After you visit Thomas & Friends?: Explore the Rails exhibit, try some of the following activities to reinforce and extend the experiences of your children.
1. Take the long way home, stopping near tracks where you know trains frequently pass. Watch the trains, count the cars, ask your children questions about the things they notice.
2. Listen to some Thomas & Friends or other train soundtracks on your way home. Four to try:
? ? ? ? ? ? Thomas & Friends: Thomas Train Yard Tracks
? ? ? ? ? ? Thomas & Friends: All Star Tracks
? ? ? ? ? ? Thomas & Friends: Thomas’ Songs and Roundhouse Rhythms
3. Reflect on your visit to see Thomas & Friends. Invite your children to write and/or draw pictures about their favorite adventure in Thomas & Friends.
4. Do investigations with your children on trains and other inventions and discuss how they changed lives.
5. Thomas and his friends show their emotions and feelings with their facial expressions and their voices. Make faces together showing what all the different emotions look like. Discuss how friends and/or family can be helpful when someone is feeling sad or mad and how it is also fun to share happiness with others. Share stories about how they have helped cheer someone who was feeling sad.
6. Do some chain reaction science: Set up ramps on slopes with balls of different weights. At the bottom of the ramp, set out dominoes in a row (or any small materials that stand up). Give your children opportunities to send balls down the ramps and watch the chain reaction that follows. Experiment with different numbers of dominoes, different balls and different slopes.
7. Using construction paper cut in rectangles, squares and circles, glue, scissors, crayons, and googly eyes, make your own engines with facial expressions that show their feelings.
8. Play Engine Charades. Take turns acting out one of the Thomas engines and guessing which engine is being acted out.
9. Collect large cardboard boxes from an appliance store to make a train and a train station. Make tickets and play money, pack some small suitcases, and role play being at a station and riding on a train.