Carter has never watched an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, but he has a few of the books and he absolutely loves them! We also love sharing as many experiences as we can as a family-so when we received tickets to ‘a day with Thomas’ on the Ballarine Railway we were all very excited. It’s a great day for families and won’t break the budget, and the opportunities for learning are endless.
On the way to Queenscliff Carter read his Thomas book which was a great prompt to introduce the vocabulary we would use that morning. We talked about who he would see, what we were going to do and what sounds we might hear.
During the visit:
- You are provided with a show bag and inside was a great activity which gives the kids purpose during their visit. They had to find different board with each of the characters and stamp their sheet when they found it. We pointed to the name on the board and would tell Carter the first letter of the name (e.g: That’s T for Thomas, can you find Thomas on your sheet?) and he would then locate and stamp the character. Lots of activities are included to take home as well (an activity book, a balloon, pencil and even a Thomas tattoo and sticker!)
Finding all the characters and stamping our sheet.
- The kids get the chance to have two train rides, one on the Steam Train to Lakers Siding (you get to see all the old steam trains here-we heard ‘what is that?’ alot!!!) and one on the open air Thomas train. Carter was in awe of all the sights and sounds, the tooting train was a winner and generated a lot of discussion! He also loved high fiving Sir Topham Hatt who was great with all the kids.
- There’s a jumping castle and a maze which the kids love and you can hop on board Henry and blow his whistle.
On the way home we recapped what we had seen and let Carter lead the discussion. We took alot of photos which I will print and stick in a scrapbook and then together we will generate simple sentences to write underneath the photos. This will become our ‘book’ to read together.
Language experiences like these introduce new vocabulary and increase oral language skills. Carter’s been talking about Thomas and all the trains for the past three days since our visit and he’s even put his certificate in his room! We encourage him to use simple sentences to talk about his visit, rather than singular words, and we model these to him.