Try some of these activities to prepare your children for what they will experience when they visit Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails
1. Set up a Thomas & Friends train set with your children and play. Ask your children questions about where buildings should be placed, how they want the track set up, the best route to get to a specific location, how to haul materials, how the engines work… Pose challenges, asking them to take a different route or find the best engines for certain jobs.
2. Visit local railyards and watch the trains and the workers. Count the engines and the train cars and discuss the different types you see.
3. All aboard for a day of family fun! Take your children for a ride on a train pulled by Thomas at a Day Out With Thomas™ near you!
4. Search for train excursions in your local area or plan a family trip around a train ride. You might also be able to take a ride on a light rail, monorail, or trolley in your community.
5. Brainstorm with your children everything they currently know about engines and trains. Make a list or a booklet of all the information, and add to it as your family learns more things.
6. Read several of your favorite Thomas & Friends stories. Discuss the personalities of the engines and talk about your favorites. Have children draw a picture of their favorite engine, telling what they like about that particular engine. Make a graph of the moods of all the engines. Are most engines happy, crabby, angry, sad, surprised or silly?
7. Visit your school or local library and check out all available Thomas & Friends books as well as other books about trains or how things work. Reenact some of the Thomas story lines with your own Thomas & Friends train set.
8. Carry out a few STEM based activities:
• Explore the way things move down slopes. Build some ramps using cardboard, gutters, or wood and send various objects down them. Talk with the children about what they are noticing.
• Conduct measurement experiments using materials you have in your house. Use materials of all sizes from paper clips to children’s bodies to measure various objects and distances. Compare what materials worked the best.
Conduct some cause and effect experiments. Mix liquid watercolors to see the changes in color, do some mixing of baking soda and vinegar to see the volcanic reaction.