The Little Engine That Could Activities

The Little Engine That Could Activities

While we were on the road, early in the New Year, we completed a couple of weeks of homeschool that I am really behind in writing up. One was a science week where we paired a Magic School Bus episode with a classic children’s book. This post contains affiliate links.

I ordered The Little Engine That Could from the UK shortly before Christmas so that a visiting family member could carry it out to us and I was really surprised by how small the book was (and I think it may be an abridged version), but the size has not affected my girls’ enjoyment of the book. In fact it has become one of Kooks’s favorites and I often find her sitting with it and “reading” it to herself. I remember this story from my own childhood and I love the old fashioned illustrations and the “I think I can” message. Here are our The Little Engine That Could Activities.


This book pairs really well with The Magic School Bus “Revving Up” episode where we learn how an engine works. We watched the show and (once we arrived at our destination) made milk carton cars with balloon engines. This was a really fun project but our cardboard wheels didn’t work very well, it was hard to get them perfectly round. I think if we were to do it again we would use something else for the wheels. Maybe plastic lids or something similar.

Balloon Engine Cars

Language Arts:

I brought some paper plates with us in the car and had the girls draw happy and sad faces on them. Then we read through the story again and the girls held up the correct paper plate when someone in the story was happy or sad. This was a really easy activity to keep us busy in the car and a fun way to explore some of the emotions in the book.

Emotion Plates with Little Engine That Could

Arts & Crafts:

I think this was probably the girls favorite activity. I printed them each two copies of this adorable train printable from Frogs to Fairy Dust and gave them each one to color in the car. When we got to our hotel that evening I cut the train out in one piece and the girls cut the train into all the different shapes. I then gave them the second copy of the printout and they had to put the train back together and glue it onto the template. Boo just adores puzzles and she especially enjoyed making her own puzzle and putting it back together.

Make a Train Puzzle

Songs of the Week:

My girls are big Choo Choo Soul fans so that was our music for the week. We own the album but it was fun to watch it along with the video on YouTube.

Other Ideas:

If we hadn’t been on the road, I would have loved for the girls to paint with toy cars for arts and crafts like in this post from The Good Long Road.

What are some favorite stories from your own childhood that you are now sharing with your children?

About Jody Tilbury

6 Responses to “The Little Engine That Could Activities”

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  1. Heather says:

    I think that must have been an enjoyable trip with such nice things to do.

  2. Melanie says:

    That looks like a fun puzzle. My daughter would be all over that. She’s always asking me for “an activity” (as she calls it).

  3. You and your craftiness put me to shame. LOL!

  4. These are all such cute activities! The Pokey Little Puppy is probably my kids’ favorite out of my childhood stories.

    • Nina says:

      Aw, these are great activities! MaryAnne, my 4yo liked Pokey Little Puppy as well (even though I had never read it)!

      • Jody Tilbury says:

        I completely forgot about the Pokey Little Puppy – we don’t have that one but I bet my Mom still has it!