Steam Train Dream Train Busy Bag

Great books for preschoolers need a fun activity to extend the fun.  We’ve shared a bunch of our favorite books and activities here on the blog and this Steam Train, Dream Train busy bag activity is another great book and play idea.  
 
Busy bags are a playful way to get kids involved in creative and independent learning through play and are many times, a DIY craft for the moms to make.  If you’ve got a child who loves trains, this preschool book and busy bag activity is for you!


Try these train themed sensory activity ideas for more ways to play with a train theme.


Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.

“Steam Train, Dream Train” Book and Busy Bag Activity

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“Steam Train, Dream Train”
is a fun book to read.  My kids loved the rhymes and details in the gorgeous pictures.  In the book, a train is rumbling to a stop where it fills it’s cars with toys of all kinds.  The train workers are playful animals who rest in the trains cars after they’ve filled it.  At the end of the book, we see the train is a playset in a child’s bedroom and you can just imagine all of the creative play that happens with that train!
 
We decided to make our own playful train set that can be carried along to places where waiting is difficult.  This book-related busy bag would be a fun way to pass time while waiting at a restaurant.  Slip the book
into a bag along with a few play items and you’ve got a busy bag that will inspire creative play of limitless capacities.
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.
 
You’ll need a few items to fill your busy bag.  We used items that correspond with the book
that we had in out house, but if you’re needing a few items, it would be easy to replace them with other toys.
We added these items to our busy bag:
 
Cardboard shapes (See how to make them here.)
burlap bag
Small alphabet beads
(We received ours from www.craftprojectideas.com)
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.
Read the book together and as you read, play along and build your dream train!
We used the cardboard shapes to build a shape train.  Now is a great time to discuss the shapes that can be used to build a train.  Talk about colors, too!
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.
Use the toys to add to the train as you go through the story.  
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.

 

When you’re child is playing independently with their busy bag, they can recall the story or create parts of their own.
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.
Play with your shape train busy bag over and over again!
 
Want to find more “Steam Train, Dream Train”?  Stop by and see what the other bloggers in the Book Club Play Dates series have come up with for this book:
 
Make an Egg carton steam train craft based on the book, like Craftulate did.
Play a Number matching game with a printable from Fun-a-Day.
Steam Train Dream Train book and busy bag activity. This is a great idea for preschoolers and beginner readers who need to wait at a restaurant or doctors office!  Make this busy bag to go along with the book and inspire creative and imagination play and learning as kids re-tell the story through play.
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More preschool books you and your child will love:
   
hands-on activities to explore social emotional development through children's books.

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Grab our NEW book that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books!  It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.

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Kids Crafts Based on Popular Children’s Books

I would have to say that we really love reading books and creating activities and crafts based on the books.  We’ve re-created books through play, busy bags, snacks, sensory play, but one of my favorite ways to explore a great book is through crafts.  These are a collection of all of our crafts based on great books.  You can see all of our book related activities over here.  For now, grab a piece of paper and and a pencil, because you are going to want to check out all of these books from your library!


Now, there are many who proclaim the benefits of process-related creativity in children.  I am a big believer that both process and product based arts and crafts are hugely beneficial to children in many similar and different ways.  Crafts are a great way to work on developmental skills and are used by Occupational Therapists to develop certain goal areas. 


WHY use crafts to work on skill areas in kids?  These are just a few ways that crafts can help kids:
Scissor skills
Fine motor grasps
Direction following
Problem solving
Expressive design
Weight bearing
Multi-step task organization
Executive functioning
Visual perceptual skills
Handwriting
Sensory integration


So, use those book related crafts to work on skills that kids need in a fun and developmentally appropriate way, while exploring new books!

Crafts for kids based on popular childrens books

Book related crafts for kids based on popular children’s books

 Big Red Barn puppets  
   
  
Crafts for kids based on popular childrens books
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Looking for MORE book-related activities?  Visit our book page for more creative ideas from book-related snacks, to busy bags, to sensory play, and more.
hands-on activities to explore social emotional development through children's books.

Love exploring books with hands-on play?

Grab our NEW book that explores friendship, acceptance, and empathy through popular (and amazing) children’s books!  It’s 50 hands-on activities that use math, fine motor skills, movement, art, crafts, and creativity to support social emotional development.