the Station

Down at the station early in the morning
See the little Puffer Bellies all in a row
See the engine driver pull the little handle
Chug, chug, toot, toot
Off they go



The Rain Train by Elena De Roo (OPL Link)
~perfect laptime or storytime book, pair up with a rain theme and have a lot of fun!

Jiggle Joggle Jee by Laura Richards (OPL Link)
~Fun and rythmic - a perfect storytime and laptime book

Down by the Station by Will Hillenbrand (OPL Link)
~based on the song

Clickety Clack by Rob and Amy Spence

I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince (OPL Link)
GREAT new book for storytime or laptime!

Country Crossing by Jim Aylesworth (OPL Link)
Lots of good action sounds in this - also really good for storytime, not just laptime.

Freight Train by Donald Crews (OPL Link)
~ or take a look at the cool new sliding door board book - Inside Freight Train by Donald Crews

Train Ride by June Crebbin
Billed as a 'Share and Read' book - great to use as a 'repetitive phrase' book for storytimes.

Whoo! Whoo! Goes the Train by Anne Rockwell (OPL Link)

Puff-Puff Chugga-Chugga by Christopher Wormell (OPL Link)

Engine Engine Number Nine by Stephanie Calmenson (OPL Link)

Animals Aboard by Andrew Peters (OPL Link)
A delightful pre-bedtime (or end of storytime) read-aloud option.

Goodnight Train by June Sobel (OPL Link)
Start our fast and fun, then slow way down as the pace changes to get babies in a sleepy mood.


Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (OPL Link)
A must read for every child.

Mailing May by Michael Tunnell (OPL Link)
Set in 1914 young Charlotte May Peirstorff  is shipped via the US Postal Train as a 'chick'; postage due .53 cents. Based on a true story.

An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily McCully (OPL Link)
Based the true story of the Thanksgiving Banquet given in Brown's Hole, Utah, in the 1890's. A true WIild West adventure!

Owney, The Mail-Pouch Pooch by Mona Kirby (OPL Link)
The mail train riding stray dog that adopted the New York Post Office and became an official mascot!