Playing the train game in preschool

During our musical a few weeks ago, I taught the older children a little train song and dance. Part of what we did was use our chairs to make a train for the musical. The two year old children would often come into the room and watch us as we practiced the train song…

I went in the twos classroom sometime later and found them making their own train…

At first only one or two of the children were pushing the chairs around the room and it took me a few minutes to realize what they were doing….

Their teacher clued me in that her two year old students now love to make trains or turn their chairs into cars and push them around the room….

I just couldn’t help myself – I had to join into the fun and together we played trains. This is what teaching young children is all about. Letting children explore their environment can naturally lead to the expression of new ideas that are meaningful to them.

The first instinct of any adult may be to tell the children not to push the chairs or to make the children put the chairs back where they belong but something as simple as making trains with chairs introduces new vocabulary, promotes cooperation, fosters imagination, and can develop into other kinds of learning throughout the classroom day…

There is a time when the chairs need to go back where they belong but don’t be too quick to stop the play when it isn’t what you expect – there may just be some learning going on!

By |2011-06-20T00:50:02+00:00June 20th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Candy Lawrence June 20, 2011 at 4:05 am - Reply

    I was working at a pretty ‘wild’ centre a few weeks ago (behaviour-wise) on their ‘wildest’ day… I set up a few chairs like this in the room for when we came inside, and abra-cadabra! Absolute peace and tranquility reigned as the children took turns at being the bus driver, the passengers, the crying babies… we had co-operation and self-directed learning all the way to lunch time. Awesomeness!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 20, 2011 at 10:04 am - Reply

      Isn’t that the coolest thing ever Candy?

  2. Rachel June 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    My kids LOVE playing trains. Where did you find the song?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 25, 2011 at 1:36 am - Reply

      We sang the Train Song from my CD in the classroom:) We used Chatanooga Choo Choo for the show with the older kids!

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok